Pratapgad Fort is a majestic hill fort located in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India. It was built by the Maratha king Chhtrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the 17th century as a strategic defense against the Mughals and the Adilshahi Sultanate. The fort is famous for being the site of the Battle of Pratapgad, where Shivaji defeated the mighty Afzal Khan and secured his supremacy in the region. In this blog post, we will explore the history, architecture and attractions of The Fort and learn why it is a must-visit destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike. Pratapgad Fort One day Trip From Pune By Private Cab.
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Timing and Entry Fees of Pratapgad Fort
The fort is divided into two parts: the upper fort and the lower fort. The upper fort has a temple of Lord Mahadev and a statue of Shivaji Maharaj. The lower fort has a temple of Goddess Bhavani and a watchtower.
The timings of The Fort are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on all days and the recommended exploration time is 3-4 hours. There is no entry fee to visit The Fort.
Location and History of Pratapgad Fort
Pratapgad Fort is situated at an altitude of 1080 meters in the Satara district of Maharashtra. It overlooks the picturesque valleys of Par and Kinesvar and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding hills and forests. The fort covers an area of about 140 acres and consists of two parts: the upper fort and the lower fort. The upper fort houses the main structures, such as the Mahadarwaja (the main gate), the Afzal Buruj (the tower where Afzal Khan’s head was buried), the Devi Temple (dedicated to the goddess Bhavani) and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Statue (a bronze statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj erected in 1957).
The lower fort contains several bastions, ponds, chambers and warehouses. The fort was built by Shivaji in 1656 with the help of his prime minister Moropant Pingle and his commander Hiroji Indulkar. The fort was designed to be a strong and impregnable fortress that could withstand any enemy attack. The most notable historical event that took place at The Fort was the Battle of Pratapgad in 1659, when Shivaji lured and killed Afzal Khan, the general of the Adilshahi Sultanate, in a daring and clever move. This victory established Shivaji as a formidable ruler and paved the way for the expansion of his empire.
Things To do / Mist see on Pratapgad Fort
Pratapgad Fort is a place where you can experience a lot of things and see a lot of sights. Here are some of the things to do and must see on The Fort:
- Visit the Devi Temple and pay your respects to the goddess Bhavani, who is believed to be the patron deity of Shivaji and his empire. The temple is located in the upper fort and has a beautiful idol of the goddess made of stone and gold.
- See the Shivaji Statue and admire the grandeur and glory of the Maratha king. The statue is located in the upper fort and is 17 feet tall. It depicts Shivaji in his royal attire and holding a sword in his hand.
- Explore the Afzal Buruj and learn about the history and legend of the Battle of Pratapgad. The tower is located in the upper fort and is where Afzal Khan’s head was buried by Shivaji after he killed him in a duel. The tower also has a plaque that narrates the story of the battle.
- Enjoy the scenic views and nature from the various vantage points and trekking trails. The fort offers stunning views of the valleys, hills, forests and rivers. Some of the best spots to enjoy the views are Balekilla, Pratapgarh Machi, Bhavani Machi and Afzal Khan Tomb Trail.
- Experience the culture and heritage of the Marathas from the various structures and monuments. The fort has several bastions, ponds, chambers and warehouses that showcase the architecture and engineering of the Marathas. Some of the notable structures are Mahadarwaja, Sadar Bazar, Ganga Jamuna Saraswati Laxmi Lakes and Shiv Temple.
How to Rich Pratapgad Fort
Pratapgad Fort is easily accessible by road from various cities and towns in Maharashtra. Here are some of the ways to reach The Fort:
- By car: You can drive to The Fort from Pune (150 km), Mumbai (225 km), Satara (60 km) or Mahabaleshwar (22 km). The roads are well-maintained and scenic. You can park your car at the Pratapgad Parking lot at the base of the fort.
- By bus: You can take a bus to Mahabaleshwar from Pune, Mumbai or Satara and then take a local bus or taxi to The Fort. The bus fare is around Rs. 200-300 per person.
- By train: The nearest railway station to Pratapgad Fort is Satara, which is 60 km away. You can take a train to Satara from Pune, Mumbai or Miraj and then take a bus or taxi to Pratapgad Fort. The train fare is around Rs. 100-200 per person.
- By air: The nearest airport to Pratapgad Fort is Pune, which is 150 km away. You can take a flight to Pune from various cities in India and then take a bus, taxi or car to Pratapgad Fort. The flight fare varies depending on the destination and season.
Legends and Folklore associated with Pratapgad Fort
Pratapgad Fort is also a place of legends and folklore that add to its mystique and allure. The fort has several legends related to its construction and history. One legend says that Shivaji built the fort on the advice of a sage named Ramdas Swami, who predicted that a great battle would take place at the site and that Shivaji would emerge victorious. Another legend says that Shivaji named the fort Pratapgad after his son Prataprao, who was born at the fort.
The fort also has several folklore associated with its past and its inhabitants. One folklore says that the fort is haunted by the ghost of Afzal Khan, who roams around the fort at night and seeks revenge from Shivaji. Another folklore says that the fort has a secret tunnel that leads to Raigad Fort, Shivaji’s capital. The fort also has several historical characters associated with it, who have left their mark on the fort and its history. Some of them are Moropant Pingle, Hiroji Indulkar, Tanaji Malusare, Jijabai, Sambhaji and Bajirao Peshwa.
Tips for visiting Pratapgad Fort
Pratapgad Fort is a great place to visit for anyone who loves history, culture and nature. However, there are some tips and tricks that can make your visit more enjoyable and memorable. Here are some of them:
- The best time to visit Pratapgad Fort is between October and February, when the weather is pleasant and the fort is less crowded. The monsoon season (June to September) can be risky due to heavy rains and landslides. The summer season (March to May) can be hot and humid.
- Things to carry during your visit include water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, cameras, binoculars and comfortable shoes. Things to avoid include plastic bags, alcohol, tobacco, firearms and loud music.
- Safety measures and guidelines to follow during your visit include staying on the marked trails, avoiding slippery or steep areas, respecting the local customs and beliefs, keeping the fort clean and tidy, following the instructions of the guides and authorities and not venturing out after dark.
History of Pratapgad Fort
Pratapgad Fort has a rich and glorious history that dates back to the 17th century. Here are some of the highlights of the history of Pratapgad Fort:
- The fort was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1656 with the help of his prime minister Moropant Trimbak Pingle and his commander Hiroji Indulkar. The main purpose of the fort was to defend the banks of the Nira and the Koyna rivers and the Par pass.
- The fort witnessed the famous Battle of Pratapgad in 1659, when Shivaji lured and killed Afzal Khan, the general of the Adilshahi Sultanate, in a daring and clever move. This victory established Shivaji as a formidable ruler and paved the way for the expansion of his empire.
- The fort also saw the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1818, when it surrendered by private negotiation to the British forces. This was a great loss for the Maratha forces, as Pratapgad was an important stronghold and had a large garrison.
- The fort has a 17-foot high equestrian bronze statue of Shivaji, which was unveiled by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, in 1957. The statue depicts Shivaji in his royal attire and holding a sword in his hand.
What is special about Pratapgad Fort?
Pratapgad Fort is special because it is a historical monument that played a key role in the Battle of Pratapgad, where Shivaji defeated Afzal Khan and established his supremacy in the region. The fort also showcases the architecture, culture and heritage of the Marathas. The fort also offers scenic views and trekking trails for nature lovers.
What is the old name of Pratapgad Fort?
Pratapgad Fort was originally called Bhorpya by the local people. The name Pratapgad was given by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj after he built the fort in 1656.
What is the entry fees for Pratapgad Fort?
There is no entry fee for visiting Pratapgad Fort. However, there may be a nominal parking fee for vehicles at the base of the fort.
How difficult is Pratapgad Trek?
Pratapgad Trek is not very difficult as there are 450 steps from the base of the fort to the top. The trek can be done by anyone who is physically fit and has comfortable shoes. The trek takes about two hours to complete.
How many steps are there at Pratapgad?
There are 450 steps from the base of the fort to the top.
How many km Mahabaleshwar to Pratapgad?
Mahabaleshwar is 22 km away from Pratapgad Fort. It takes about 40 minutes to drive from Mahabaleshwar to Pratapgad Fort.
Which fort is near to Pratapgad fort?
Some of the forts that are near to Pratapgad Fort are Raigad Fort (50 km), Rajgad Fort (80 km), Purandar Fort (100 km) and Sinhagad Fort (120 km).
Pratapgad Fort is a remarkable place that offers a blend of history, culture and nature. In this blog post, we have explored the various aspects of Pratapgad Fort, such as its location, architecture, attractions, legends, history and tips for visiting. We have also learned about the significance of Pratapgad Fort in the Maratha empire and its role in the Battle of Pratapgad. Pratapgad Fort is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves to travel and learn about the past.
I have visited Pratapgad Fort twice and I have enjoyed every moment of it. The fort is well-maintained and has a lot of information boards and guides to help the visitors. The fort also has a museum and a souvenir shop where you can buy some memorabilia. The views from the fort are stunning and the trekking trails are exhilarating. The fort also has a spiritual vibe and I felt a connection with Shivaji and his legacy.
If you are planning to visit Pratapgad Fort, I would urge you to do so in a responsible and respectful manner. Please follow the safety measures and guidelines provided by the authorities and do not litter or damage the fort. Please respect the local customs and beliefs and do not disturb the peace and tranquility of the fort. Please also support the local economy by buying from the local vendors and artisans. Pratapgad Fort is a heritage site that deserves our care and appreciation.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post and have learned something new about Pratapgad Fort. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. And if you liked this post, please share it with your friends and family. Thank you for reading and happy traveling!