Mahabaleshwar and Pratapgad Fort an unforgettable experience

Hi All!

In the Western Ghats called as Sahyadri hill ranges which stretch 1600 KMs parallel to Western coast of India. There lies a very famous Hill station named as Mahabaleshwar. It is one of the small town in Satara district in Maharashtra State. In British India they have developed it as Hill station and used it as a summer capital of Bombay Province administrative in British Rule.


Mahabaleshwar name came from old temple Mahabaleshwar of lord Siva situated in old city. It is not only the tourist spot but also has an importance for Hindu Pilgrim because Krishna River have a origin from this place which is the fourth biggest river after Ganga, Godavari and Brahmaputra. There is an ancient Krishna Temple in old Mahabaleshwar, and it is believed that river is originated from the statue cow mouth in the Krishna temple and thus got its name as Krishna River. Krishna River is the major source of irrigation in the state of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and flows almost 1400 KMs into Bay of Bengal sea. There is also a mythological believe that Krishna River is Load Vishu himself as trimurtis are curesed by Savitri and tributaries of it are Veena and Koyna which are Lord Siva and Lord Brahma. 

Mahabaleshwar is 120 KMs away from Pune and 263 KMs from Mumbai. You can plan one day trip from Pune. We have stared early in the morning at around 7:00 AM from Pimpri and a had our breakfast at Khed Shivapur at aound 8:30AM. We took the right turn from the Surur (Wai Phata) to reach to Mahabaleshwar. Our first halt in Mahabaleshwar is the wide Plateau on the mountain where you can enjoy stunning Sunrise and  Sunset. After sending some and time and admiring the valley we went to Pratapgad Fort which is 22 KMs away. 

Wilson Point

Pratapgad Fort. 

Pratapgad Fort had a very major role in the rise of Swarajya meaning independence from the foreign rule. Maratha King Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had layed the foundation of Swarajya. The term Hindavi Swarajya was  used for the first time in the letter to Dadaji Naras Prabhu Deshpande in year  1645. Later the term Swarajya was adopted by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in the moment of Indian independence against British Empire. 

Pratapgad Fort is know for the battle between Shivaji Maharaj and Afzal Khan. In the year 1650 Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji MaharajPratapgad ordered his Peshwa  Prime Minister Moropant Trimbak Pingle to oversee the construction of Fort. The construction of Fort got completed after 6 years that is in 1656.   

Just after 3 years of the completion of Pratapgad Fort the back clouds had came over it. Afzal Khan an General from Adilshahi government who was said to be over 7 feet tall and with an power of elephant came to the foothills of Pratapgad intended to destroy Maratha Empire. He was a very cruel general came with such a big forces which was no match as Shivaji Maharaj forces were one-fourth of his forces. He halted under the foot of Fort and restrict the moment to and forth from the Fort. Shivaji Maharaj was so cleaver and showed Afzal Khan that he was very afraid of him and wants to have a peace talk. They both decided to meet in a tent where Afzal Khan was already present and waiting to embrace Shivaji Maharaj. He drew a knife from this coat and stab in the back of Maharaj but could not do so as Shivaji Maharaj was wearing an armor beneath his dress which protected him from this false/unfaithful attack. Maharaj than pulled out his bagh-nakh (Claw like weapon)and tear his stomach and cutting all its internal organs. Afzal Khan shouted that he was attacked and his bodyguard Syed Banda attacked Maharaj with sword but one of the Mavle name Jiva was quick enough to cut the neck of that bodyguard. Thus Shivaji Maharaj Said " hota jiva mhanun wachla Shiva" which means that because of Jiva Shiva is saved. Thus its been said that wisdom is grater than strength. 

Pratapgad Parking

We reached Pratapgad Fort in 20 Mins and the good thing is that we got parking probably due to an odd day. From parking you need to walk through the stairs to reach to the entry gate of the Fort. While walking towards Fort gate you will find many street vendor sitting on stairs selling snacks like slices of green mango, slices of cucumber and other eatables. After entering from the mail gate you will find few shops there for purchasing and drink buttermilk. There are guides also available which will tell you all the information and when they tell you about above battle you will feel like the whole picture came in front of you. going more into the fort you can see that its built in such a way that it can be divided into the lower fort and the upper fort.  

Pratapgad Upper Fort

 View from Pratapgad Fort

Pratapgad Fort Boundary Wall

After spending good amount of time and saluting the greatness of Shivaji Maharaj its time to get back to Mahabaleshwar for other sightseeing. But before going any further and by walking so much on fort made us hungry, so we stopped at the Dhabha (Highway Restaurant). The food was good but not that great and if you are hungry its becomes tasty.😉

Arthurseat Point
View from Arthurseat

Deep Valley from Arthurseat Point

We than went to Arthur Seat Point which fantastic and mesmerizing views of the valley. It's named after Sir George Arthur Governor of Bombay Presidency (1841-1846). 

Deep Valley

It's been said that Sir Arthur used to sit here and stairs Savitri River in which his wife and kid drowned. You can also see Malcolm Point from where yo can see Torna Fort and Pratapgad Fort.

 Torna Fort Closeup
Torna Fort from Malcolm Point
Savitri River

 There is an Echo Point where you can shout out loud and hear your own voice. After that there is Tiger Spring Point which is a source of the pure natural water which is cool and safe to drink. 

 Echo Point

Tiger Spring Point

After such an amazing Points we went to Elephant's Head Point where you can see the rock formation in such a way that it looks like a trunk of an elephant. It is one of the famous and most visited Spot of Mahabaleshwar. You will find many food stall and toys shops, its like a mini market.  It is also called as Kates Point named after the British Governor Sir. John Malcom's Daughter and in the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj rule is was called as "Nake Khind".  You can see a very beautiful view of Balakwadi Dam and the beautiful backwater of Krishna River. 

View from Elephant Point after sunset

Back Water of Krishna River
View of Balakwadi Dam

Now Sun set and it was dark also so we started our journey back to our homes  Pune. We could not stop our self to stop at Mapro Garden which ha now become an brand. it is on the Panchagani Mahabaleshwar Road and between the both towns. You can purchase strawberry and other Mapro products. Also there are restaurants to eat and a wonderful garden to click photos. 

Mapro Garen Center Tree

Mapro Strawberry 

Mapro Fountain

Fishes in Fountain Water 

So all and all it was a very nice and amazing experience where we come close to nature in such an wonderful Hill station which has religious importance and historic as well. On the other hand we have seen the place where seeds to Maratha Empires were planted and the battle which has wisdom, courage and  brilliance in the battle that change the course of Swarajya.


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