- Name of the Fort:
- Pratapgad Fort is a mountain fort built by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The fort is at a distance of 24 km from the hill station of Mahabaleshwar. The fort holds a sturdy view of coastal Konkan. The Bhavani Temple and Afzal Khan's tomb are other places of interest.Pratapgad consists of two forts - an upper fort built on the top of the hill and a lower fort immediately below on the south and the east. Surrounding areas can be easily taken guard from the fort on almost all the sides. The southern side is rocky while the eastern side has a strong outwork ending in the Afzal Buruj.
- As per the historians, the Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj had commissioned Moropant Trimbak Pingle, his then prime minister, to commence the building of this fort for the purpose of defending Nira and the Koyna rivers’ banks, and also to guard the Par pass. Finally the construction of the fortress was finished in 1656. Also, the Battle of Pratapgad was fought between Shivaji and Afzal Khan on November 10, 1659 below the unbridled area of this fort. This was certainly the first most important test of the fledgling kingdom's defence force, and it laid the foundation brick for the rise of the Maratha Empire.
The fort was completed in 1656 and the ramparts became the site of the battle between Shivaji and Afzal Khan. After the win over Afzal Khan, the Maratha Empire flourished and Pratapgad was active in regional politics.