(24 kms from Mahabaleshwar) Pratapgad was one of the for midable hill- fort of chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It was constructed by Shivaji in 1656. This against advesary Afzar khan in 1659. This ge neral of Bijapur desieged the fort and Shivaji Maharaj killed him during a brief meeting when the Moghal chief tried to stragle him treacheroulsly.
Pratapgad is situated in Satara district, Maharashtra, India and is 25 kms. from Mahabaleshwar. The Maratha king Shivaji commissioned Moropant Trimbak Pingle, his prime minister, to undertake the construction of this fort in order to defend the banks of the Nira and the Koyna rivers, and to defend the Par pass. The fort can be divided into the lower fort and upper fort.
Pratapgad is 900m above sea level. An hour's drive down by the Fitzgerald Pass road brings you the pretty travelers bungalow at Vada or Ambenali, a small hamlet within the limits of Kambhroshi village. A two-mile long, heavily forested climb leads to the fort gateway.
On passing the gateway, Afzal Buruj (watch tower) lies to the right, while a road to the left leads to the upper fort. Afzal Khan's tomb is situated to the northwest of Afzal Buruj. The entrance of Pratapgad is well protected and very strong; the space between the towers on each side does not exceed 4 ft, the pathway is very steep and rugged and a double doorway forms the actual entrance.
On the east and the south the hills have steep slopes covered with dense forest in contrast with rocky west and the north. The hills gradually descend to the valleys separating Mahabaleshwar and Kineshwar range on the east and the Konkan valley on the west.
Pratapgad consists of two forts. An upper fort built on the crest of the hill and a lower fort immediately below on the south and the east, both overlook the surrounding country and guard the passage to the hills on almost all the sides. The fort walls vary in height according to the nature of the ground. The parapet wall is very slight and the rampart is only 3 ft. broad. The upper fort, built on the crest of the hill is 180m by 180m and contains several permanent residential buildings and a temple of Mahadev, both in good condition.
The lower fort is 290m x 180m broad is on the eastern and southern sides of the hill. The southern side is rocky while the eastern side has a strong outwork ending in the Afzal Buruj. The outwork is set to have been added by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj after his encounter with Afzal khan, who met with his death at the hands of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru unveiled a bronze statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja on the 30th November 1957. The statue, which is placed on a square edifice is about 10 ft. high, the management of the statue rests with the Pratapgad Shivsmarak Samiti.