|Pratapgad is the fort constructed by Shri Shivaray near Mahabaleshwar. After defeating More of Javali and attachment of that region to kingdom, Shivaray noticed this hill and took immediate decision to construct fort on it.
There are various types of forts like fort on plane land, fort in hilly region, fort in sea and fort in forest. Fort in forest means fort surrounded by thick forest from all sides and this description matches perfectly to Pratapgad. Javali also was very difficult to conquer due to thick forest on all sides.
Pratapgad as seen from Mahabaleshwar
The attack on Javali shows the excellence in war technic of Shri Shivaray. It was a giagantic task to enter the unknown forest and fight with local military of More who had lived for many generations in this forest. However collecting information about existing walkways in the forest through spies without knowledge to enemy, creating rift in enemy’s forces, destroying enemy’s forces by sudden attack on unwary personel were the tactics used by Shri Shivaray to conquer Javali.
Shivaray realized importance of road going from Mahabaleshwar to raigad and kokan and decided to construct Pratapgad to keep vigilance on Par ghat and he succeded in prohibiting enemy movements in Kokan and varghat road section.
Shhivaray selected Pratapgad to meet Afajalkhan, the strong chief of Vijapur army. The reason was to use the thick forest for fighting with his mighty forces.
View of pratapgad from Vada village
|Mahabaleshwar and Par village at the foot of Pratapgad have significant importance from ancient times.
Shri Ramvaradayini place in par village at foot of Pratapgad is an ancient and sacred place. When Ravana abducted Seeta, Rama came searching for her to this place. He prayed Tulajabhavani and got boon for getting success in his desired task. Hence the name of Shri Ramvaradayini was given to the goddess. This is a place of pilgrimage for the divotees.
Afajal machi as seen from Nagarkhana
In Shivaray period, Javali’s More was ruling this region. The family had Chandrarao as designation. In 1947, javali’s rular doulatrao More died. His relatives strated fighting for power. The wife of Doulatrao requested Shivaray to help. As per her wish, Shivaray made Yashavantrao More as adopted son to her and made him ruler of the region. But Yashavantrao did not keep respect for this help.
He started protecting betrayers of Shivaray’s kingdom , tried to establish right on lands and attacking the forces. This arrogance resulted in his defeat and destruction by Shivaray. Shivaray also conquered Rayari fort. When he found that More is trying to contact Adilashahi, he killed him.
After accesing all Javali area to kingdom, Shivaray constructed a strong fort on a hill named Bhorappa. This fort was named as Pratapgad. Arjoji Jadhav constructed building on the fort under guidance of Moropant.
View of pratapgad from Handicraft centre