Pratapgad fort is one of the special forts in history of Maratha Empire, due to bravery of Shivaji Raje and Maratha army. Afjalkhan was one of Adilshahi commander who was ordered to capture or kill Shivaji Raje. He attacked on Swarajya with huge army. Everyone was thinking that Afjalkhan could easily capture Shivaji Raje. Finally Shivaji Raje and Afjalkhan decided to meet at the base of Pratapgad fort. During this meet Shivaji Raje killed Afjalkhan and Adilshahi army lost the battle. Due to this incidence Pratapgad fort is very special in history and I was very eager to visit here.
Finally I got the chance to visit Pratapgad due to my one of the close friends Sumit. He saw somewhere in Chinchwad city a board about walking trek from Mahabaleshwar to Pratapgad which was organized by Sardar Gavade Pratishthan and he informed me about this plan. I immediately said yes and one of our common friends Apurva also joined us. I think it was 24th May 2014, we left from Chinchwad city towards Pratapgad fort around 5 am. It was my first trek with huge crowd. There were two buses having around 200 people, including kids as well. Nilesh Gawade was the organizer, our guide and a very friendly person.
Distance was around 140 km. We take a halt in between for breakfast and reached at Mahabaleshwar around 11 am. As per my expectation our walking route was through the mountains of Mahabaleshwar. Although it was month of May, it was cool and pleasant nature. It was nice walking experience with crowd and we reached up to base village of Pratapgad after around 3 hours walk. There was a temple in base village. We all done with our lunch over there and moved on towards fort. After walk of around one more hour we reached finally at Pratapgad fort.
Pratapgad fort is in good condition as compared with other forts in Maharashtra. Chilkhati Buruj, temple of goddess Bhavani are some of the must-see places on the fort. At the base of the fort, there is tomb of Afjalkhan but entry is restricted. We visited all of these places and clicked some snaps. Our buses were already there at the base of Pratapgad as it was one-side walking trek. So by the same route we came back to Chinchwad city at around 12 in night.
It was overall a nice and easy walking trek. Pratapgad fort is really a best one-day return tourist spot from Pune city. As there is a well-built road up to the entrance of the fort so you can plan the trip even with kids as well. I would definitely love to visit Pratapgad fort again.