Prabalgad fort, also known as the Kalavatin Durga is situated in the Sahyadri range…
This fort was earlier called Muranjan till it was taken over and renamed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Close to Matheran and Panvel, this fort is built at a height of 2300ft above sea level.
The fort of Prabalgad was built to keep an eye on Panvel and Kalyan fort. It was believed to have been built at the time of the Bahamani Empire and hence was named Muranjan.
When the Nizam Shahi dynasty was on the verge of breaking down by Shahaji Raje supporters, the Mughal emperor Shahjahan and Adil Shah of Bijapur sent their armies to defeat Shahaji.
He then requested help to fight against the Mughal and Adilshahi forces from the Siddhis of Janjir, but was refused. Later he tried getting help from the Portuguese in the city of Chaul, however, they refused too.
Finally Shahaji, moved to Muranjan fort along with his wife Jijabai and son the young Shivaji.
However, in the year 1636, Shivaji left Muranjan fort as it came under the agreement of Mahuli and according to that, North Konkan was under the Mughal Empire who granted authority to Adilshaha of Bijapur to rule the area.
Shivaji took this opportunity swiftly and captured the Javli area. A brave Sardar of Shivaji, Abaji Mahadev won the area of Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Rayri. This is believed to be how Muranjan came under the Swarajya of Shivaji Maharaj.
Eventually, Shivaji changed the name of this fort from “Muranjan” to “Prabalgad”
The steps leading to the fort are cut into the rock hill. The trek to Prabalgad is considered to be one of the toughest treks in Maharashtra and it is advised to attempt this only with an experienced trekking group.
It starts from the base of the village Shedung and the journey takes near about 3 hours to reach the top of the fort.
Train: From Pune you can take a local train to Lonavala and another local to Panvel. The transport system to the place is excellent. Buses, local trains and taxis are all available to get to Prabalgad from Panvel.
Bus: From Pune, State transport buses are available to Panvel and you can take a taxi to Prabalgad.
Road: Drive on the Mumbai highway and take this route: Pune- Lonavala- Khalapur- Rasayani- Panvel- Prabalgad.
Don’t forget to try their Malwani cuisine. Some popular restaurants are The Village, Neel Kamal, Malvan Tadka and Shabari.
Places to Visit:
Considered a sister fort to Prabalgad, the are of this fort is small and there are several water cisterns cuts from the rock. For reaching the the top it is essential to have artificial rock climbing equipment.
Prabalgad, Matheran, Chanderi, Malanggad, Karnala and Manikgad are some of the forts that can be seen from the top.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary
Another tourist attraction of the fort is the beautiful bird sanctuary, located at the base of the forest. The sanctuary is home for 150 species of native birds and 37 species of migratory birds.
Zenith Waterfalls stands at a height of 100- 120 feet, the waterfall is active only during the monsoon months and was named after the company that is located near the waterfall. Rappeling, swimming in brooks and trekking are some of the adventure sports organisers near the waterfall.
A trek to Prabalgad fort is perfect for the real adventure lover who wants a challenge. This trek needs experience and hence is to be attempted only with a qualified trekking group.
#All images are details are purely indicative and readers are advised to check finer details at the respective destinations. Please adopt all safety measures as may be advised at the destinations mentioned.
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