The Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj 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. It was completed in 1656.
The Battle of Pratapgarh between Shivaji and Afzal Khan was fought below the rampants of this fort on November 10, 1659. This was the first major test of the fledgling kingdoms army, and set the stage of the establishment of the Maratha empire.
Pratapgad continued to be involved in regional politics. Sakharam Bapu, a well-known minister of Pune, was confined by his rival Nana Phadnis in Pratapgad in 1778. He was later moved from fort to fort until he finally died at Raigad. In 1796, Nana Phadnis, while escaping from the intrigues of Daulatrao Shinde and his minister Baloba, assembled a strong garrison in Pratapgad before heading to Mahad.
In 1818, as part of the Third Anglo-Maratha War, Pratapgad surrendered by private negotiation. This was a great loss to the Maratha forces, as Pratapgad was an important stronghold, had a large garrison, and could suppress much of the country round Wai.
A 17-foot high equestrian bronze statue of Shivaji Maharaj was unveiled by Jawaharlal Nehru, then Prime Minister of India, on the 30th of November 1957, the same year a road was constructed by the Public Works Department from Kumbhrosi village up to fort. A guest house and a national park were built inside the fort in 1960.
The fort is currently owned by uday Raje Bhosale, the heir of the Satara princely state.
Travel from Satara
||: 76 KM from Satara, 140 KM from Pune, 218 KM from Mumbai Via Goa Highway NH66, 282 KM from Mumbai Via Pune Bangalore Highway NH4
||: Bike, Private Vehicles, Buses
||: 2 hr 15 min
||: Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar, Wai, Poladpur