Pratapgad 18 kms down the Ambenali ghat towards Poladpur is a major sightseeing option near Mahabaleshwar. A fort from the Maratha regime Pratapgad is famous for the legendary 'wagh nakh' battle between Shivaji and Afzal Khan. MTDC runs a Pratapgad darshan bus service from Mahabaleshwar during the tourist season.
Pratapgad - Afzhal Khan's Waterloo
Built in 1656 by Shivaji, Pratapgad fort was a strategic fort which was commissioned to defend the banks of the Nira and the Koyna rivers, and the Par pass. Pratapgad is famous for the battle between Shivaji and the mighty Afzal Khan in which Afzal Khan was slayed by Shivaji who used a Tiger claw to do so. After the battle Shivaji had a tomb built for Afzal Khan at the fort.
Afzal Khan Tomb
Shivaji after the battle where he slayed Afzal Khan with the 'wagh nakh' had a tomb built for Afzal Khan befitting the mighty warrior which is a major landmark in the Pratapgad fort.
A 17-foot high equestrian bronze statue of Shivaji adorns the summit of Pratapgad fort which was unveiled by Jawaharlal Nehru then Prime Minister of India, in 1957
At an altitude of 3543 feet Pratapgad fort is considered to be the highest point of the range with a full view of the surrounding region. The western and northern sides of the Pratapgad fort are gigantic cliffs with an almost vertical drop in many places of seven to eight hundred feet. The Abdullah tower, Bhavani temple and the recently instated Shivaji statue are the main landmarks in Pratapgad. There also is a durgah dedicated to Afzal Khan.
Hastakala Kendra - Pratapgad
On the to Pratapgad there is a handicraft centre set up within a small campus where different artefacts and handicraft is on display and sale. An exhibition of art and pictures of historic moments in Shivaji's life carved in metal is a stop that you should take.