Prabalgad is also popularly known as Pradhangad, Muranjan and Prabalmachi. Muranjan was its old name, which was soon changed under Chatrapati Shivaji’s rule.
Every forts have its own history and mystery too. But in the end, the one common point that lies behind these all forts is that these all forts have lived the royalty.
History of Prabalgad –
This fort has a very long history. This fort was built with the major reason to keep an eye on both the forts. The Kalyan fort and Panvel Fort by Bahamani Sultanate. But soon in 1458 AD, the Prime Minister of Ahmednagar kingdom named Malik Ahmad took over this fort. At his conquest of Konkan and remained with it even after the disintegration of Bahamani Sultanate.
The helping hand was lent by Shahaji Maharaj to the Adil Shah dynasty and Mughal empire. Once the collapsing of Ahmednagar Sultanate was initiated. Soon Shahaji Maharaj along with his family moved to Muranjan after the collapse of the Sultanate. But Shahaji Maharaj got defeated by the Mughals who established control over North Konkan, and they gave the authority of ruling over this area to Adil Shah of Bijapur.
But in1657 AD Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj conquered the fort and established himself to the Kalyan Bhiwandi area. While conquering this fort the mother and the daughter of the Mughal Sardar Kesar Singh who was guarding this fort hid into the fort. He died in the battle. But as an act of kindness, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj allowed both the mother and daughter of this Sardar a safe passage out.
After the sign of defeat in this battle, the ladies of this Dynasty performed Jauhar. In those times the ladies moreover married ladies used to step in the fire. Right after their husband got assassinated or died during the war. Just to save their dignity. And also in Indian culture still it is believed that a lady once got married, her husband is everything for her. Without him, she is nothing. In 1826 it is believed that Umaji Naik the freedom fighter and his associates lived over here for a brief period.
To start off the trek, you have to start it off from Thakurwadi village. There is a check post on the route to the fort. On route there’s also a ticket office here, an amount of 50 Rs per person charged here.
As this place is a kind of forest area, it is the habitat of few wild animals, reptiles and insects. This is a one-day trek spot so there is no need to take extra luggage, the lighter your bag will be the more you will enjoy the weather and nature of this place.
There are many small hotels along the route, Water and snacks are available here. These hotels are also useful for relaxing on the trek.
For camping, the base of the fort (Prabalmachi Village) is a good option, where you can get food also so need not to worry!. Weekends are most preferable to trek. Many food and accommodation facilities are available in Prabalmachi village. Many trekkers start trekking in the evening and spend the night in Prabalmachi village. Tents are available for rent here for camping, many tourists prefer Prabalgad for Camping.
It takes 1 hour to trek from Prabalmachi to Prabalgad. Tourists are allowed to visit this fort from 6 Am to 5 Pm. climb the fort after 5 pm is not allowed. If you are new to this place, then a local guide is preferable.
Kalvantin Durg is 500 meters high pinnacle on the northern edge of the Prabalgad plateau. If you are a trekker, then surely the Kalvantin Durg of this place is for you.
Where is Prabalgad Located? –
Prabalgad is located between the Panvel and Matheran and comes under Raigad District of Maharashtra at the elevation of 2300 ft in the western ghat. It has a sister fort named Irshalgad. It is built 700 m above sea level in western ghats. To the south flows Patalganga river. Not only this but Gadhi river flows in the west and Ulhas River in East of the fort.
Nearest Cities – Panvel 15 Km, Mumbai 50 Km, Pune 140 Km
How to Reach Prabalgad-
Trekking is the only option to reach Prabalgad, so to get here, you have to start trekking from Thakurwadi villages first.
By Air – Mumbai airport named Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is one of the nearest airports to reach. You can also opt for other airports too, as per your convenience. From there on you may take a cab, taxi or private vehicle.
By Rail- Panvel station is the nearby station to this place. A trip without rail journeys is so boring. Moreover, it is one of the cheapest transport facility that you can opt for though it will take a slightly longer time to reach the station but in this journey, you may encounter many more aspects of nature.
By Road- State transport facilities are there, or you may also opt for private vehicles too. As this fort is close to Mumbai-Pune highway, it is convenient to go by own vehicle. To get here Enter this location on google map–Prabalgad & Kalavantini Durga Trek Start Point.
Best Time to Visit –
September to March is the best time to visit Prabalgad.
April-May is a month of heat, so avoid trekking in summer.
Food & Accommodation –
From the starting point of the Prabalgad trek to the last, there are many small hotels where you can get snacks as well as water. Meals are available in Prabalmachi village.
Accommodation is available in Prabalmachi village. Camping tents are available for rent at this location. Many trekkers come here for camping. Campfires, pleasant atmosphere, everything a trekker need is here, which is why people prefer this place.
Some Useful Tips Before You Visit Prabalgad-
- wear good quality trekking shoes or sports shoes.
- Carry at least 2 litres of water.
- Avoid carrying too much weight with you such as heavy backpacks.
- Carry a quality raincoat and umbrella during the monsoon.
- Carry a first aid kit, flashlight/torch.
- Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol is strictly prohibited.
- Do not litter on the fort or in the trek’s route.
- last but not least Carry your identity proof
Nearby Places to visit-
Karnala Bird sanctuary-
This is one of the small bird sanctuary located at the range of Western Ghat and surrounded by various hills that provide a great opportunity to all the trek lovers to trek over this place. It covers barely 37.5 sq km of area. This area is full of greenery and natural vegetation. It is the home place of nearly 150 local bird species. And it has nearly 37 species of avian birds. This place is a great option for all nature lovers, bird lovers.
Must Read- MURUDESHWAR TRAVEL GUIDE
Hugh Poyntz Malet the then-District Collector of Thane in the year 1850 discovered this place and Lord Elphinstone, Governor of Mumbai built this hill station. While the railway station over here was built in 1907. The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, has declared this place as one of the extremely eco-sensitive regions.
Lonavala and Khandala Hill Station –
It is located 80 km away from Mumbai at the end of Bhor Ghat. This is one of the best hill stations to get visited. The most favourable time to visit over this place is in winters. From over here you can great view of wide ranges of the Western Ghats with a foggy atmosphere if visited in winters. If you are a nature lover and you love to travel a lot, then go give it a try to it.
Mumbai City –
The city of dreams! This place has a wide variety of culture, people and habitat too! Surely once in a life, you should visit Mumbai, which is one of the major economical capital of India. This metropolitan city teaches the person the very true lessons of life.