Pratapgad

Pratapgarh is one of the forts built by shivaji to strengthen and to dominate the road system of the empire. Pratapgarh is closer to Mahabaleshwar and one can trek to this Shivaji’s hill fort of Pratapgarh from Mahabaleshwar. The other option being to take a bus, which covers the 2.2 km., journey in an hour to reach the foot of this hill. To reach the fort one has to climb 500 steps.

Pandavgad

The Pandavgad caves are situated on a small south-east projection of Pandavgad fort within the limits of Dhavdi village. On taking the path to Pandavgad and reaching the opening in the hills instead of turning up the shoulder of the hill to ascend the fort, the way to the caves goes straight on towards Dhavdi by a well defined footpath which skirts the face of the hill. The small spur with the caves is found at about a distance of 300 yards. The angle it makes with the main spur should be made for and about 200 feet up are the caves. The first is a flat roofed chapel or chaitya about twenty-one feet by seven and about twelve to fourteen feet high. An arched entrance blocked up with mud and stones leads to a relic shrine or daghoba four and a half feet in diameter and six feet high. Its capital (head portion) is lost. Close by is another cave seven feet square, also flat-roofed with an arched entrance and containing a mutilated stone instead of the daghoba and locally said to be a ling. It looks more like a daghoba, being fully three feet in diameter at the base and scarcely a foot at the top. East of Cave II is an eight-celled dwelling cave or vihar about thirty-five feet square and five feet high. The floor has been much silted up with earth brought in by rain water. The original height, as seen from the outside, was probably eight feet. The roof is flat and the rock overhangs four feet making a verandah with an entrance in its back wall about eight feet wide. The cells are two each on the east and west and four on the north, and there is a bed shelf all round. Five yards to the west is a rock-cut cistern six feet deep and nine feet wide holding no water. The Pandavgad caves are in good condition to this date and are visited by a number of people.