Sunday, 9 October 2011

Mesmerizing Mahabaleshwar - Day 2 - Pratapgad and the Waterfalls

Aug 14 Sunday 2011 - Today we planned to visit Pratapgadh. I planned to drive but our hotel manager advised me not to. The road was too foggy to drive for an outsider. It made sense so we took another cab to Pratapgadh. We had our breakfast in the hotel and started around 10 in the morning. After yesterday's enchanting experience, we set our expectations high.

We drove through all the way to Mahabaleshwar, passing Venna Lake once again. The weather had not improved, in fact it had worsened. It was foggy and raining heavily. From M'shwar it is like aY- fork where the right arm goes towards Pratapgad and the left towards Tapola.

The road towards Pratapgad was too much foggy to drive on for me - sometimes it was nearly invisible. So I was glad that I took the right decision.
Foggy road towards Pratapgadh

After driving around 20 odd kms, you have to take a left turn where a board indicated 'Kille Pratapgadh', the steep road starts from here.
Going left, you will reach the fort

After some time we reached at the base of the fort and found ourseves in an ocean of cars and people. It was really great to see so many people outside, not caring for the weather a bit, it simply lifts up your morale too, in case it is running low.

Pratapgadh does have some historical significance because Shivaji Maharaj killed Afzal Khan here in the Battle of Pratapgad. And the fort itself is in a better shape compared to many other forts in Maharashtra. The giant darwazas, huge fortifications, bastions and walls made us realize how small we are. We visited the Bhavani Temple, Tomb of Afzal Khan, Shivaji Statue.

The Mist and the fortification

The statue of the great warrior

Slippery stairs

A couple of the bastions

The fort in the background


The fort looked fabulous behind the mist.

On the way back, there is a small handicraft shop/emporium. There are some statues built which are really worth seeing. The handicraft shop had some photos of Pratapgad displayed, taken on a sunny morning. We could feel how the fort looks like in a bright sunny day.

Though the weather was depressing we did not loose our morale at all. The road to Pratapgadh (and back) was full of jaw-dropping sceneries and waterfalls of various sizes - small,tiny, big and giant sized. And the best thing is that after passing one, you are bound to encounter another waterfall within 100 meters. So if you miss some snaps don't loose heart because there'll be plenty of photography opportunities. We missed some and clicked some and stopped at many points.

In a nutshell the road was heavenly - I actually don't have much words to express the breathtaking beauty of the place. I wish I could have been a renowned writer who could play with the words. So let the snaps do the talking (fingers crossed).

Unsteady hands

We returned Panchgani around 5 and took some rest. As usual at the evening we again explored an off the beaten walking trail.

Update: Road Direction - Panchgani to Pratapgad


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