Prabalgad is a fort located between Matheran and Panvel, at an elevation of 2300 feet in the Sahyadri mountains. It was built on a plateau very close to Matheran, but unlike Matheran it does not have a good source of water. It was known as Muranjan until it was taken over and renamed by the Maratha forces under Shivaji's rule. The fort contains a temple to Ganesh and some stone ruins. Its sister fort is Irshalgad.
Around 1458 Malik Ahmad, the prime minister of the kingdom of Ahmednagar, took over the fort during his conquest of Konkan. The Mughals took control of Prabalgad along with Kalyan, Mahuli, Karnala and a number of other forts after Sambhaji's death. The fort was conquered by Shivaji from the Mughals in 1657, after he establishing himself in the Kalyan-Bhivandi area. At the time of the attack the fort was governed by Kesar Singh, a Mughal sardar, and was the only fort to put up a strong resistance. On seeing the signs of defeat the women in the fort performed Jauhar, a tradition of self immolation to ensure an honorable and respectful death. Singh died during the battle in October 1657. Singh's mother hid herself and her grandchild during the attack. Shivaji in an act of kindness made sure the lady and the child were allowed a safe passage out.
In the year 1826 Umaji Naik, a freedom fighter, and his associates are believed to have made this as their home for a brief period of time.
Geographical Location of Fort
Prabalgad lies between Matheran and Panvel and can be seen from the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The Ulahas River runs to the east of the fort. The Gadhi River, and the Chanderi and Peb forts are to the west. To the south is the Patalganga River, and Manikgad and to the north is the Karnala fort.
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