by Abhishek Pandit
PARGAD is situated about 63 kms from Belagavi.
Pargad is a One of the major attractions of this fort is its serene environment and lush green surroundings. Apart from this, it is also known for housing a wonderful bronze statue of Shivaji and a temple of Bhagawati Bhawani.
Road: Goes up to the fort, wonderful road for bike riders and nature lovers.
Common spotting: peacocks, nearly hundreds of them. Tigers and bison’s are also a common in this area but rarely spotted.
Park the bike at the foothills of the fort and commence a steep climb of 100 steps, and there stands a beautiful Hanuman Temple. Another 10 mins climb we see wonderful and well maintained Bhagvati Temple. One can find are many stone monuments and idols which date back to 100 years.
Brief History: Pargad was a basically a fort build by Shivaji maharaj around 1674, believed to be maintained to overlook the activities of the Portuguese in Goa. The height is 738 meters from sea level. First killedar of this fort was Rayaji Malusare, son of Tanaji Malusare. In 1689 Aurangzebs son Sahajada Muaajam and Khavas Khan tried to conquer this fort, but the brave soldiers with their guerrilla warfare tactis defeted the Mughals. But unfortunately in this war the head of the ordinance(tofkhana) department Vithoji Dharatirtha lost his life. The (samadhis) Tombs of Vithoji and his wife Tulsabai still can be found on the fort. As per historic scriptures Khem Savant Bhosle (Kudalkar) in 1690 with the help of Mughals tried to conquer the fort. As per Portuguese evidence this date goes to 1701.
During the British rule in spite of no food and other necessities the fort was inhabited by the people there. Britishers later started pension for the chiefs and people of the fort. This money was paid from the Belgaum mamledar kacheri (Treasury).
The fort and surroundings has many medicinal variety of plant species. There are other numbers of forts surrounding like Kalanidhi gad, Vallabhgad, Mahipalgad, Samangad etc.