PARGAD Fort History

Pargad Fort (Chandgad Taluka), on the Belaganv-Savantwadi frontier about thirty-five miles west of Belaganv, is built on a peaked hill in the Sahyadris about 2,000 feet above sea level. The hill sides are wooded, except in places where they have been laid bare by brushwood clearing or Kumri. The ascent to the fort is steep by rock-cut steps. The fort which is about forty acres in area is mostly out of repair. Part of the walls, which only line the crests of ravines and one gateway are fallen. The water-supply is from six reservoirs four of which are in repair. A temple of Bhavani and two broken pieces of cannon are the only other remains in the fort. In 1827 a committee of inspection described Pargad as an extensive hill fort in the Sahyadris 1,900 feet high, about thirty-one miles from Belaganv and two miles north of the Ram pass. It was formed by the basalitic band of rock which crowns so many of the Sahyadri hills. The perpendicular scrap varied from forty to hundred feet and was inaccessible in every part except at the gateway where the masonry was only fourteen feet high. The fort was overlooked and commanded on several sides, especially on the north where a hill approached as near as

1,200 feet. The water-supply was from numerous wells supplied by springs. A reservoir in the fort also held water till February. A stone-built temple, the commandant’s house, an eight-pounder, and three Jamburas were the only other remains in the fort. The garrison consisted of 360 irregulars. A second committee of inspection in 1842 described the fort as about forty-five miles west of Belaganv on a spur of the Sahyadris about 1,200 feet above the plain. The spur contained two distinct heights the most northern of which formed the fort. The hill was triangular in shape, its eastern side forming the base about 2,400 feet, its south-west front about 1,800, and north-west front about 1,650 feet, and the entire breadth of the hill from east to west was about 1,200 yards. The crest of the hill with a natural scrap all round of thirty to sixty feet formed, without any help from art, a strong and almost impregnable position; for though in many places the scarp had a slight slope it was nowhere sufficiently sloped to admit of an assault. The works crowning the crest of the scarp were strong stone wall twelve to twenty feet high, and according to the form of the hill, flanked in various places with bastions fit for ordnance. At the north angle round which the road led to the gate the rock was particularly high, bold and rugged and was crowned by a double line of works of masonry completely commanding the road to the gate which was placed in the north-west front about 600 feet from the western angle of the hill. The only entrance to the fort was up a flight of steps about fifty yards long on the top of which was a small gate facing south-west and much exposed. The passage up the steps was steep and well flanked by the works. The south-east end of the fort was the weakest point forming a sharp acute angle without any defences. The fort was inhabited, but water was scarce and had to be brought by the people from a village outside the slope of the hill to the north-west not far from the gate. The committee observed that even without defences the hill would be regarded as a very strong position, but formed into a fort, with the defences as they then (1842) existed, it should be deemed a fort of great strength. Pargad appears among the ten Belganv forts held by Sivaji at the time of his death in 1680. In 1749 Pargad fort was ceded to Sadasivsurav the cousin of the third Pesava Balaji. In 1844 Pargad and Candgad were threatened by insurgents [See Kolhapur History.], but a timely reinforcement of irregulars saved them.

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