Vishalgad Fort is one of the most significant forts of the Shivaji Maharaj and Maratha Empire. Vishalgad Killa is about 3,630 feet high and got its name from the great Maratha leader Shivaji. The literal meaning of the name is ‘Grand Fort.’
Vishalgad Fort is located around 76 km North-West of Kolhapur. Its strategic location gave a political significance in the past as Vishal Gad is just on the border of the hilly area of Sahyadri ranges and the Konkan region.
Vishalgad Fort was also called ‘Watch tower’ as it was able to watch both of the areas with ease. Vishalgad is also known as Khilna fort or Khelna fort.
The history of Vishalgad Killa is also gripping as Shilahara King constructed it in 1058 A.D. However, its beauty enchanted many rulers and a number of rulers throughout the millennium conquered it. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj captured the fort in 1659.
Vishal Gad was happy to get a major renovation at the hands of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj in the 17th century itself. Vishalgad Fort is surrounded by cliffs that actually cut the fort off from the neighboring area.
The entrance of Vishalgad fort is masked as there is one Bhunda Darwaza, which shows the wrong way and the actual entry is separate. Another remarkable feature of the fort is the Sati Mandir, which was built in the memory of Ambadevi, the queen of King Rajaram.
Vishalgad Fort has some of the temples too including Shri Nrusinha temple, Amruteshwar temple, and Sati’s Vrindavan. Vishalgad Killa has tombs dedicated to Phulaji Prabhu Deshpande and Baji Prabhu Deshpande who were daring and audacious when it came to performing their duty.
Vishalgad is also blessed as the dargah of Hazrat Malik Raihan is also in its vicinity. Tourists flock to pay obeisance at this dargah.