The seventeenth-century fort of Pratapgadh stretches the full length of a high ridge affording superb views over the surrounding mountains. Reached by a flight of five hundred steps, it is famously associated with the Maratha chieftain, Shivaji, who lured the Mughal general Afzal Khan here from Bijapur (now Vijayapura) to discuss a possible truce. Neither, it would seem, intended to keep to the condition that they should come unarmed. Khan attempted to knife Shivaji, who responded by killing him with the gruesome wagnakh, a set of metal claws worn on the hand. Today visitors can see Afzal Khan’s tomb, a memorial to Shivaji, and views of the surrounding hills.

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