The fort had a permanent garrison of 150 and lands were assigned for its maintenance in the neighbouring villages. Administrative orders were frequently sent for execution by the Maratha government to the officer in charge of this fort. Though local tradition ascribes its building to Shivaji, documents show that the Muhammedans had possession of this fort. Its appearance makes it likely that it is older than either and the well is ascribed to mythological seers or Rshis. After the establishment of the Satara Raja in 1818, Captain Grant obtained the surrender of Dategad sometime in the month of May in exchange for five horses of the fort commandant which had been captured by the local militia and promising to allow the garrison their arms and property. The fort with its walls and tanks is in a state of bad repair and at many places, it is in ruins. The tanks are out of use as there is no habitation in the fort.
Places of Interest
On the east a little more than half-way up is a curious dungeon. Some steps lead down about eight feet into the rock in which a room apparently about thirty feet by twelve and eight high has been made. It is fearfully dark and two small holes are perforated for light and air. This room, it is said, was used as an oubliette or dungeon.
There is also a very curious well, 100 feet deep cut twenty feet square out of the solid rock, and with a flight of sixty-four rock-cut steps twelve feet wide. The water is approached through a sort of gateway made by leaving shewn a portion of the rock joining the two sides of the passage. The water is always good, fresh and abundant. The story is that the well belongs to the Koyna river and that a leaf thrown into that river at the right place will be found floating in this well.
There are two large tanks thirty feet square and a smaller one all said to be for the storage of grain. This seems doubtful; they were more probably used to store water drawn from the big well. On the south of the fort are the remains of four buildings and facing north and adjoining the rock is the kacheri building or court-house.
On the east face is a tank made in the side of the hill at the foot of the scarp and cut out of the rock in the form of a cow's mouth. It was proposed to use this spring for drinking and irrigation water supply to the town of Patan, but the Irrigation department had found the scheme impracticable.
Dategad or Sundargad (Patan T; RS. Karad, 27 m.) about 2,000 feet above the plain, lies three miles north-west of Patan. It is one of the highest points for many miles and not commanded by any neighbouring hill. The ascent is about three miles by a very steep bridle path leading on to a plateau whence there is a steep ascent to the fort. The scarp is about thirty feet high, but owing to scattered boulders is in places easy to climb. About 600 feet long by 18O feet broad, the fort is oblong in shape and has an area of about three acres. The entrance is about the centre of the west face. A passage, seven feet broad, is cut about twenty feet down from the top of the scarp. This passage contained a gateway of a single-pointed arch ten feet high which has fallen in. About twenty-rock-cut steps lead out on the top turning south halfway up. In the corner of the angle is an image of God Maruti. The walls are in ruins and consisted originally of large laterite blocks, well cut, and put together without mortar. These must be the original structures though there are many modern additions. The wall originally had a loopholed parapet about four feet high.