Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Daulatabad Fort, Maharashtra, Fort In INdia, Fort In Maharashtra

Daulatabad Fort Maharashtra

Daulatabad is what Daulatabad fort was called after it came into possession of Muhammad-bin-Tughluq. It carries the distinction of remaining undefeated in battle.
Address: Maharashtra State Highway 22, Daulatabad, Maharashtra 431002
About us:
Devagiri (Daultabad of the later period), 11kms north-west of Aurangabad, is a famous for its formidable hill fort.  The fort is situated on an isolated cone-shaped hill rising abruptly from the plain to the height of about 190 metres.  The fortification constitutes of three concentric lines of defensive walls with large number of bastions.  The noteworthy features of the fort are the moat, the scarp and the sub-terranean passage, all hewn of solid rock.  The upper outlet of the passage was filled with an iron grating, on which a large fire could be used to prevent the progress of the enemy.  The Chand Minar, the Chini Mahal and the Baradari are the important structures within the fort.

The Chand Minar, about 63 metres in height, was erected by Alauddin Bahman Shah in 1435 AD to conquest of Daulatabad.  Opposite the Minar is the Jumma masjid, whose pillars originally belonged to a temple.  Close to it, there is a large masonry tank.  The Chini Mahal at the end of the lower for is the place where Abdul Hasan Tana Shah, the last king Golconda, was confined by Aurangzeb in 1687 AD.  Nearby is a round bastion topped with a huge canon with ram’s head, called Kila Shikan or Fort breaker.  The Baradari, octagonal in shape, stands near the summit of the fort.  The principal bastion at the summit also carries a large canon.
About fifteen kilometres from Auragnabad on the road to Ellora rises the famous mediaeval fortress of that name is now all that Daultabad stands for. The great pyramidal shape is visible from a good distance as it dominates the landscape.
The history of Daultabad goes back to the twelveth century, when it was the capital of the Hindu Kingdoms in the Decan and was called Deogiri, the hill of the gods. The fortress of Deogiri was constructed by Raja Bhillamraj, of Yadav Dynasty, who was a great general of his time.

The "Hill" was the site of a rock-hewn citadel which was considered to be invulnerable. However, Deogiri yielded to enemy assault and passed into the possession of the Sultans of Delhi in 1308 A.D.
Thirty years later, Deogiri was to attain a brief period of glory as India's capital. Muhamad Tughlak, ascending the Delhi throne, ordered his capital to be moved to the southern city which he renamed Daultabad, the City of Fortune. It was a transplantation rather than a transfer, for Delhi's entire population-men, women and children-rich and poor alike, were to move out in a mass to the new capital. Even the sick and the dying were not exempted from the arduous journey, that involved a terrible toll in human misery and thousands of Delhi citizens perished on the way. And it was all in vain. The sultan regretted his decision and, repeating his act of madness, ordered the whole mass of migrants to move back to the abandoned capital.

However, Daultabad grew to be a great city, rivalling Delhi in size and mportance. The province to which it belonged broke away from the rule of Delhi. Then the old citadel excavated in the body of an isolated hill had to be stregthened further. The steep hillsides at the base of the fortress dropping to the moat were so smooth that no hostile troops could scale the heights. But the fortificatons were now extended well beyond the core of the original citadel. Bastion were built, mounted over with cannon. Great walls with battlements guarded the approaches. The outer wall runs for six kilometres and there are several inner walls with heavy iron gates fitted with elephant spikes these spikes prevented the use of elephants to force the gates.

The first gateway leades into the enclosure which has, at the left, a huge water tank and further up there is an ancient Hindu temple. Its roof supported by 150 pillars. Towards the right the Chand Minar, a pillar of victory built by a king to commemorate his conquest of Daultabad. Minar has a gallery with ornamental brackets and a balustrade. The steps lead up to Chini Mahal, so named because of the blue porcelain tiles on its facade. The palace of which it once formed a part is gone altogether. So are the other places that once stood on the adjoining gate.
A large gun about five and a half metre (17 ft.) long, which has a name inscribed on it, lies at the top of a round high bastion. This has a ram's head designed at one end.

Beyond these later construcitons is the moat, twelve meters(40 ft.) deep, with a drawbridge. Here begins the original citadel of Deogiri. The solid rock is scraped to a height of about 76 metres(250 ft.).
There is only one narrow entrance over the moat. The upward climb now leads to a subterranean passage over 45.72 metre(150 ft.). It spirals darkly over the hewn steps shielded by the rock mass overhead. Some parts of it are pitchdark and the attendant lights a flare for the visitor. In the olden days it could be easily barricaded. At its far end, a final obstacle was created by a kind of iron brazier. When a fire was lighted in the brazier the great heat blew into the passage-due to an effective device of suction-and the passage became altogether blocked.

The total height of the fortress is about 183 metres(600 ft.). Close to its top, there is a reservoir, fed apparently by some underground. Further up, there is a mughal pavilion and to crown all, a bastion with a gun, From this spot, there is a wonderful view of the countryside around. However, visitors who find the climb strenuous need not proceed beyond the subterranean passage.
All over the fortress there are strong ramparts. Cannon were mounted at strategic points and the defences were so designed that a great concentration of fire could be attained. European travellers of those days, who have left very readable memoirs, have described this citadel as "one of the most powerful in India." This fort is a pyramidical and only of its type in India. It is self powerful enemy.