Maharashtra

Daultabad Fort- A Gateway to South

It was month of November but this area of Maharashtra was still hot if not very hot. We were looking for water bottles often and the fort inside have very few trees and so fort looks spread in vast area but did not look as elegant as would have been in its peak time. Beauty lacks in fort. Looks like its main purpose was defense. Historically this fort holds many pages in history as many rulers from Yadavas, Tuglaq, Behmani, Mughals, Nizams, Marathas set their foot there. So historically this fort is as important as any other famous forts. Those days it was a matter of proud and honor to own this fort.

Daultabad fort is built on 200 m high conical hill, was one of the most powerful forts of the medieval Deccan.

Our itinerary

Shirdi- Shani Signapur- Aurangabad-Ajanta-aurangabad-Ellora- Aurangabad

 

Beautiful roads constructed to reach fort. The fort is just few meters from the National highway from Aurangabad to Ellora.

 

Daultabad Fort from far. It looks like back of tortoise

The fort is very big and is surrounded by 3 layers of high wall which are now almost fallen to earth. Outermost wall was about 4.5 miles and those days Deogiri city was encircled inside the outer wall.

It was November, arrival of cold season but this region of Maharastra is throughout the year hot. When we were walking in fort it was so hot and soil looked too arid and that was the blunder by Mohammed Tuglaq that without proper study of the water scarcity he ordered shifting of the capital from Delhi to Daultabad.

It was founded by Yadavas of Devgiri (City of Gods) win 11th century by Yadava dynasty first king Bhillamma V in 1187 AD. Later it was captured by Tuglaq dynasty (1284 AD AD and remained its capital till 1351 AD. Famous incident of transfer of Delhi to Daultabad and vice versa Mohd. Bin Tuglaq is associated with this. After this this fort was annexed by Bahmani ruler Hasan Gangu. In 1499 it was capturd by Nizam of Ahmednagar and later Mughals Akbar and Shahjahan in 1607. Later it came under siege of Marathas and then Nizams of Hyderabad in 1724 AD.

From religious point of view Daultabad is the place from where Sufism spread in South India.

Entry to the first gate of fort.

Few cannons are displayed at the entry of the gate. Theses cannons must be from Mughal time as first time in India cannons were used by Babur in April,1526 in Panipat war.

As first line of defense none of the gates are parallel and spikes are used on gates. The flag mast is on the left hill, which the enemy will try to capitulate, thus will always turn left. But the real gates of the fort are on the right & the false ones on the left, thus confusing the enemy.

First of the 7 gates

As we move forward we come across Hathi Kund ( Elephant pond) and Bharat Mata temple ( ancient).

Bharat Mata temple. It seems this was not Bharat mata temple earlier but made recently by locals. I think this might be Hindu temple earlier wchich would have been desecrated by Muslim invaders later.

Hathi Kund : Named so due to its big size

The fort is maintained well and we see a few garden areas inside the fort maintained in spite of water scarcity.

Oasis kind of thing in this arid, hot and dry, dusty fort.

The fort seems to me in two parts. Old and new. Newer part of the fort is mostly built by Bahmani rulers like Hasan Gangu.

There is a museum coming up recently.

Museum inside the fort. Seems ASI is working hard to make the fort more and more beautiful.

Then we further move forward and come across Chand Minar.

Chand Minar built by the Bahmani ruler Hasan Gangu Bahmani about 500 years back. Entry to minar is closed due to suicide case.

Next was 4th gate and it seems to me that ancient part before 1300 AD starts from this gate.

Fourth gate. From here the ancient fort starts. Next is one more gate and then a moat.

 

Another gate

A wide moat around the inner of fort

Andheri (Bhool Bhullayya or Maze)

ASI Board about dark passage

There is only one entry and exit point to this fort. That way this fort differs from other forts.

Confusing passages inside

Uneven paths in the dark passage

Some openings are given to confuse the enemy as outlet but actually it leads to moat which is full of crocodiles.

After seeing the maze we come down and cover few steps to see Medha (Sheep faced) cannon.

Medha cannon

From top of this cannon we can see Nizam Mahal. This is almost dilapidated but effort are going on these days to repair it at large scale.

Nizam Mahal – Not glamorous just made enough for stay of royal family. I wonder so many rulers fought for this fort and made so small a palace for themselves.

Cheeni Mahal – a VIP prison built by Aurangzeb. In this Shambhaji, son of Shivaji was imprisoned for 6 months. in 1632 Shahjahan captured this fort and imprisoned Hussain Shah in this building. Called Cheeni Mahal as the walls are decorated with imported ceramic tiles from Persia.

A few good scenes inside this fort.

Epilogue

सब कुछ पा कर भी हासिले ज़िंदगी कुछ भी नहीं
मैंने देखे है एक से एक सिकंदर खIली हाथ जाते हुए I

When you come to see Ajanta and  Ellora you would not like to miss to see this fort. This fort was once upon an apple  among many rulers and it was matter of proud and high honor to own this fort. It was like gateway to south.   Mohammad Bin Tuglaq (Turk-Indian) had ordered to shift his capital to this fort in 1327 AD in order to rule South of India like Behmani, of Bijapur  Kaktiya etc. Just few kilometers away are Tomb of Aurangjeb and Ellora.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparatively today lesser known among Indians, this place was once the capital of Bundela Rajput
Time to spend : 1-2 hours. We landed in Goa by train in Sep,2018. It
Recommended Duration : 2 hours This temple has the high historical importance as it was
Recommended duration  One day if you want to see only popular monuments like Gol Gumbaz,
Recommended Duration - 2 hours Had a weekend plan to attend a friend's brothers wedding

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