Who links to me? Daulatabad Fort

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Daulatabad fort, in Aurangabad is a rare kind of construction, which is a combination of the ground fort and the hill fort. The imposing fort is built on an isolated pyramid-shaped natural mountain peak. The rock around is chiselled sklifully making the climb impossible.

The fort area is sorrounded by three concentric walls (fortifications) known as kots. The outer one, Amberkot covers the Daulatabad old town (a few shopts on both sides of the road). The National Highway 211, connecting Aurangabad to Ellora passes through the area covered by Amberkot.The second one, Mahakot, is currently the boundary of the fort for all practical purposes. Around Mahakot, sorrounding the fort is a water body (it is dry now). The main entrance is in Mahakot and has eight gates. The third one is Kalakot.

After Kalakot, one has to cross a deep waterbody (moat), built around the pyramid shaped mountain. It is not over yet. This is followed by a dark zig-zag passage, carved through the rock known as Andhari. It is pitch dark inside. This is followed by a flight of 400 odd steps up to reach the main fort. The fort could be conquered only by treachery.

It is believed that this fort, originally known as Deogiri, was built by the Rashtrakuta kings, who built the world famous Kailas caves. The earliest recorded history is that Yadav dynasty ruled this fort between 1187 to 1318 AD. In 1294, Alauddin Khilji attacked this fort, but the kingdome remained with the then rulers under a treaty. This was followed by Malik Kafur's attack in 1307 and later by Qutubuddin Mubarak Khilji in 1318.

In 1327 Mohammed-bin-Tuglak shifted his capital from Delhi to Deogiri, and renamed it as Daulatabad. In 1347, Hasan Gangu Bahamani established the Bahamaini kingdom in Daulatabad. Bahamani rulers ruled for over 150 years. In 1499, Daulatabad came under Nizamsahi of Ahmednagar. A new town Khadki near Daulatabad was formed which was later renamed as Aurangabad.

In 1633, Shah Jehan captured the fort. In 1635, Aurangazeb made Daulatabad the capital of Deccan. In 1724, the fort came under Nizam of Hyderabad, who laid the foundation of Asafjahi dynasty, and remained with the dynasty till 16th September 1948. Between 1760 and 1762, for a period of two years, the fort was under Peshwas, when Sadashivrao Bahu Peshwa captured the fort after defeating the Nizam.
Reaching Daulatabad
Daulatabad is in the outskirts of Aurangabad, and is on the Aurangabad - Ellora road (National Highway 211). Aurangabad is well connected by road, rail and air.

Monday, November 13, 2006

First gate at Mahakot. From inside ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The watchtower at Mahakot


Second gate at Mahakot


An ancient jain temple inside the fort


Around Hathi Haud or Elephant Tank


Courtyard in front of the Bharat Mata Temple. Originally a Jain temple, this was converted into a mosque by Mubarak Khilji and was later converted into a temple.


Kalakot entrance


A huge canon on top of a bastion. Called the Mendha Tope, it is mounted on a pivot making it able to rotate.


The Nizamshahi palace in ruins

The waterbody (moat) around the chissled mountain.

The moat is 16 metre wide and 20 meter deep. Two dams are constrcted in the moat to control water level. Water level can be increased above the bridge, so that the bridge is submerged during enemy attack. Leather bridges were also used, so that it could be rolled up immediately if needed.


Ruins of the palace


Chand Minar. This was built during Bahamani, in 1447. At 65 metre hight, it is only second to Qutub Minar in Delhi. Circumfrence at the basement is 10 mts.


Another view of Kalakot entrance


A museum near the Chand Minar