Located at a distance of 16 km from Aurangabad Railway Station in Maharashtra, on the way to Ellora Caves Daulatabad is an ancient hill fort (14th century).It was on the caravan route (sixth century AD). Since it a best preserved Fort, this old fort attracts a lot of tourists. Built on a 200 m high conical hill, this triangular shaped fort was defended by a moat and glacis. It is said to have been the most powerful fort during the medieval period. The entire fort complex consists of an area measuring approximately 94.83 hectares. The combination of hill and land fort is divided into small sectors encircled by fortification walls. The moat is 40 feet deep with mechanical drawbridges and filled with crocodiles.
|Daulatabad Fort, Aurangabad, MHRemote Traveler|
Daulatabad Fort was built by Yadava king Bhillama V in 1187 and the city was then called 'Deogiri', meaning the hill of gods.
The fortification included a few parts. Ambarkot was built for common people. Mahakot area having four distant lines of enclosure walls served the residential area for higher class of the society. The Kalakot was exclusively the royal residential area with double line of fortifications. During the reigns of different dynasties, additional structures and improvements were made and as a result the fort size grew in size.
|Daulatabad Fort, Aurangabad, MH. Alamy|
|Daulatabad Fort AurangabadBest Tourist Places|
|Baradari , Daulatabad fort , Aurangabad,MH Alamy|
Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq captured this region and made the city his capital in 1327 AD and called it Dauladabad 'the abode of wealth'. Muhammad bin Tughluq (r. 1325-1351), who was more known for his eccentricity than for his military prowess forcibly moved the entire population of Delhi for two years before it was abandoned for lack of water. Then his capital was shifted back to Delhi. He built a myriad of water canal system and water storage tanks, etc. But, it did not wok well here
The history of this fort is an interesting one changing hands frequently and it signifies its strategic importance and right location. It is an impenetrable fort, and it is a tough job to get access into the fort.
The fort came under Bahamani rulers under Hasan Gangu in 1347 AD and Nizam Shahis of Ahmednagar in 1499 AD. Nizam Shahi dynasty in 1607 AD made it their capital. The Chini Mahal (literally: China Palace), is in ruin. Once it was a building of great beauty. In it Abul Hasan Tana Shah, the last of the Qutb Shahi kings of Golconda, was imprisoned by Aurangzeb in 1687. Later it was possessed by the Moguls, Marathas, Peshwas and finally the Nizams of Hyderabad in 1724 AD took control and kept it till India's independence.
How does this fort differ from other forts? What are the advantages this fort has? These moot questions linger the minds of the visiting tourists. The following may be worth to note:
01. There are no separate exits from the fort. It is a sort of box canyon, same way in and same way to get out.
02. This plan is to confuse the enemie who will be driven deep into the fort and may face danger
03. Absence of parallel gates and this reduces the momentum of the invading army.
04. Misleading location of the flag mast which is on the left hill will obviously mislead the enemy who may turn left and get into trouble. In reality, the real gates of the fort are on the right and this will confuse the enemy.
05. Hardened iron spikes fixed on the gate will injure the intoxicated elephants that were used as a battering ram to break open the gates. The presence of spikes would cause the elephants to die of injury.
06. Yet another interesting features are the Complex arrangement of entryways, curved walls and false doors. All these designed to confuse the enemy inside the fort. The trapped enemy soldiers will ultimately became a prey to the hungry crocodiles.
07. The shape of the hill is rendered smooth so that expert mountain climbers can not climb the slippery slope.
08. The outer wall comprising 2.75 miles (4.43 km) in circumference, once enclosed the ancient city of Devagiri and between this and the base of the upper fort are three lines of defences and the enemy soldiers have to break these fortifications to access the summit.
09. The hill itself is 200 meter high. At the summit, and at intervals on the slope, are placed massive old cannons facing out over the surrounding countryside These cannons are designed for wide firing range and a threat to the enemy.
08. Also on the hill at the mid way, there is a cave entrance meant to confuse the enemies.
This fort is worth a visit, as it provides quite hiking opportunities to the tourists.