Splendour in Ruins….
The history of Daulatabad goes back to the twelfth century,when it was the capital of the Hindu Kingdoms in the Deccan and was called Deogiri, the hill of the Gods.
The fortress Deogiri was constructed by Raja Bhillamraj,of Yadav Dynasty.
Much later it attained a brief period of glory as India’s capital.
Mohammad Tughlak ,ascending the Delhi throne ordered his capital to be moved to the southern city which he renamed Daulatabad,City of Fortune.
It is interesting to note that it was a transplantation rather than transfer, 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 spared and it took a heavy toll and thousands perished on the way.
The Sultan regretted his decision, and repeated his foolish orders once again to return to Delhi.
Thus he became symbolic for his foolishness in History.
However Daulatabad grew to be a great city rivalling Delhi in size and importance.
There is an ancient Hindu temple inside the fort ,it’s roof is supported by 150 pillars.
Towards the right is Chand Minar, a pillar of victory built by a king to commemorate his conquest of Daulatabad.
A large gun about five and half metre lies on the top of a round high bastion.This has a ram’s head at one end.
Beyond this is the moat with a drawbridge.
The narrow steps lead through dark tunnels inhabited by nocturnal bats,the presence felt by the intense smell and sounds.
The total height of the fort is 600ft and is extremely steep. The steep hillsides at the base of the fortress dropping to the moat were so steep that no hostile troops could scale the heights.
The heavy iron gates were fitted with spikes so that the elephants couldn’t force them open.
All over the fort there are strong ramparts with cannons mounted at strategic points.
The defence was so strong that it was one of the most powerful forts of its times and remained unconquerable unless voluntarily surrendered due to the cut off of essential supplies to the fort by the enemies.
The day we visited ,there was heavy rush of local people celebrating the birth anniversary of a well known spiritual Saint of the area Janardhan swami whose footsteps have been preserved in a temple at the topmost level.
Fortunately we could experience first hand the Maharashtrian culture of song ,dance,attire and the rituals.
At the entrance of the fort
Beautiful Archway at a short distance from the main gate of the Fort
Passing through the Archway walking towards the victory Pillar
Pic taken by superimposing the Pictorial Guide with the Real Pillar
With the traditionally dressed Maharshtrian women who had come to offer prayers at Janardhan Swami’s footprints atop the Hill Fort on his anniversary
The fort had maximum number of visitors that day on account of the widely celebrated Anniversary
A Temple of a Goddess inside the Fort Premises.The temple is supported by a hundred and fifty pillars.
This is a victory tower built by a king. Presently it houses a Masjid at its Base where Prayers are offered daily by Muslims. This itself goes to prove the long secular history and peaceful coexistence of various religions in our motherland
The local culture was on full display with music , songs and the traditional attire
The impregnanble highly fortified walls of the fort. Salutes to the Engineers and Architects of those times.
The series of steps leading towards the fort were quite uneven and steep , taking a break for a sip of water and a pic.
My favourite moment when I get to click a selfie with the kids , the girl next to me had taken the above pic.
Walking through History where every stone in the walls and the stairs has been a mute witness to history.
This is a deep cavern surrounding the fort which would be filled with water as a security measure.
A Beautiful angle from atop the fort , an archway in ruins through which the victory tower made perfect symmetry
Atop a huge round structure on which a cannon made of Heavy iron is placed. It is still unrusted and looks impressive.
The courtyard of the 150 pillars temple . The courtyard looks as if it could accommodate a large number of people for celebrations during festivities and other social occasions.
This is the entrance of the fort . The doors are large and thick with spikes, to prevent the elephants from pushing them during wars.
The steps leading to the huge round structure on top of which the great canyon is kept.
One of the many secret entrances to the fort.
The walls leading from the entrance have these pillars and balconies most probably meant for the defence personel of those times.
A Busy Monkey Gang
One cant help but marvel at the skill of the builders, planners and rulers of those times.
Sheer steep right angle rocky hill on which the fort has been built.
There is so much beauty and splendour in the ruins
One of the many canyons on display.One is only left to wonder about the number of ammunition balls released and the number of soldiers it might have slayed.
Through the exit gate, a gate through which horses might have galloped, elephants might have trumpted, the Kings and their victory processions might have marched past…one can only fantasize the glory of the past.
A beautifully carved and fully decorated war elephant in all its glory.
This is the elaborate entrance to the fort.