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दौलताबाद (देवगिरी) किला | Daulatabad fort / Devgiri Fort

by - January 04, 2021

 Daulatabad Fort, also known as Devagiri or Deogiri, is a historical fortified citadel located in Daulatabad village near Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India. It was the capital of the Yadava dynasty (9th century–14th century CE), for a brief time the capital of the Delhi Sultanate (1327–1334), and later a secondary capital of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate (1499–1636).  Around the sixth century CE, Devagiri emerged as an important uplands town near present-day Aurangabad, along caravan routes going towards western and southern India.[6][7][8][9] The historical triangular fortress in the city was initially built around 1187 by the first Yadava king, Bhillama V. In 1308, the city was annexed by Sultan Alauddin Khalji of the Delhi Sultanate, which ruled over most of the Indian subcontinent. In 1327, Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq of the Delhi Sultanate renamed the city as "Daulatabad" and shifted his imperial capital to the city from Delhi, ordering a mass migration of Delhi's population to Daulatabad. However, Muhammad bin Tughluq reversed his decision in 1334 and the capital of the Delhi Sultanate was shifted back from Daulatabad to Delhi.[11] In 1499, Daulatabad became a part of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate, who used it as their secondary capital. In 1610, near Daulatabad Fort, the new city of Aurangabad, then named Khadki, was established to serve as the capital of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate by the Ethiopian military leader Malik Ambar, who was brought to India as a slave but rose to become a popular Prime Minister of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. Most of the present-day fortification at Daulatabad Fort was constructed under the Ahmadnagar Sultanate.


The area of the city the hill-fortress of Devagiri (sometimes Latinised to Deogiri). It stands on a conical hill, about 200 meters high. Much of the lower slopes of the hill has been cut away by Yadava dynasty rulers to leave 50-meter vertical sides to improve defenses. The fort is a place of extraordinary strength. The only means of access to the summit is by a narrow bridge, with the passage for not more than two people abreast, and a long gallery, excavated in the rock, which has, for the most part, a very gradual upward slope.


About midway along this gallery, the access gallery has steep stairs, the top of which is covered by a grating destined in time of war to form the hearth of a huge fire kept burning by the garrison above.

 At the summit, and at intervals on the slope, are specimens of massive old cannon facing out over the surrounding countryside. Also at the midway, there is a cave entrance meant to confuse the enemies.


The fort had the following specialties which are listed along with their advantages :


No separate exit from the fort, only one entrance/exit - This is designed to confuse the enemy soldiers to drive deep into the fort in search of an exit, at their own peril.

No parallel gates - This is designed to break the momentum of the invading army. Also, 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.

Spikes on the gates - In the era before gunpowder, intoxicated elephants were used as a battering ram to break open the gates. The presence of spikes ensured that the elephants died of injury.

Complex arrangement of entryways, curved walls, false doors - Designed to confuse the enemy, false, but well-designed gates on the left side lured the enemy soldiers in & trapped them inside, eventually feeding them to crocodiles.

The hill is shaped like a smooth tortoise back - this prevented the use of mountain lizards as climbers, because they cannot stick to it.


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