Once known as 'Devgiri', this magnificent 12th century fortress stands on a hill just 13 kms from Aurangabad. It was given the name Daulatabad, the 'city of fortune', by Muhammad Tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi. Initially a Yadav stronghold, it passed through the hands of several dynasties in the Deccan. One of the world's best preserved fort of medieval times, surviving virtually unaltered, Daulatabad yet displays the character that made it invincible
The magnificent Daulatabad Fort, once known as 'Devgiri' stands on a hill just 13 km. from Aurangabad was given the name Daulatabad, the 'city of fortune', by Muhammad Tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi who made a debacle trying to shift the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad.This fort is considered as one of the oldest existing and invincible forts of India.
First day on the way to Ellora caves, we crossed the Daulatabad fort. Sadly due to less time, we could see it only from outside. One good thing that happened is I got an 18th century coin from a collector here.
Daulatabad fort is an impenetrable fortress, and one can see why! Explore the fort and it becomes clear; the clever construction of moats enabled this fort to hold it's own against larger armies. Now, the fort is breached by loads of tourists and monkeys. Lots of monkeys.
Some of the ancient texts found about this fort categorize this fort as ‘misra durg’ (mixed fort). This is seen as combination of a mountain fort, God’s fort and land fort. The fortification walls were built in different periods. Hence, the touch of different styles of architecture is evident everywhere.The fort is surrounded from the outside by a wall three miles long at the foothills. I came to know that the wall is called Mahakot which is now the boundary of the fort. It was difficult to believe but there was another outer wall called Amberkot covering the Daulatabad city. Mahakot has eight gates to enter the fort. After these gates there is a deep waterbody (moat). I wasn’t sure if the kings used to have crocs in the moat. There is only one small bridge to cross the moat and after this is a pitch dark zig-zag path called Andhari.I reached till the moat and was hardly in a position to go further. I came to know from the returning tourists that the original fort (the mountain fort) is still 400 steps away and I didn’t have interest to climb the stairs any more. It was already 12:30 and I realized that it was late for visiting Ellora.I came back to a huge canon (called Mendha Tope) kept nearby and took some memorable pics. The canon is huge and the rare end is shaped like a ram’s head. There are some beautiful carvings on the canon. I was not sure why a canon needed to be so beautiful when it was made to only kill people. This canon used to be mounted on a pivot so that it could be rotated freely. However, it is kept beside the pivot now. The canon is kept in an open area and the front side is completely open and the view till the nearest city was very clear. One can be very sure that even the nearest city was in its range.It was time to say good bye to the fort and the history of Daulatabad. The design, architecture and the military tactics used to build this fort made it almost invincible. Even the mountain around the fort was chiseled to make climbing up the hill for any side impossible for the intruders.While coming out we wanted to spend some more time and the complex of Bharat Mata mandir was the best for that. The actual complex starts above the ground level after a few steep steps. The area below is surrounded by trees. This is the most calm and quiet place we have seen in the fort. We spent good one hour in the cool breeze under a tree. It felt like all our strains were gone in no time. Jayeeta fed our child in the meantime.This temple seemed to be a very good spot for lovers as well. People coming to see the fort hardly visit this temple.We really enjoyed our stay in the fort as we could feel the history very easily. In fact I was amazed to touch so many historical objects. The canons that were used to win battles, the garden where the sultans made love or the water-body where the royal family members used to take bath all were live history to us. It was only made more evident with the inscriptions kept near each monument. We could make out many things ourselves. We really didn’t need any guide for help.The main entry road to the fort is heavily broken and dangerous, even if you walk alone. Everywhere on this road sign of ruin and destruction was prominent. Part of which could easily be attributed to natural cause like rain rather than any war or historical means. This is a sure case of lack of preservation effort by the govt. or may be they want to keep history alive and natural by keeping the ruins as is.We came out of the fort after two hours to have lunch. Ilyas took us to a nearby roadside restaurant. But we wanted to have our lunch in a decent hotel..so we headed for Hotel Kailas in Ellora.I was thrilled by the first site of the hotel. Feluda’s ‘Kailase Kelnkari’ was shot here. From the time I saw the Bengali movie, I always wanted to visit this place. It reminded me of some dialogues from Feluda while we were heading to the caves.