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The Magnificent Forts Of Maharashtra

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Published: Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 12:30 [IST]
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Maharashtra is a state which is well known for its gloriousness, the rich cultural heritage and the great history embedded in it. One can find the legacy of the mighty forts here.

The state has over 350 forts spread across various parts. These forts stand forth to signify the number of wars being fought by the Maratha warriors.

The once structures of power, today stand silent and proud, even after being battered by the weather conditions and plundered, walls falling off in certain sections and roofs blown away. Yet the forts exude power and continue to inspire. The forts speak out volumes of the visions and authorities.

Take a look at some of these beautiful structures across the state of Maharashtra and be awestruck with their beauty, history and much more.

Raigad

Situated in the Sahyadri mountain range in Mahad, the hill fort is 820 m tall and was the capital of the kingdom of Chatrapathi Shivaji.

There are about 1700 odd steps which take you all up to the fort. One can also find an aerial tramway which would take you up in 10 minutes.

The fort was built by Chandrarao More in the year 1030, but was looted and destroyed by the British after it was captured in the year 1818.

Today one can find the ruins of this once beautiful structure in the form of the queen's quarters which has six chambers. The main palace was built using wood and what remains of it today is only the bases of the pillars.

PC: Prashant Ram

 

 

Shivneri

The birthplace of Chatrapathi Shivaji, this 17th century fort is located near Junnar. The hill fort is triangular in shape and has its entrance from the south west direction of the hillock.

Apart from the main gate, one can find an entrance to the fort from a side known as the chain gate, where one has to grab on the chains and climb up the fort gate.

One can find the statues of Jijabai and a young Shivaji along with a prayer hall, a tomb, a mosque and a small pond known as Badami Talav.

PC: Rahul Bagal

 

Torna

Torna Fort is also known as Prachandagad which is located near Pune. The fort is historically significant as it was the first fort to be captured by Shivaji in the year 1643 at the age of 16, which lead to the formation of the Maratha empire.

The fort is said to have been constructed by the Shaiva Panth in the 13th century. The Shaiva Panths were followers of Lord Shiva. One can find a temple dedicated to Menghai Devi and is also known as Tornaji which is located at the entrance of the fort.

PC: Rushikesh.nijampurkar

 

Harishchandragad

Harishchandragad is a hill fort located in Ahmednagar. The fort is situated at an elevation of approximately about 4670 ft. The fort has several temples which are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Ganesha and Shiva.

The monuments date back to the 6th century. It is also a well known trekking destination owing to its height.

PC: Bajirao

 

Lohagad

Situated in close proximity to the hill station of Lonavala, the fort stands tall at an elevation of 3389 ft above sea level. The fort has a very long history to narrate.

The place was occupied by several dynasties at various time periods. Shivaji captured the fort in the year 1648 and was forced to surrender it to the Mughals in 1665 and was recaptured in 1670.

PC: Ramji R

 

Castella de Aguada

Castella de Aguada is also known as the Bandra fort and is located at the Land's End in Bandra. The fort was built by the Portuguese in the year 1640 as a watchtower overlooking the Mahim Bay, the Arabian Sea and the southern island of Mahim.

The name of the fort paves way to indicate the origin of the place is from where fresh water was available in the form of a fountain for the Portuguese ships which cruised across the coasts. The fort lies at an altitude of 24 m above sea level.

PC: Arpan Bhowmick

 

Daulatabad

Daulatabad, also known as Devagiri stands at the top of a conical hill and is about 200 m high. The fort was built by Yadava king Bhilama V in the year 1187. The lower slopes of the hill had been cut away by the rulers leaving 50 m vertical sides to improve defenses.

The only way to reach the top is by a narrow bridge which has a passage for not more than two people. A long gallery which is excavated in the rock has most of its parts in gradual upward slopes. The fort is a fine example to show the extraordinary strength of the structure.

PC: Udaykumar PR

 

Murud Janjira

Murud Janjira is a majestic fort which was constructed on an island off the coastal village of Murud. This fort has stood the test of time and still has 26 bastions intact.

The top of the fort accommodates some of the remaining cannons which would leave its visitors wondering about the number of ships they destroyed.

The fort is built on the sea and is the only one of its kind. The structure was constructed by Malik Ambar who was an Abyssinian minister in service to the Sultan of Ahmednagar.

PC: Ishan Manjrekar

 

Karnala

Karnala Fort is also known as Funnel Hill which lies within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. It is a fort with strategic importance which overlooks the Bor pass which connects the Konkan coast to the interior of Maharashtra.

The fort is believed to have been constructed before 1400 under Devagiri Yadavs and the Tughlaq rulers. Karnala was considered as the capital to the north Konkan districts under the Yadavs.

The fort consists of two forts, one at a higher level and the other at a lower level. At present the fort is in ruins and is also a very popular destination for hiking.

PC: Dupisingh

 

Panhala

Panhala fort is also known as Panhalgad, which in translation means the home of serpents. The fort is located about 20 km northwest of Kolhapur and is strategically located overlooking a pass in the Sahyadri ranges which was a major trade route from Bijapur in Maharashtra to the coastal areas.

The fort was built between 1178 and 1209. It is one of the 15 forts built by the Shilahara ruler Bhoja II. In the year 1659 after the death of the Bijapur general Afzal Khan, Shivaji took over the fort from Bijapur.

It is one of the largest forts in the Deccan which has a perimetre of 14 km and 110 lookout posts. There are many underground tunnels which stretch from underneath the fort and one of them is almost a kilometre long.

PC: Ankur P 

 

 

 

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