Daulatabad is situated around 13 kms away from Aurangabad. This place is known for its majestic fortress which was build in 12th century on top of a hill. The Daulatabad fort emerges dramatically over 600 ft above the Deccan plain. ItDaulatabad Fort is one of the world’s best preserved forts of medieval times and also one of the few impregnable forts in Maharashtra with excellent architecture. The city was named Daulatabad ‘The city of fortune’, by Mohammed bin Tughluq, the sultan of Delhi.
History of The Fort
Almost 800 years ago, Daulatabad, then called ‘Devigiri’ was a thriving city. It was founded by
Bhillamraja of the Yadava dynasty in 1187 AD. Later, the fort of Daulatabad passed through the hands of several dynasties in the Deccan. Less than 150 years after the Yadava dynasty, Daulatabad also became the capital of India for a short period during the reign of Sultan Muhammad-bin-Tughluq, who gave the city its present name. But very soon the charm of this ancient city faded.
The Daulatabad fort is situated on top of a high hill, encircled by thick walls, spiked gates, steep slide ways and a deep trench. The fort has a coiled network of secret, quizzical and subsurface passages.
Situated on a hill and surrounded by a 40 ft. deep trench with mechanical drawbridges and crocodiles, this fascinating fort becomes impossible for intruders to approach. Along with these, a strong 5 kms long wall and complex series of defenses makes Daulatabad fort one the most secure forts.
The defense system of this fort was absolutely full proof with double and even triple rows of massive walls. This Daulatabad Fortfortress was like a maze where the intruders were trapped. There was no way of conquering this majestic fort. The impregnable fort of Daulatabad was only conquered by treachery.
Significant Structures Within The Fort
Daulatabad fort has some outstanding structures like the Chand Minar, Jami Masjid and royal palaces. The royal palaces within the fort consists of spacious halls, pavilions and courtyards.
The Chand Minar within the fort is a 30-metre high tower. It was a tower of victory build by Ala-ud-din Bahmani to commemorate his conquest of the fort in 1435. The Minar is divided into four storeys having glazed tiles and carved motifs. The Minar is supposed to be used as a prayer hall or a victory monument in its time.
The blue tiled Chini Mahal is located a little higher than the Chand Minar. It is where the last king of Golcunda, Abdul Hasan Tana Shah was imprisoned in 1687. He was captivated here for thirteen years until his death, by the Moghul emperor Aurangzeb.
The Jami Masjid within the fort was a mosque built by the Khilji ruler of Delhi, Qutub-ud-din Mubarak in 1318. This mosque is a well-preserved monument, comprising of 106 pillars ransacked from the Hindu and Jain temples, which previously stood on the site. Lately, the Masjid has been converted into a Bharatmata temple, causing dissatisfaction amongst the local Muslims.
There is a large stone-lined Elephant tank in the nearby area. It was once a major part of the fort’s extensive water-supply system. There are two giant terracotta pipes, which are the source of channeled water from the hills falling into Deogiri’s ( Daulatabad) legendary fruit and vegetable gardens.
There is also an awesome ram-headed Kila Shikan (“Fort Breaker”)Daulatabad Fort cannon inscribed with its name in Persian. It lies on a stone platform nearby. From this spot, a series of gruesome traps start, waiting for the incautious intruder.
Things To Keep In Mind
The Daulatabad fort remains open till 6 pm.
Reach Daulatabad Fort
By Air: The nearest airport from Daulatabad is the Aurangabad airport, located around 10 kms east of the Aurangabad town. This airport is directly linked to Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur and Udaipur.
By Rail: Aurangabad is well connected to Mumbai and other cities of the country. There are two trains that depart daily from Mumbai. The Tapovan Express leaves Mumbai early morning arriving in Aurangabad by late afternoon, while the Devgiri Express is an overnight train.
By Road: Daulatabad Fort is a part of the MTDC tour to Ellora from Aurangabad. It can also be reached by private taxi or by the local bus that runs between Aurangabad and Ellora.