Unique forts of India

Unique forts of India

India, Kerala, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka
India is a melting pot of cultures and diversity which is reflected in its various architectural wonders...

Almost every historical building that has survived to this day has architectural splendor given to it by the various rulers and dynasties who established their residence here. While UNESCO has declared some of them as World Heritage Sites, here are some of the lesser-known forts that leave you in awe of their magnificence.

Manjarabad Fort, Karnataka

Manjarabad Fort from a bird's eye view looks like a star, which is why it is popularly called the Star Fort. This majestic fort located in Karnataka was built by Tipu Sultan and reflects the splendor of Islamic architecture. Built in an octagonal shape with eight walls, the fort is unique in the sense that it has only one level, unlike other forts with multiple levels. Legend has it that this fort was used as a border for storing weapons and ammunition and provided protection to Tipu Sultan's army from the British.

A tour of the fort is an unforgettable experience, but it also offers a breathtaking view to the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. Tourists can also explore the various rooms of the fort and the tunnel leading to the Srirangapatna Fort.

Murud Janjira, Maharashtra

Murud Janjira Fort, located on an island near the coastal village of Murud, about 55 km from Alibaug, is located on a massive rock lying in the middle Arabian Sea.

The architecture of the fort has stood the test of time well: 19 of its bastions have survived to this day. Tourists can reach here by boats and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea from the roof of the fort.

Bhuja Fort, Gujarat

Bhuj Fort, located on the outskirts of Bhuj, is a wonder hidden among the hills. Built as a fortification against the invasions of the Mughal, Sindh and Rajput rulers in 1700-1800 AD, this fort was commissioned under Rao Goji I. Today the fort is best known for the Bhujan Nath Temple, where special Panchami prayers are performed during Nagas.

The fort is located on a hill overlooking the entire territory of Bhuj. To reach the fort, you need to walk about 600 steps.

Mattancherry Palace, Kerala

Located in Kochi, Mattancherry Palace or Dutch Palace is one of the best examples of Malayalam style architecture mixed with colonial influences. Its interiors are beautifully decorated with 17th and 18th century frescoes depicting scenes from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. In addition, tourists can admire life-size portraits of all the kings of Cochin since 1864, swords, daggers and axes in scabbards, as well as ceremonial spears decorated with feathers, royal caps, coins issued by the kings of Cochin, silver embroidered robes, royal umbrellas , made of silk and brass, together with the plans of Cochin, designed by the Dutch.

Noteworthy are the paintings in the royal bedroom depicting stories of the Ramayana, the frescoes in the coronation hall, in which depicts Goddess Lakshmi on a lotus, sleeping Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati with Ardhanarishvara, the coronation of Lord Rama, Lord Krishna. raising Mount Govardhan and other goddesses. In the room opposite the Coronation Hall there are paintings of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Devi and also an incomplete painting; and in another room there are frescoes of Kumarasambhava and works of the famous poet Kalidasa.

The palace was built by the Portuguese as a gift to King Vira of Kerala Varma (1809-1828). It became known as the Dutch Palace due to the large number of additions that the Dutch made to it. The palace is home to the presiding deity of the royal family, Pazhayannur Bhagavati (goddess Pazhayannur).

Kondapalli Fort, Andhra Pradesh

The majestic Kondapalli Fort, located in the heart of Kondapalli village, is a must-visit place. The gigantic ramparts of the fort, made entirely of granite, can be seen from afar as you enter the Kondapalli village. One of the most striking features of the fort is the entrance gate of Dargah Darwaza. They are carved from a single granite boulder. Other notable features of the fort include the Golconda Darwaza, Dargah of Gharib Sahib and Tanisha Mahal. The fort can be dated back to the 14th century when it was built by the Musunuri Nayakas, the warrior kings of South India. The fort is also known as Kondapalli Kota or Kondapalli Killa.

Daulatabad Fort, Maharashtra

Rising above the landscape on a 200m high conical hill and covering an area of ​​over 95 hectares, Daulatabad Fort is the epitome of the tenacity and strategic ingenuity of the Deccan. During its heyday, the fort was considered impregnable due to the complex system of defensive structures around and inside it. The Mahakot, or four separate walls with 54 bastions, surround the fort, which is almost 5 km long. The walls are 6 to 9 feet thick and 18 to 27 feet high. Ammunition dumps and granaries located indoors add to the thrill of exploring this historical fortress.

Another interesting feature is the Hathi Howd, a giant water tank with a capacity of about 10 000 cubic meters. Today, the huge crater evokes awe with its size. You can also visit Chand Minar which is 30 feet high. Be sure to visit the royal bath of the Tughlaq era, an elite building. It has massage chambers, conditions for hot baths and steam baths, water to which was supplied through well-equipped tanks, channels, pipes, fans, etc.

Travelers should pay attention to the remains of a moat, fort walls, step wells, a courthouse, a unique temple dedicated to Bharat Mata, a public hall, water tanks and a rock-cut passage. Recent excavations have also revealed a lower city complex consisting of main streets and lanes.

The fort, located on the road from Aurangabad to Ellora, was built by King Bhillama V, the Yadava ruler, in 1187 . The city was then known as Deogiri, or the abode of the gods. The grand fort has been a coveted location for a number of powerful rulers throughout history due to its strategic importance. Muhammad Tughlaq, the ruler of Delhi, was so impressed by the fortress that he decided to move his court and capital there, renaming it Daulatabad, the city of wealth.

The entire population of Delhi was resettled here en masse. Later it passed from the Bahmani rulers under Hassan Gangu to the Nizam Shahs of Ahmednagar. Even after this, Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb maintained a siege for four months before finally being able to capture it. It was then captured by the Marathas and then captured by the Nizams of Hyderabad in 1724 AD.

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