Devagiri / Daulatabad Fort

Aurangabad, Maharashtra

#Historical and Heritage


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Devgiri Fort is a 14th century fort situated in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. I am about 16 kilometers from Aurangabad. People know me as Daulatabad Fort too. I was earlier known as Deogiri in 6th century A.D., when I was an important upland city along the caravan routers. But, today I am a village.

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 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 mid way, there is a cave entrance meant to confuse the enemies.

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

  1. 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.
  2. No parallal gates - This is designed to break the momentum of theconfusing the invading army. Also, the flag mast is on the left hill, which the enemy will try to capitualte, 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The hill is shaped like a smooth tortoise back - this prevented the use of mountain lizards as climbers, because they cannot stick on it.

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