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Daulatabad Fort: A Travel Guide

The fort city, Daulatabad, in Maharashtra is located at a distance of 16 km northwest of Aurangabad. Daulatabad was earlier called Devgiri. 

Daulatabad province is situated 13 kilometers away from Aurangabad. Literally meaning the city of fortune, Daulatabad is home to the resplendent 12th century fortress perched on the lush hillock. This impregnable fort complex features a 5 kilometer fortified wall and massive ramparts.

We have earlier featured Daulatabad Fort as one of the best forts in India.

In 1327, the city was the capital of Muhammad bin Tughlaq (r. 1325-1351), Tughlaq dynasty. He forcibly shifted the population of Delhi to Daulatabad and also altered the name. But, after two years, the city was abandoned due to scarcity of water.

Daulatabad Fort
Daulatabad is a 14th-century fort city in Maharashtra, India, about 16 kilometers northwest of Aurangabad

  • Location: Daulatabad, about 16 km northwest of Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
  • Built By: Raja Bhillamraj (Yadava General) on the Deogiri Hill.
  • Built In: 12th Century.
  • Highlights: Hathi Haud, Bharat Mata Temple, Chand Minar, Andheri, Baradari.
  • How to Reach: Along the Aurangabad-Ellora Road (NH 211). Aurangabad is well-connected with various railways, airways and roadways.
  • Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year.
  • Entry Fee: Indians - INR 5; Foreigners - $2 or INR 100.

Fort of Deogire
The hill-fortress of Deogire/Devagiri/Daulatabad stands on a conical hill, at an altitude of 200 m. The fort signifies exemplary strength. The fort could be accessed by a narrow bridge. The fort features a long gallery, which has been excavated in the rock and most of the regions on the gallery have a gradual upward slope.

In the mid of this gallery, there are steep stairs that lead to the place where the garrison placed the fire during the time of war.

Moving ahead, one could find the massive old cannon, facing towards the countryside. The fort also features a cave entrance that was constructed to confuse the enemies.

History
The fort was occupied about 100 BCE, and today is regarded as the remains of Buddhist caves like those caves of Ajanta and Ellora. The city of Daulatabad is said to be established by Bhillama V in c. 1187. Prince Bhillama V is said to be dedicated to the Chalukyas and founder of the powerful Yadava Dynasty in the west.

In the year 1294, the fortress was occupied by Ala-ud-din Khilji. Later, the fortress was again captured in 1307 and 1310 by the Muslims under Malik Kafur.

The site also became an important base of the Delhi Sultanate for its conquering operations made towards the south. Muhammad bin Tughluq, in the year 1327 made Devagiri as his capital and changed its name to Daulatabad.

Some Interesting Facts
  • The circumference of the outer wall of the fort is 2.75 miles (4.43 km).
  • There are three lines of defenses between the upper fort and the base.
  • Hathi Haud is a great attracting feature in Daulatabad. It measures 47.75 m in length, 46.75 m in width and 6.61 m in depth.
  • Bharat Mata Temple has two openings, one towards the east and another to the north. The temple measures 87.14 m East-West and 72.80 m North-South.
  • Chand Minar was built in AD 1447 by Sultan Alau-ud-din-Bahmani (Sultan Ahmed Shah 2). It measures 70 m in height and 21 m in circumference at the base.
  • Andheri is a serpentine dark passage. This was constructed as a defense mechanism and was never occupied.
  • Baradari was constructed in A.D 1636 for the visit of Shah Jahan (A.D 1627-1658). This structure consisted of 13 halls.
  • Chini Mahal, or China Palace, is the remains of a building which was once recognized for great beauty. Here, the last of the Qutb Shahi kings of Golconda, Abul Hasan Tana Shah, was incarcerated in 1687 by Aurangzeb.
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