Kille The Forts of Maharashtra

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The term Forts has been taken from the Latin word fortis ("strong") and facere ("to make"). So undoubtedly the forts are the epitome of strength with marvelous architecture. Each fort depicts a story of the glorious past. As they are the sole survivors who have lived the vagaries of the past. The Land of Marathas- Maharashtra had gone through several troughs and crests. It had been the land of warriors. Kille, Gad, and Durg are some of the names given to the forts of Maharashtra. There are more than 350 forts in Maharashtra. These Forts are the symbol of our brave ancestors who fought for their identity and land. It reminds us of the slogan of Har Har Mahadev echoed during the reign of Marathas. The earliest of it dated to the 2nd BCE the time when the kingdom of Satavahana, Chalukya, and Yadava flagged its power. Even the impact of foreigners can be seen in many of the forts. After the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire, almost all the forts were ruled by the Bahmani rulers. Shivaji played a prominent role in understanding the need for fortification. He planned and executed many strategic warfare techniques along with the people of Mawale. In Shivaji’s reign, around 18- 20 new forts were built. Hiroji Indulkar was the chief architect Raigad which means King’s fort is one of the strongest forts of Deccan of Maharashtra. It is a remarkable ‘Dongari Killa’ which means hill fort. In 1436 Raigad was conquered by the Bahamani king. It was then ruled by Bahamani rulers Nizam Shahi and Adil Shahi. Shivaji conquered it much later in 1656 from Chandrarao More (commander of Adil shah). Raigad has unique features like Balle Killa, Asthapradhan Mandal, Rani Wasa (Queen’s place), The 3 Manore (Observatory towers), Hirakani Buruj/Bastion, Bazar Peth. Raigad was the land where the concept of Swarajya (People's own rule) came into being. Shivaji breathed his last days at Raigad Fort. Raigad was the dream come true nurtured by Marathas. Paranda is a ‘Bhuikot Killa’ which means a land fort. It was built by Bahamani ruler Mahmud Gavan in the 15th century. It is an excellent example of fortification. The unique feature of this fort is its Barbicons. It is also known for huge cannons and ammunition like- Malik Maidan, Ajda Paikar, and Lande Kusa. 26 rounded Burus/Bastions and Kandak-moat are also distinctive features of this fort. Under Bijapur Adil Shahi, Shahji Rao the father of Shivaji was the caretaker of this fort. In 1633 Shahji gave a strong tussle to the Mughals by making the best use of local topography. Pratapgad fort tells us about Shivaji’s strategy and architecture. The double line ramparts also called tatbandi is one of the unique features of this fort. Sadar was once the meeting place and its ruins can be seen just when one enters the Maha Darwaza (main gate). Sinhabad which means lions fort was earlier known as Kondhana. In a topography where water storage is an issue, this fort has the perennial source of water- Deotake (The sacred tank). This fort has a history of war and attacks. This fort was conquered by Tanaji who lost his life. His sacrifice and the story of Swarajya which he re-established here by climbing the tough terrain with his pet Ghorpad (The monitor lizard) are still popular among the children of Maharashtra. Deogiri/ Devagiri/ Daulatabad Fort is a cobinatin of land and hill fort. Moats surround its rampart which is built on the land. Citadel is at the top of the hill. The name Daulatbad was given by Mohd. Tughlaq when he shifted his capital from Delhi. Though he had to return back to Delhi. Janjira is an excellent example of Sagari Killa (Sea fort). It was built to fight the sea pirates. Raja Ram Rao Patil the chief of Kolis built it in the 15th century. It was once conquered by Piram khan. In history, Marathas were never able to conquer this fort. Post-independence it became a part of India.