|Location:||About 50 Kms. south-east of Osmanabad|
Naldurg Fort in Osmanabad district of Marathwada region of Maharashtra is considered to be one of the best forts in the country going by sheer military and engineering standards. It has among other things bastions of gigantic proportion, a mini palace built inside a dam overseeing a river and a sniper cannon.
Naldurg is about 35 km from the Tuljabhawani temple of Osmanabad and 45 km away from Solapur town and is accessible through the Pune-Hyderabad highway. The Naldurg Fort is one of the strongest forts of Deccan. Spread over a large area, it is a township by itself.
The fort has enclosed surface of a “knoll or plantain of basalt rock”. Along the rest of the cliff on three sides run fortifications. Bastions firmly built have “deseed basalt” and are large enough to carry heavy guns. The entire circumference is about a mile and a half.
Co Philip Meadows Taylor, an administrator and novelist, too has written about the fort and was deeply inspired by it. Taylor was a painter and photographer, and is counted among the earliest and path-breaking archaeologists of India and he had written “Along the crest of the cliff on three sides, ran the fortifications, bastions…firmly built of cut and dressed basalt and large enough to carry heavy guns.”
Though most of the architectural remains of Naldurg are of the medieval period, there is ground to believe that the antiquity of the fort goes much beyond that. It is believed that the fort was built during the Kalyani Chalukyan period. Sometime in the 14th century it fell into the hands of the Bahamanis. Perhaps it was during this period that the defences were strengthened by providing fortifications of stone.
Later, on the division of the Bahamani kingdom in AD 1480, Naldurg fell into the hands of Adil Shahi kings of Bijapur; and, they further increased and strengthened the defences. It was during this period that the fort with 114 bastions was provided with massive fortifications. It took close to 15 years for the fort to be built.
The credit for what it is today goes to Ibrahim Adil Shah II (1556 -12 September 1627) who was king of the Sultanate of Bijapur and a member of the Adil Shahi dynasty.
Places to Visit on Fort:
It has a three-km-long fortification wall and 114 bastions. The Pani-Mahal is the most attractive monument on this fort. Apart from the dam and the Pani Mahal, there are a number of important structural remains inside the fort. Among them are Rani Mahal, Taylor’s House, elephants stable, Rang Mahal, a mosque, armoury and court building.
Naldurg had buildings of varied types and importance – from Raj mahal to mint – within the fortified area. However, the most important architectural feature in the fort is the huge dam of solid stone masonry constructed by the Adil Shahis in 1613, on the Bori River.
The dam is a witness to the great engineering skill of the period. It is 90 feet high, 275 m long and about 31 m wide at the top. The river at its ordinary height runs over the crest of the dam in channels arched over, and the water falls into the pool.
Another attractive thing of this fort is, bastion of Upalya which is also named as Upali Buruj or Tehlani Buruj. “This bastion is made for keeping watch and oversees everything,” said Dalal. This bastion is at the centre of the fortification of the fort. It has two cannons on it– though historians believe that during the Adil Shahi period, there were three cannons.
During monsoon, whenever it floods, the water runs over the crest of the dam, forming a huge cataract, and it is a magnificent scene to watch. Thousands of people turn up to watch this spectacle. About the center of the dam there is a flight of steps by which one descends into a small, beautifully ornamented room called the Pani Mahal. This room has also been provided with an artistically designed balcony, from where one can view the beautiful water falls, according to a paper of the State Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Maharashtra, which is in possession of this majestic fort. The dam holds the water back and forms a beautiful lake. This is a sight to watch and several migratory birds are coming here.
How to reach:
By Road: 50 km from Osmanabad, 35 km from Tuljapur, 50 km from Solapur, 411 kms from Mumbai, 260 kms from Pune, 345 kms from Nasik.
Osmanabad does not have a train station, and the nearest station is Solapur, at a distance of 58 kms from Osmanabad.
Related Video (Nuldurg Fort):
Best time to visit:
Ideal time to visit Naldurg Fort is during and after the monsoons. The Naldurg fort is open during timings 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM