Indian Forts through History

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ramana
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Indian Forts through History

Postby ramana » 05 Nov 2009 11:53

I have always been fascinated with Indian forts and would like to start a thread on them. Will start collecting data on them here.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby arrjunkumarr » 05 Nov 2009 13:45

This is a great topic to debate. To add to this, try a few names of once formidable forts that still stand:
Jalore (near Jodhpur, Raj)
Kalinjar (Banda, UP)
Bayana (Bharatpur, Raj)
Narwar (Shivpuri distt, MP)
Raisen (MP)

That's just a few, there are lots more.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby arrjunkumarr » 05 Nov 2009 13:55


jai
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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby jai » 05 Nov 2009 16:43

This is a great topic to debate. To add to this, try a few names of once formidable forts that still stand:
Jalore (near Jodhpur, Raj)
Kalinjar (Banda, UP)
Bayana (Bharatpur, Raj)
Narwar (Shivpuri distt, MP)
Raisen (MP)


To add to the list -
Mehrangarh fort - Jodhpur - Rajasthan
Kumbhalgarh fort - Near Udaipur - Rajasthan
Chittorgarh fort - Chittor - Rajasthan
Golkonda - Secunderabad (?) - AP
Gagaron - MP
Gwalior - MP

what all do we want to cover on the threads.....and can we post pics ?

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby arrjunkumarr » 05 Nov 2009 17:32

Jai: You're spot on with those names. The ones I listed were the more obscure ones. And yes, being able to post pics would be great but I think you need to upload them elsewhere and paste that url here.

Let's also do a classification of forts by means employed for defence:
Hill Forts
Forest Forts (also called 'Vana Durg')
Water/ River Forts ('Jal Durg')
Flatland Forts - with a moat employed for defence.

Any additions to this?

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby SwamyG » 05 Nov 2009 19:50

Pictures of Vellore fort walls, that I took:

Image
Image

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Avinash R » 05 Nov 2009 21:31

Some pics of Indian forts i had on HD. All from Maharashtra. And a big thanks to the person who took these beautiful pics.

ALIBAUG
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ARNALA
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JANJIRA
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LOHGAD
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PRATAPGAD
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PURANDAR
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RAIGAD
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SUVARNADURG
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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby ramana » 06 Nov 2009 01:50

Well we want history associated with the fort: who built it, what was its role, and a plan if possible. And what are the common features of Indian forts? What were the weapons to fortify it and how were they seized if at all. My dad used to have a tabletop format book on Indian forts in the Medival period. Unfortunately I wasnt historical minded in those days. The book went to raddiwala.

Some Links:

Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forts_in_India

See the Osprey book in the ref section:

Indian castles-Rise and Fall of Delhi Sultanate

This book is fantastic. I wonder why Indian authors can't write like this. Airavat will love this book.

Book
Forts of India Amrit Verma

Book

Forts and palaces of India by Bindu Manchanda

Forts & Palaces of India -- Sentinels of History
One legacy of India's rich and varied history is that of the numerous forts and palaces which dot the length and breadth of the country. In popular imagination forts and palaces are redolent of mystique, romance, pleasure and intrigue; but above all--melding beauty and grace with strength and substance--these proud sentinels are living reminders of India's breathtakingly rich civilization and culture.
Spanning the four corners of India, the forts and palaces featured in these pages have been included as much for their historical and cultural significance as for their architectural splendour and beauty. Some of these hitherto little known forts and palaces are important for the restoration and preservation work being undertaken there.
While they may often look like mute witnesses to eras long since vanished in the mists of time, their walls contain within them many stories. Stories not just of mighty royals, and the rise and fall of dynasties and empires; but of builders, masons and craftsmen; of foot soldiers and ladies-in-waiting; of eunuchs and dancing girls. Their stone and bricks are a vast repository of knowledge-a truly priceless treasure trove of history, myth and legend, of culture and tradition. What the reader, like the discerning visitor, comes away with is the startling realization that far from decay and lost splendour, these forts and palaces are actually vibrant and living representatives of an ageless civilization where the past and present gracefully commingle in harmony.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bindu Manchanda has been deeply involved with work on heritage conservation in her role as Director Projects, INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage). Her primary focus has been on the preservation of the architectural and cultural heritage of Jaisalmer. She has also been working with communities living in and around heritage precincts, helping them develop skills for self-empowerment. She is the secretary of the Jaisalmer Heritage Trust and has authored a well-received book, Jaisalmer.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Mahendra » 06 Nov 2009 02:59

Image
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Bekal Fort
From Wiki

During the Perumal Age Bekal was a part of Mahodayapuram. The Kodavalam inscription (Pullur, 7 km from Kanhangad) of Bhasakara Ravi II (the King of Mahodayapuram) illustrate the undisputed political sway of Mahodayapuram over this region. Following the political decline of Mahodayapuram Perumals by the 12th century AD, North Kerala including Bekal came under the sovereignty of Kolathunadu. The maritime importance of Bekal increased much under Kolathiries and it became an important port town of Thulunadu.
Battle of Talikota in 1565 led to the decline of the mighty Vijayanagara Empire and many feudatory chieftains rose in political prominence including the Keladi Nayakas (Ikkeri Nayaks). The Nayakas realized the political and economic importance of Tulunadu (which is the region comprising of modern-day Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts along with the Northern part of Kasaragod district) and attacked and annexed this part of the country. Bekal served as a nucleus in establishing the domination of Nayakas in Malabar. The economic importance of the port town prompted the Nayakas to fortify Bekal subsequently. Hiriya Venkatappa Nayaka initiated the construction of the fort and it was completed during the period of Shivappa Nayaka. The speedy completion of the port was aimed at the defence of the fort from overseas attack and to strengthen their attack on Malabar. Chandragiri fort near Kasaragod was also constructed during this period.
Somashekhara Nayak captured Manjeswar and Thaliparamba and built a fort at Kanhangad Hosdurg which means new fort. The other forts found in Kasaragod are constructed on the coastal region and on the route to Madikeri (Mercara in Coorg). It is believed that the 'Kotteyar' community found in Bekal, Panayal and other places in Kasaragod were brought to this land by the Nayaks to build and defend the fort. There was a prolonged struggle between the Kolathiries and Nayaks to recapture and maintain their hold over this area. These unending battles came to an end with the rise of Hyder Ali who conquered and defeated the Nayakas. Subsequently Bekal fell into the hands of Mysore kings.


Arabian Sea visible from the fort
Bekal served as an important military station of Tipu Sultan when he led the great military expedition to capture Malabar. The coins and other artifacts unearthed by the archaeological excavation conducted recently at Bekal fort is a manifestation of the strong presence of the Mysore Sulthans. The death of Tipu Sulthan in Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799 saw the end of Mysorean control and subsequently the fort came under the British East India Company.
During the reign of the Company Bekal became the headquarters of the newly organized Bekal Taluk of South Canara District in Bombay presidency. South Canara became a part of the Madras presidency in 1862 and Kasaragod Taluk was up in the place of Bekal Taluk. Gradually the political and economic importance of Bekal and its port declined considerably. Kasaragod became part of Kerala with the state reorganization in 1956.
Its solid construction resembles the St. Angelo Fort at Kannur built by Portuguese and also the Thalassery fort. The Ikkeri Nayakas had not developed guns to defend themselves from the invaders approaching from the Arabean sea route. But the western part of the fort is built in a solid manner with numerous slits on the walls for defending the fort from the naval power of other rulers. So it is believed that the present look of fort was the outcome of the conflict between European powers. Modification to the fort was made by all the rulers who ruled the land from the time of the Ikkeri Nayakas. Moreover a number of forts built by the Ikkeri Nayakas have failed to stand the test of time and perished. Located at the centre of the fort is an Observation Tower built by Tipu Sultan, which offers a breathtaking view of the coastline as well as that of neighbouring places like Kanhangad and Pallikare.[original research?] Also in existence is a rest house built by the British Government.
Presently the protection and preservation of Bekal fort has been entrusted to the Archaeological Survey of India.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby ashkrishna » 06 Nov 2009 05:54

uddhav thackeray apparently loves fort photography and has published a book of some sort, atleast one of those photographs was taken by him...
let me search for it

I have trekked in sinhagad, tremendous place, but the fort walls are pretty run down.
Last edited by ashkrishna on 06 Nov 2009 06:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby ashkrishna » 06 Nov 2009 05:57

http://www.thehindu.com/2004/01/14/stories/2004011401302200.htm

Uddhav Thackeray and those scenic forts

By Mahesh Vijapurkar

Image


The historic Murud Janjira fort, built on an island over an area of about 9 hectares, photographed by Uddhav Thackeray.

MUMBAI, JAN. 13. The perspectives this series of pictures offer highlight the locational advantages of forts. They also drive home the significance of being on an island in a sea-lane, or being perched atop a hill, hugging the contours, precariously poised on the edge of a cliff.

The photographer, Uddhav Thackeray, the executive president of the Shiv Sena, hovered over and around the 27 forts he picked of the more than 350 that dot the landscape of Maharashtra, including an impressive array along the Konkan coast. He did this from a helicopter over 40 hours, over 10 days.

In order to avoid the monotony of a dry landscape, he chose the clear, post-monsoon months. But that also meant being buffeted by winds. Which in turn meant that only a handful of the spectacular forts, unique in their own way, could be documented. Apparently, the top-view of these forts glimpsed while travelling on earlier political missions in small aircraft, both fixed-wing ones and choppers, drew him to this project.

Each fort has its own story, whether built by the Dutch, the Portuguese, the Abyssinians, the medieval rulers or by Chhatrapati Shivaji himself. Maritime forts are a special feature along the Konkan part of Maharashtra, but Mr. Thackeray laments that "very few are in good shape." He adds: "I wonder if those who are in their charge pay attention to their upkeep."

Having studied these forts carefully, Mr. Thackeray, and Ninat Bedekar, an engineer-turned historian who studies forts, say that the pace of decline of these impressive structures is so rapid that in another 100 years most of them would be rubble. The photographs, they hope, will lead to the authorities moving to ensure their proper maintenance.

Mr. Thackeray has donated, through one of his trusts, Rs. 50 lakhs for the upkeep of one of the forts.

In their heyday, the forts were not easily taken, especially after the Marathas gained control of them. This was true whether they were on the shore, on islands, or on bald hilltops with sheer cliffs alongside.

After holding an exhibition of these photographs here from January 19, Mr. Thackeray intends to compile them to make a reference book, with commentary for each photograph.

Although a friend, A. Bhosle, lent him the helicopter for the shoots "free of cost, because of the novelty of the project and its usefulness," Mr. Thackeray says, getting the project together was a tough task.

As soon as each roll was shot, it was taken to New Delhi by the Ministry of Defence for scrutiny before granting clearance. The authorities had even posted a man on the helicopter.

A few of the pictures of a sensitive nature were found to be too sensitive. The procedural exercises notwithstanding, not one of the 4,500 frames shot was lost or misplaced. The aerial enterprise had its advantages: one could go up or down, round and round, till the "best angle was available and the light was just right." But the vibrations of the helicopter taxed the photographer's ingenuity in terms of getting the aperture and the shutter speed right.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby ramana » 06 Nov 2009 10:55

Link to rapidshare site

Indian Castles 1206-1526

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby rkirankr » 06 Nov 2009 12:08

Information on some forts from Orbat.com
http://www.orbat.com/site/cimh/index.html
There are articles on Mandu, orcha, Sindhudurg

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby AnantD » 06 Nov 2009 12:41

This has been a fascination of mine for years!

Love to read the stories and lore about the forts. Especially like the smaller unknown forts and researching them.

Have a couple of coffee table books on Forts of India, plus some pictures I took of Raigad, Singhagad and others around Pune.

Is Udhav Thakre's book available? Last time I asked someone at a large bookstore in Pune they gave me a look like I was crazy!!?? :roll:

Just ordered the book "Indian Castles 1206-1526". The downloaded pdf looks fantastic!

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby csharma » 06 Nov 2009 13:09

Kalinjar Fort

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalinjar_Fort

Chandela Rajputs held it for long time and kept Muslim invaders at bay.

History channel has a show on it and they have some of the broken parts of the fort. For example an amazing Shiva temple inside the fort. Chandelas built the Khajuraho temple.

One of the rare History channel video on India that does not talk about kama sutra or Mughals.
Shows the superior engineering skills of the Hindu engineers at that time.

http://shop.history.com/detail.php?p=70 ... ld-history

You can watch it for free using the following link

http://www.ninjavideo.net/video/40318

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby SSridhar » 06 Nov 2009 18:45

Thirumayam fort gets a face lift
This fort, on the way from Tiruchi to Karaikudi, was built by Oomaithurai, brother of Katta Bomman. I have often been sad about the poor maintenance. The ASI is now renovating it.
Image
The historic fort at Thirumayam near here has been given a facelift, courtesy the second phase of renovation by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Temples in the fort dedicated to Sri Sathyamurthy-Sri Uyyavanda Nachiar (Vaishnavite) and Sri Sathyagireeswarar-Sri Venuvaneeswari (Saivite) are wonderful rock-cut architecture and were consecrated after the ASI completed its earlier phase of renovation.

In the current phase, the three-tier merlons — at the top, middle and base of the fort — have been renovated.

Tough task


Clearing of vegetation at several places on the fort posed a challenge, especially in retaining the original form of the architecture. "We carefully weeded out the vegetation and restored the fort's original structure," says the Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Chennai, Sathyabama Badrinath.

Vegetations including species with stronger roots such as banyan were destroyed using a tree-killer, a non-chemical substance. It was injected into each and each and every plant, which were given a few days to wither away. In certain deep-rooted varieties such as the banyan tree or `poovarasu', it was injected meticulously ensuring their total uprooting.

This was followed by the strengthening work, involving a series of reinforcing processes — crouting, pointing and brickwork and plastering.

Details were worked out for the renovation of the merlons. They were strengthened using lime, terminlia chevula (`kadukkai') and palm sugar (`panai vellam').

Chain-link

To protect the `pushkarani' at the fort, the ASI has set up a chain-link, which would prevent straying of cattle, Ms. Sathyabama said. She said the ASI would take up the third phase of renovation in course of time

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby ramana » 06 Nov 2009 23:11

ramana wrote:Link to rapidshare site

Indian Castles 1206-1526



Its really good book. And makes things clear. I wish there were other forst examined like in this book. For example Bhongir fort near Warangal has long history.

Also wonder if the fort of Janjira (the whole island is fortified the sea acts as a moat) is similar to the one in Zanzibar?

Also look for forts in present day Pakistan like Attock etc.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby pralay » 06 Nov 2009 23:38

RaJgad,
First Capital of Maratha Empire.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=144360

Raigad,
Second Capital of Maratha Empire
http://picasaweb.google.com/samiirds/Ra ... directlink

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Lalmohan » 07 Nov 2009 03:36

my personal favourites are Jaisalmer, Daulatabad and Chittorgarh

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Airavat » 07 Nov 2009 08:08

Image (click for bigger photo)

Kumbhalgarh (Kumbha's Fort), boasts of the longest perimeter wall of any fort in the world, stretching to 36 km, and was built in the 15th century by Maharana Kumbha of Mewar. It is located in southwestern Rajasthan among the heights of the Aravallis.

The original purpose of this fort was to serve as the guardian of Mewar's western boundary, touching the neighboring Rajput kingdom of Marwar. But in the 16th century, as the Mughal-Mewar conflict raged, and again in the 17th century, during Aurangzeb's invasion of Rajputana, Kumbhalgarh proved to be a valuable second line of defence for Mewar.

It fell only once, but the invaders failed to occupy Kumbhalgarh for long and were defeated and expelled. Because of its strength, part of the Mewar state treasury was stored in Kumbhalgarh. The fort encloses the Shero Mallah valley within its walls and houses several palaces, temples, cenotaphs and villages. Kumbhalgarh is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap (the room in which he was born is a tourist attraction) and its main tower has a beacon with whose flames the Mewar chieftains were summoned to war by their ruler. By the 18th century, as armies became more centralized and armed with increasing amounts of firepower, the importance of forts declined.

The forests around Kumbhalgarh came to house many hunting lodges for the Mewar rulers and chieftains, and today form part of the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. This is the only wildlife sanctuary in India, which allows horseback riding tours, and apart from leopards, wild boar, sambhar, and pheasants, it is home to the endangered Indian wolf. The nearby Rajasamand lake has a crocodile farm.



The cover page of this book has a pic of Kumbhalgarh.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Airavat » 11 Nov 2009 09:52

Image

Fort of Gingee, also written as Jinji, Chenji or Senji, in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu. The present ruins of the fortifications date from 1200 CE and later but the site was settled under the Cholas and Pallavas.

The complex had three connected hillocks, Rajagiri, Krishnagiri and Chandragiri, while the main fort on Rajagiri is called Raigarh. Much of the construction was done by the rulers of Vijayanagar and their local governors. With the collapse of that kingdom in the 16th century, the fort came under the Gingee Nayaks, who engaged in struggles with the neighboring Nayaks of Madurai and Tanjore.

In the 17th century officers of the Bijapur and Golconda sultanates intruded into the region and Gingee was captured by Bijapur. In 1677 the Maratha ruler Shivaji invaded the Carnatic in alliance with the Sultan of Golkonda and captured Gingee along with other forts. Gingee provided refuge to his son Rajaram when the Mughal Empire invaded the Maratha kingdom and executed Sambhaji in 1688.

Mughal forces under Aurangzeb's general Zulfiqar Khan (Nusrat Jang) campaigned in the Carnatic, first laying siege to Gingee in 1690, and after battles against roving Maratha armies and local states, renewing it in 1694. Nusrat Jang's final siege of Gingee began in 1697 and the fort finally capitulated in 1698.

The descendants of Nusrat Jang became the Nawabs of Carnatic, and the fort of Gingee was placed under a Bundela officer, Swarup Singh. His son Raja Tej Singh declared independence and Gingee was again besieged by the Nawab's forces and captured in 1714 after the death of Tej Singh. The story of this Bundela warrior is recorded in Tamil as Thesingu Raasan.

Gingee was captured by the French general Bussy and was the site of the Anglo-French wars. The fort passed to British control in 1761 while the Nawab of Carnatic was reduced to the status of Prince of Arcot.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Neela » 11 Nov 2009 12:18

Vattakottai Fort and the Battle of Colachel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vattakottai_Fort

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Airavat » 17 Nov 2009 06:03

Image

Jaisalmer Fort in western Rajasthan was built in 1156 at a strategically important site, just a few decades before the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate in the east. The Bhati Rajputs defended the fort against probing armies of the sultanate, and retaliated by sacking trade caravans coming from West and Central Asia, or the train of Mecca pilgrims from Delhi going west, and taking the tribute of provinces like Sindh and Multan for themselves.

For more than a century Jaisalmer stood in defiant independence and it was only in 1292 that the forces of Jalaluddin Khilji could besiege the fort. The fort capitulated six years later, after all supplies of food and water ran out. The rite of jauhar was performed, the Rajput families perished in the flames, and all remaining goods of value were burnt to deny them to the invading Turks, while the men rode out to die fighting.

Consequently the Delhi Sultanate could not establish a garrison in Jaisalmer, and failed to impose their authority on the remainder of the Bhati clan who had their homes in remote stretches of the desert. The Bhatis recaptured and resettled Jaisalmer.

Founded by Rawal Jaisal (Mer is from Meru, the Sanskrit term for hill) the fort today has 99 bastions, three walls, four defendable gates, ancient Jain and Hindu temples, palaces, havelis (built by merchants), and artillery stores. Several wells exist inside the fort and a nearby freshwater lake added to the water supply. The lake had silted up but was restored in the 14th century by Rawal Gadsi and carries the name Gadsisar today (Sar is from the Sanskrit Sarovar meaning lake):

Image

All through the medieval era Jaisalmer had conflicts with the neighboring Rajput kingdoms like Jodhpur and Bikaner, and with the petty Muslim chieftains in Sindh, Multan, and Afghanistan. It's fortunes finally began to decline in the 18th century as the trade routes changed, and modern military developments bypassed this remote part of India. Today Jaisalmer looks to tourism as a means of economic growth.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Airavat » 18 Nov 2009 10:53

Image

Bala Hissar fort in Kabul, Afghanistan, to the south of the modern city on the Kuh-e-Sherdarwaza Mountain. The present fort was constructed in the Mughal period but dates back to at least the 5th century BCE.

It was the site of an important battle in 1581 during the Islamic rebellion against Akbar. Kabul was the base for expeditions north into Badakshan, south to the Pashtun lands, and for the long running struggle against the Persians for Kandahar in the south-east.

In 1739 the Persian Nadir Shah captured Kabul and, after his murder, the Afghan Ahmad Shah Abdali took the citadel, but preferred to rule from his capital Kandahar. His grandson Timur shifted the capital to Kabul and died within the citadel of Bala Hissar. The upper fortress called the Bala Hissar Bala, contained the armoury and the dungeon of Kabul, where prisoners were kept. Bala Hissar Pahin, or lower fortress, contained palaces, the barracks, and stables.

A British army occupied the citadel when they reinstated Shah Shujah on the throne of Afghanistan. In 1879 a powder magazine in the upper fortress exploded and the rest of the citadel was demolished on orders of General Roberts. The next Afghan ruler, Amir Abdur Rahman, built the new Arq Palace on the plain below.

Bala Hissar is currently occupied by the Afghan National Army.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby AnantD » 18 Nov 2009 12:56

Here is a list of forts in Maharashtra. Good place to start:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fo ... aharashtra

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby ramana » 18 Nov 2009 23:39

Anything about Attock?

Golconda and Bhongir.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby kaangeya » 18 Nov 2009 23:59

Is Rana Pratap's suit of armour on display at KumbhlGarh?

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Airavat » 19 Nov 2009 03:39

kaangeya wrote:Is Rana Pratap's suit of armour on display at KumbhlGarh?


It's on display at the City Palace Museum in Udaipur, which is about 64 km from Kumbalgarh.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby merlin » 19 Nov 2009 12:21

kaangeya wrote:Is Rana Pratap's suit of armour on display at KumbhlGarh?


No. But apart from that the fort itself is spectacular. The walls are thick enough to allow horses to walk on the top. There were two day walking tours on the walls offered around 2003 with overnight camping in the grounds for those interested. Very, very few tourists around at least in 2003.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Singha » 19 Nov 2009 13:39

kumbhalgarh and chittorgarh for long the redoubt of the Ranas of Mewar. in the end the 'secular' akbar laid siege to Chittor and murdered 20,000 civilians at the end of his long siege. the defenders charged out and killed until they were killed. the king udai singh and his son escaped before the siege and founded Udaipur further to the south west.

afaik no serving rana of mewar paid tribute to any delhi sultan - perhaps the only one in that region.

I recall growing up and reading the amar chitra katha's on rana kumbha hurling a spear at a lootera from mandu (north of ujjain sultanate), rana pratap....

jodhpur fort - is it a big one . the ranas of marwar ruled over it.

some say in ancient times a great fire ceremony was held at Mt Abu from where the various rajput clans took the title kshatriya and split up the territories to rule.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby merlin » 19 Nov 2009 17:56

afaik no serving rana of mewar paid tribute to any delhi sultan - perhaps the only one in that region.


Not perhaps.

The Sisodias were the only ones who never bent. That's why they are considered as the senior most of all royal families in Rajasthan (so they say).

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Singha » 19 Nov 2009 19:30

must have been a line of hard men :twisted:

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby kaangeya » 19 Nov 2009 20:55

kaangeya wrote:
Is Rana Pratap's suit of armour on display at KumbhlGarh?

It's on display at the City Palace Museum in Udaipur, which is about 64 km from Kumbalgarh.


Does it really weigh 100 kg and his sword 25 kg?

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby rohitvats » 19 Nov 2009 23:18

Singha wrote:must have been a line of hard men :twisted:


Maharana Pratap was from the Sisodia Clan of Mewar. As was Rana Sangha...another great warrior.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby CalvinH » 20 Nov 2009 00:16

Interesting that posts mentions a lamp in the fort which was lit to give a call to chieftains around the fort. I saw a place for a similar lamp in Jaigarh fort (Amber near Jaipur). Since most of the forts are perched on a hill with plains all around them thats look like a good way to communicate far away. As per the guide on a clear night you can see the lit lamp from 80 Kms.

Does Kumbalgarh also has a Bhool Bhuliya inside the fort. This is usually the place which a king/royalty can use to confuse the invaders while existing the fort. I saw one in Jaigarh.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby CalvinH » 20 Nov 2009 00:19

Airavat wrote:The fort capitulated six years later, after all supplies of food and water ran out. The rite of jauhar was performed, the Rajput families perished in the flames, and all remaining goods of value were burnt to deny them to the invading Turks, while the men rode out to die fighting.



How does the invading army ensures siege for 6 long years. Does the full army just camp around the fort. How do they sustain the siege in such a rough terrain for six long years in such uncertain time for Delhi Sultanate.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Prasad » 20 Nov 2009 09:17

CalvinH wrote:
Airavat wrote:The fort capitulated six years later, after all supplies of food and water ran out. The rite of jauhar was performed, the Rajput families perished in the flames, and all remaining goods of value were burnt to deny them to the invading Turks, while the men rode out to die fighting.



How does the invading army ensures siege for 6 long years. Does the full army just camp around the fort. How do they sustain the siege in such a rough terrain for six long years in such uncertain time for Delhi Sultanate.


Following on, how did the folks in the fort hold out for 6 long years. Where did they get their supplies from if they were surrounded by the enemy? Did they have miles long secret underground passages to smuggle supplies in and out?

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Airavat » 20 Nov 2009 09:46

Moved this post to a new Rajasthan History thread in GD.
Last edited by Airavat on 20 Nov 2009 10:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby CalvinH » 20 Nov 2009 09:56

tsriram wrote:Following on, how did the folks in the fort hold out for 6 long years. Where did they get their supplies from if they were surrounded by the enemy? Did they have miles long secret underground passages to smuggle supplies in and out?


two main concerns were food and water. I know about water. Water was collected during rains and channeled to different wells inside the fort. The forts have a huge spread and usually all the water falling on the hills during the rain can be channeled to one or the other well inside the fort.

For food I think the arid climate helps longer storage of grains but to survive 6 years must be tough. It all depends on the population living inside the fort.

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Re: Indian Forts through History

Postby Airavat » 20 Nov 2009 10:20

CalvinH and Tsiram you're both correct, in that Jaisalmer could not have been besieged by a regular army for all this time.

The narrative of the siege is taken from traditional accounts, which actually claim that it lasted nine years. It is confirmed by inscriptions at Jaisalmer which show that three rulers died in quick succession while fighting the Turushkas and mlechchas. The narrative also finds corroboration in the Delhi Sultanate chronicles for some events.

The Khaljis, driven from Central Asia and Afghanistan by the Mongol invasions, took up service under the Delhi Sultans and overthrew them in 1292. At the end of that year Sultan Jalaluddin captured Mandor; according to the Jaisalmer chronicles the ruler of this place took shelter with them. Therefore a siege of Jaisalmer would have begun at this time by the army chasing after the ruler of Mandor.

But their primary objective would be to garrison Mandor and a reduced army would have been sent against Jaisalmer, unable to enforce a complete blockade. In 1296 Jalaluddin was murdered by his nephew Alauddin, and in this time the Jaisalmer rulers took advantage of the infighting among the Turks to launch raids and capture the tribute coming from Sindh. Alauddin would have renewed the siege after consolidating his hold on Delhi by the end of 1296.

In 1298 a fresh army sent by Alauddin under Ulugh Khan and Zafar Khan, marching to Gujarat, reinforced the besiegers of Jaisalmer, making the blockade more effective and capturing it after several months.


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