Daulatabad Fort | History | City
Daulatabad Fort, also known as Devagiri, is a historical citadel located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India.
It was the capital of the Yadava dynasty (9th century – 14th century AD) for some time as the capital of the Delhi Sultanate (1327–1334) and later the secondary capital of the Ahmednagar Sultanate (1499–1636).
Around the 6th century, Devagiri emerged as an essential suburban town near present-day Aurangabad and caravan routes leading to western and southern India.
The historic triangular fort was constructed in about 1187 by the first Yadava king Bhilma V. It was completed by 10. In 1308, the city was annexed by Sultan Alauddin Khalji of the Delhi Sultanate, who ruled most of the Indian subcontinent.
In 1327, Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq of the Delhi Sultanate renamed the city "Daulatabad" and shifted his imperial capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, bringing the population of Delhi to Daulatabad.
However, Muhammad bin Tughluq reversed his decision in 1334 and shifted the capital of the Delhi Sultanate from Daulatabad to Delhi. In 1499, Daulatabad became part of the Ahmednagar Sultanate, which used it as its secondary capital.
In 1610, near the Daulatabad fort, the new city of Aurangabad, named Khadki, was founded as the capital of the Ahmednagar Sultanate by the Ethiopian military leader Malik Ambar, who had been brought to India as slaves, but the Prime Minister of the Gulab Ahmednagar Sultanate to become famous.
Most of the present fort in Daulatabad Fort was constructed under the Ahmednagar Sultanate.
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Lord Shiva is believed to have stayed on the hills surrounding this region. Hence the fort was initially known as Devagiri, which means (God of the Hills).
The area of the city is the hill-fort of Devagiri. It is situated on a conical hill about 200 meters high. Much of the hill's lower slopes have been cut by the rulers of the Yadava dynasty to leave 50-metre vertical sides to improve protection.
A fort is a place of extraordinary power. The only means of reaching the summit are by a narrow bridge, which holds no more than two people, and a long gallery, which has been carved out of rock, which, for the most part, has a very gradual upward slope.
About midway with this gallery, the access gallery has steep stairs, the top of which is covered with a wartime grating, forming a vast fire-hearth burning by the garrison above. At the summit and intervals along the slope, the surrounding countryside is largely exposed to old cannon. Also, in the middle, there is a cave entrance meant to confuse the enemies.
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Daulatabad is situated at a distance of 15 km northwest of Aurangabad, the district headquarters and in the middle of the Ellora group of caves. The original more expansive capital city is now mostly empty and has been reduced to a single village. Much of its existence depends on the tourists visiting the old town and the nearby fort.
Since at least 100 BCE, the site was occupied and now houses the remains of similar Hindu and Buddhist temples at Ajanta and Ellora.
In 1187, Bhilama V, a Yadava prince who renounced his allegiance to the Chalukyas and established the power of the Yadava dynasty in the west.
During the rule of the Yadava king Ramchandra, Alauddin Khalji of the Delhi Sultanate invaded Devagiri in 1296, forcing the Yadavas to pay tribute. When tribute payments ceased, Alauddin sent a second expedition to Devagiri in 1308, making Ramachandra his vassal.
In 1328, Muhammad bin Tughlaq of the Delhi Sultanate shifted the capital of his kingdom to Devagiri and changed its name to Daulatabad.
Some scholars argue that the reasoning behind relocating the capital was rational, as it was more or less at the centre of the kingdom and geographically protected the capital from attacks on the North-West Frontier.
At Daulatabad Fort, he found the region arid and arid. So he built a vast reservoir to store water and connected it to a distant river. He used a siphon system to fill the reservoir. However, his capital-shift strategy failed miserably. So he went back to Delhi and earned her the title of "Mother King".
The following important event in the timeline of Daulatabad Fort was the construction of Chand Minar by the Bahmani ruler Hasan Gangu Bahmani, also known as Ala-ud-din Bahman Shah.