- 243 Kms
- 3 / 5
Location: Near Aurangabad
Often hailed as one of the seven wonders of Maharashtra, Daulatabad Fort is a mighty 14th century fort located about 17km away from Aurangabad.
Daulatabad Fort, also known as Devgiri Fort is a 14th century fort located about 17km away from the city of Aurangabad. The mighty fort is often hailed to be one of the seven wonders of Maharashtra.
One of the strongest forts in India, Daulatabad has an eventful history as it was controlled by many dynasties over a period of time. It was built in 1187 by Raja Bhillamraj Yavdav, the first king of the Yadava Dynasty. Infact, King Bhillamraj developed the entire township of Devgiri. The fort-city of Daulatabad was originally known as Devgiri. It is believed that Lord Shiva once stayed in the hills surrounding this region. Hence, the place was named Devgiri, which literally translates to ‘Hill of Gods’.
In 1328, Muhammad Bin Tughlaq of the Delhi Sultanate took over the city of Devgiri and renamed it Daulatabad or ‘Abode of Wealth’. He made Daulatabad the capital of the Tughlaq dynasty and ordered thousands of his people to migrate to the fort-city from the previous capital of Delhi. But after a couple of years, he abandoned Daulatabad and shifted the capital back to Delhi, because Daulatabad lacked sufficient water resources required to run a principal city.
Most of the present-day fortification of Daulatabad was constructed under the Bahamanis and the Nizam Shahs of Ahmednagar. In the 1435, Ala-ud-Din Bahman Shah, ruler of the Bahmani Sultanate constructed the 60-meter Chand Minar or ‘Tower of Victory’ on the fort. It is a replica of the Qutub Minar. Later, Mughal king Aurangzeb built Chini Mahal, a VIP prison, on the fort premises. Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj was once kept in this prison. Abul Hasan Tana Shah, king of Golconda, was held captive in the Chini Mahal for 12 years before his death in 1699.
Daulatabad is a must-visit if you are in Aurangabad. The well-preserved fort stands atop a 200-meter-high conical hill. An architectural marvel, the fort is an exemplary specimen of faultless ancient military engineering. The climb to the summit of the fort takes anywhere between an hour or two. Along the way, you will come across several effective defenses, including a maze of entrances, multiple doorways at different angles and spike-studded doors, which were constructed to protect against elephant charges. A peculiar feature of the fort is that it has no separate exit gate, and the main entryway serves as both the entrance and the exit. This tactical design would confuse enemy soldiers, pushing them deeper into the fort while they looked for an exit.
There are many other interesting ancient remnants present on the Daulatabad Fort. At the entrance, there are several cannons and one of them is a 6m cannon, cast from five different metals and engraved with Aurangzeb’s name. Other noteworthy cannons at the fort include the Durga Tope, Kala Pahad Cannon, and the Mendha Cannon (Ram Tope). Mendha Tope is the largest piece of artillery present at Daulatabad Fort and the second largest canon in India made of special alloy.
Further up the fort is a bat-infested cave tunnel, a rock-cut ditch, a royal bath and a huge water tank known as the Hathi Haud or Elephant Tank. Within the fort compound are several prominent structures, including royal palaces, the 14th-century Jami Masjid and the Bharat Mata Temple. The fort also has an open courtyard museum which displays remains of Hindu and Buddhist rock-carved sculptures similar to those found at Ajanta and Ellora.
- Carry your own snacks and sufficient water as there are very few food stalls near the fort.
- There aren’t many hotels in Daulatabad city. However, you will find several great hotels, resorts and restaurants in the neighbouring city of Aurangabad, which is 17 km away from Daulatabad Fort.
- Mode of Transport : Best way to reach Daulatabad Fort is by car or by Maharashtra State Transport buses that drop you at Aurangabad.
Things to do
- Enjoy an exciting getaway with family and friends, exploring the might Daulatabad Fort, one of the strongest forts in India.
- Along the way, explore the numerous ancient structures and beautiful relics that give you a glimpse into India’s diverse history.
- Marvel at the breathtaking view of the entire picturesque Devgiri region from the summit of Daulatabad Fort.