Naldurg Fort

By Sanjeev Nayyar [email protected] | 2014

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Naldurg Fort is about 1 hours drive from Solapur. We took a night train from Mumbai to reach Solapur by 6 am. Post breakfast we headed to the fort. It is one of the most important and few ground forts in Maharashtra. The fort is said to have been originally built in the reign of Chalyunkan Kings of Kalyani.

The fort has a moat, its fortified walls had 114 bastions. It is these bastions that the fort is well known for. Unfortunately the fort is not well maintained, there is no Guide to tell you about fort history or even a formal walking path that shows u key things enroute. Entrance to fort. Main entrance to fort is called Hulmukh Darwaza.

This is structure that you see on entering fort. There is a huge wooden door. There is a huge open area that you see on entering fort. We turned right and then walked around the fort. "The bastions of Naldurg are special in shape; we can see variety of shapes such as Hexagonal, Pentagonal, Quadrilateral, and Semicircular or even in shape of petals of a flower. Another fort named as ‘RanMandal’ was constructed at the back side of the moat, to safeguard Naldurg. The course of river Bori was diverted around the fort to create a moat for protection."

Cannons at entrance. Structure that you see in front was used to store grains. Elephants brought grains in which were offloaded and stored here. U also get a very good view of fort from here. "There are two tanks in the fort known as machali guns amongst which important are the “hathi toph” and magar Toph”.

A view of the fort. Left of pic is a bastion. It is now in ruins must have been at higher level earlier.

Fort wall and bastion. "It is believed that the fort was built by Nalaraja (The King Nala). The fort and the city is named after him. The fort was built in the period of the Chalukya kings of Kalyani. Later, from 1351 to 1480, in the period of the [Bahamani] kings. In 1558, the Adil Shahi rulers, after the downfall of Adil Shahi Kingdom, Naldurg passed into the hands of Moghalain the year 1686. A.D." To read more Click here

There are 2 levels of fortifications. One is what you see in this pic and another in the next. Walk through the entrance and u enter open area from where attacks on enemy took place.

Right of pic is fortification one that you saw in previous pic. Second fortification is what you see in centre . Left where u see children playing cricket is where a moat existed (means filled with water to prevent enemy from entering fort).

External wall had these windows, two of which you from where soldiers would attack the enemy.

Earlier fortification was on fort entrance side. We walked ahead. U seen fort wall, below which green area was a moat which also had a boundary wall. Those who have seen the movie Bahubali would understand the concept of moat or see pic no 9 in Junagarh Fort Bikaner Click here

Walking ahead you see fort wall and bastions.

On fort wall had these holes through which wooden sticks with fire were thrown at the enemy when they had crossed the moat and were trying to climb up the fort. Top of pic is area where moat was and moat wall at end of pic.

From atop a bastion gives you view of one side of fort. Bottom centre of pic was a water tank. Water Harvesting is something ie seen in all Indian forts. Read Traditional Forms of Water Harvesting Click here

We now turn left, right of pic u can see fort wall, stone structure in centre of pic is the highest bastion which you shall see later, water body and Pani Mahal is on left of pic.

On the way to biggest bastion is this structure where the King met other nobles and people. From its location and sensing the lovely breeze one got there I think it was probably a rest room or smaller palace.

Water body, right side is Pani Mahal. It is a check dam. When it rains heavily and water overflows is very scenic. Note fort wall on either side. To see video of water overflowing Click here

Side view of water body with fort wall. Fort fortified in many ways. To see pics of Raigarh Fort Click here

This is the highest bastion, look at the steps. It is called upli Buruj. There are 2 canons there, missed going but u can see in wikipedia link above. To see pics of Chittorgarh Fort Click here

Side view of dam in centre, Pani Mahal on right of pic and fort wall. All along the water body was a fort wall to prevent the enemy from entering the fort. To see pics of Kumbalgarh Fort Click here

Exit point from check dam to out of Pani Mahal from where u enter the main fort. Though restored exit wall looked nice hence sharing. To see pics of Gwalior Fort Click here