Daultabad Fort Description:
Once known as “Deviri,” this magnificent 12th century fortress dominates a hilltop just a few miles from Aurangabad. It was given the name Daulatabad, “City of Fortune,” by Muhammad Tughluq, Sultan of Delhi, in the 14th century.
The Turkic sultan so favored the fortress city that he forced the entire population of Delhi to march some 500 miles to Daulatabad when he shifted his capital there in 1327. Within two years, the sultan was forced to abandon the fortress due to a lack of water, and shift his court back to Delhi.
Heralded as one of the best preserved medieval forts in India, Daulatabad is ringed by three concentric lines of defensive walls spanning a little more than two miles around the hilltop. The moat, sheer walls, and maze-like subterranean passages were all cut directly into the hill’s rock bed.
To assault the fort, attackers had to breech the first wall of defenses, and then push through a series of narrow walkways with uneven steps to the second wall. The moat, 40-feet deep and supposedly filled with crocodiles, then had to be traversed and the second gate breached. Once through the second wall, attackers were faced with a maze-like series of dark tunnels where twisting passages would dump charging warriors back into their own lines, resulting in injury and death. The passage outlet was further protected by a hearth-like grating where the defenders would keep a roaring fire burning to impede attackers.
While these staggering defenses gave Daulatabad Fort a reputation for being impregnable, it actually changed hands numerous times between the 12th and 17th centuries. The Chand Minar, similar to Delhi’s Qutab Minar, and the Chini Mahal are two of the structures left inside the fortress compound by Muslim conquerors to commemorate their victories over previous owners.
Best Time to Visit Daultabad Fort:
Daulatabad Fort sits atop a lush, green hill that’s gorgeous between July and September when the seasonal rains come through the area. The weather is nicest between October and March, and the temperatures are highest between April and June.
How to get to Daultabad Fort:
Daultabad Fort Highlights:
The sprawling fortress is a masterwork of medieval Indian engineering that should not be missed while sightseeing in Maharashtra.
Dress for warm weather and wear a stout pair of shoes as the steps and pathways inside the fort were purposely designed to be difficult to navigate.