Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The great fort lies at the heart of the city. The highway in from the town of Humnabad passes right by DSC03724the fort. It looks strong, though desolate. There is ample evidence of the fact that Gulbarga was born in strife and continued to endure strife. Originally built by one Raja Gulchand and later fortified by Allauddin Bahmani it has archways which serve as entrances. Though a protected monument, the fort looks chaotic and dilapidated but vast occupying an area of 74 acres and a circumference of 3 kilometers.

It consists of two levels of fortifications, the outer wall which is of a lesser height and a inner wall of considerable height. There is a 30 feet deep moat DSC03719between these two walls all around the fort. The fort carries tene (or Kanguras) at regular intervals and has 15 bastions and 26 guns. It is said that these bastions once had revolving cannons mounted on top. They are removed now and placed in museums. The principal gateways on the eastern and western sides consists of pointed, arched with openings flanked by bastions, approached by bridges across the moat. There is a continuous parapet of merlons, raised over the gateways, provided with narrow openings in them, through with muskets were fired.

DSC03727As I enter the fort through the entrance, all I see are ruins and a couple of intact buildings. I did not understand why this fort has been left like this without any maintenance. Most of the ruined structures are covered with plants and are very dangerous for the fear of snakes. There are some doorways which lead to the moat or to escape when in danger. The plunder of the Vijayanagar rulers is visible all around. The walls of the fort are broken in places but they still reflect the formidable statDSC03763ure of their past.

Here we need to talk about the cannons. Their view itself would create terror in the enemy’s heart. The most formidable of these ones which is on the top of a citadel called Bala Hisar situated right in the middle of the fort. The citadel is hewn out of black stone and has semi-circular turrets on the sides and corners. It is quite astonishing to imagine the cannon being rotate a cannon which could weigh more than 2 tons. There is another citadel which is again near to DSC03783the Bala Hisar which has 4 smaller cannons on it. It must have been a very important structure considering its construction. There are a fleet of steps on two sides but the main side is good looking. It has arched entrances, parts of which are broken after the plunder.There are various smaller enclosures on the sides as we climb to the top. These probably were used to store the ammunition. From the top, they could cover all the sides of the fort with the cannons.

DSC03795Apart from this, there are not much important structures inside the fort. Considering the fact that the Bahmani capital moved to Bidar after the initial years, this pitiable condition is quite understandable. Even the palace where the kings resided is nowhere to be seen. It must be part of the pile of rubble that is found all around inside. The most beautiful and important of all the monuments inside the fort is the Jama Masjid. We will talk about this in our next post.


Arun said...

Wonderful captures...I have visited this fort when I was in Gulbarga for 4 years.. I didn't have a camera that time to take such wonderful pics..

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