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Daulatabad also called Deogiri or Devagiri, is a magnificent hill-fortress about 13 kms. North-west of Aurangabad . It stands on a conical rock, crowning a hill that dominates the plain from a height of some 600 ft. The outer wall, (2.75 miles in circumference), once enclosed the ancient city of Deogiri and the only access to the summit was by a narrow bridge, with passage for not more than two people abreast.

Deogiri was the prime fortress of many successive dynasties that's ruled the Deccan. Little wonder then, the fort is famous for its series of trick defenses and secret escape routes. Beside the fortifications, Daulatabad cointains several notable moments, of which the chief are Jami Masjid (now the Bharatmata Mandir), Elephant Tank, Chand Minar and Chini Mahal or China Palace.

Deogiri (Daulatabad) is said to have been founded in 1187 by Bhillama I, the prince who established the power of the Yadava dynasty in the west. And from then, stones have always been tinged with blood of defenders and marauders.

Daulatabad Fort

Muhammad bin Tughluq

After a series of rules, in the year 1339, Muhammad bin Tughluq, impressed by the fort's impregnability and magnificent strength, made it his capital. He changed its name to Daulatabad (Abode of Properity) and made arrangements for the transferring the population of Delhi.

However, his grand ambition was interrupted by troubles which summoned him to the north and Daulatabad itself fell into the hands of Zafar Khan, the governor of Gulbarga. After a spate of rulers, that included Mughal Emperor Akhbar, Shah Jehan and Malik Amber (the founder of Ahmednagar) it finally passed onto the first Nizam of Hyderabad.

Today, as you step inside the walls with enviable ease and go through the various fortifications and defense barriers, you raise your hands I a silent salute to the brave soldiers who gave up their lives, either attacking or defending the fort.

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