Asirgarh Fort

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Asirgarh Qila
असीरगढ़ किला
Part of Madhya Pradesh,  India
Burhanpur
Asirgarh fort -Asirgarh-Burhanpur-(Madhya Pradesh, India).JPG
Asirgarh Fort in 2013
Asirgarh Qila is located in Madhya Pradesh
Asirgarh Qila
Asirgarh Qila
Coordinates 21°28′N 76°17′E / 21.47°N 76.29°E / 21.47; 76.29
Site information
Owner Government of India
Open to
the public
yes
Condition dilapidated
Site history
Built by Ahir, Hindus,Muslim Emperor
Materials Stone, Lime-stone and Lead
Garrison information
Occupants Ahirs->Faruqi dynasty->Mughal->Maratha->Holkars->Shinde->British

Asirgarh Fort is an Indian fortress (qila) situated in the Satpura Range about 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of the city of Burhanpur, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Because the fortress commands a pass through the Satpuras connecting the valleys of the Narmada and Tapti rivers, one of the most important routes from northern India to the Deccan, it was known as the "key to the Deccan". During the Mughal Era, it was considered that the Deccan started here while the empire from Asirgarh to Delhi was considered Hindustan. The fort was built by Asa Ahir of the Ahir dynasty.[1]

History[edit]

Miran Bahadur Khan (1596–1600), successor of Raja Ali Khan, declared his independence and refused to pay homage to Akbar and his son Prince Daniyal. Akbar marched towards Burhanpur in 1599 and occupied the city. Akbar then besieged Asirgarh Fort, "one of the strongest fortresses in the world", finally taking it on 17 Jan. 1601.[2]

During the Second Anglo-Maratha War, on 18 October 1803, British forces took the pettah of Asigarh with a loss of two killed and five wounded. The fort's garrison subsequently surrendered on the 21st after the attackers had erected a battery.[3]

In Major General Wellesley's General Order of 5 January 1804, he writes:

"Major-General Wellesley is very desirous of having some dogs which were found in Asirgarh and also some fowling pieces taken there; and he will be much obliged to any gentleman who may be in possession of those dogs or fowling pieces, if they will send them in to him. The full value shall be returned."[4]

Architecture[edit]

The architecture of the fort was influenced by the Mughals, an amalgamation of Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian styles. There are three man made ponds to provide a water supply.

There is a temple known as Gupteshwar Mahadev Mandir, dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. There is a local legend that Ashwatthama, a character in the Indian epic Mahābhārata, used to come to this temple to worship and offer flowers each morning to Lord Shiva.

There is a ruined mosque with minarets known as Asir Masjid inside the Fort. Apart from the Hindu and Muslim architecture, some ruins are of British origin and there are also British graves. This fort has been deserted following the departure of the British.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Census of India. India Census Commissioner. 
  2. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 164. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4. 
  3. ^ Reginald George Burton (1908). Wellington's Campaigns in India. Calcutta : Superintendent Govt. Print., India. p. 67-68. ISBN 978-0-9796174-6-1. 
  4. ^ Reginald George Burton (1908). Wellington's Campaigns in India. Calcutta : Superintendent Govt. Print., India. p. 67-68. ISBN 978-0-9796174-6-1. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 21°28′16″N 76°17′37″E / 21.4710°N 76.2937°E / 21.4710; 76.2937