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 असीरगढ़ किला is located in Madhya Pradesh
Asirgarh Qila असीरगढ़ किला
Asirgarh Qila
असीरगढ़ किला
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 Qila is an Indian fortress (qila) situated in the Satpura Range (Satpula in marathi and Saputara in hindi), about 20 km north of the city of Burhanpur, in Burhanpur District of Madhya Pradesh state. 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 Mughal Era, it was considered that Deccan starts from here: the empire from Asirgarh to Delhi was considered as Hindustan. The fort was built by Asa Ahir of the Ahir dynasty.[1]

History[edit]

Asirgad
Map of 1917
Asirgarh Fort in 1856

The ancient inscriptions in the Pali Buddhist character have been discovered in various parts of Rajasthan of the race of Taxak or Tak, Taka, Dhaka relating to the tribe Mori and Parmara are their descendants. Taxak Mori was the lord of Chittor from very early period.[citation needed]

The Huna Kingdom of Sialkot (of Mihir Kula 515–540 AD), destroyed by Yashodharman, was subsequently seized by a new dynasty of kshatriyas called Tak. The Taxak Mori as being lords of Chittor from very early period and few generations after the Guhilots supplanted the Moris, this palladium of Hindu liberty was assailed by the arms of Islam. (725-35) we find amongst the numerous defenders who appear to have considered the cause of Chittor their own Tak from Asirgarh. This race appears to have retained possession of Asirgarh for at least two centuries after this event as its chieftain was one of the most conspicuous leaders in the array of Prithvi Raj. In the poems of Chandar he is called the "Standard, bearer, Tak of Asir."

In 1536, the Mughal Emperor Humayun, after his conquest of Gujarat, had visited Burhanpur and Asirgarh, travelling via Baroda, Broach (Bharuch) and Surat. Raja Ali Khan (1576–1596), also known as Adil Shah, was asked to submit to Akbar, when the latter had sent an expedition to Khandesh, in the summer of 1577 A.D. The former, to avoid an unequal contest with Akbar, dropped his royal title of "Shah" and pledged suzerainty to Akbar. This was a significant achievement of the Mughals, for Khandesh was used as a base for the future conquest of the Deccan. Raja Ali Khan constructed many buildings: Jama Masjid in the upper portion of the fort of Asir in 1588, Jama Masjid at Burhanpur in 1590, Idgah at Asir, mausoleums and serai at Burhanpur, and serai and a mosque at Zainabad.

Bahadur Khan (1596–1600), successor of Raja Ali Khan, declared his independence and refused to pay homage to Akbar and his son Prince Daniyal, which enraged Akbar, who marched towards Burhanpur in 1599 and occupied the city on 8 April 1600 without opposition. Akbar visited Asirgarh to inspect it personally, staying for four days before returning to his headquarters at Burhanpur. it is also believed by some historians that Mumtaj Mahal, wife of Khurram later crowned as Shahjahan died in this fort while undergoing the delivery of her 14th issue. Late her body was shifted Agra to be buried in a monument called Taj Mahal. Khurram while being sent by his father Salim (Jahangeer) on expedition to Khandesh <Empire of the Moghul The Tainted Throne by Alex Rutherford, 2012> to defeat Malik Ambar kept this as his headquarter.

Architecture[edit]

The architecture of this fort is influenced with Mughal architecture, which is an amalgamation of Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian architecture. There are three man made ponds to fulfill water requirements.

There is a temple known as Gupteshwar Mahadev Mandir, dedicated to Hindu deity Lord Shiva. It is a local saying that Ashwatthama, a character of the Indian epic Mahābhārata who is still alive, use to come in this temple to worship and offer flowers each morning to Lord Shiva. But there is no proper evidence for the same.

There is a ruined mosque with minarets named as Asir Masjid inside the Fort. Apart from all these Hindu and Muslim architectures, some ruins are of Britisher made buildings and their graves. This fort is lying vacated with the departure of Britishers, who were the last occupants of this Fort.

Asirgarh Fort, built by King Asa Ahir in Madhya Pradesh

References[edit]

  1. ^ Census of India. India Census Commissioner. 

External links[edit]