Daulatabad, Maharashtra

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The Devagiri-Daulatabad fort with a tunnel entrance, cannon post, and narrow access bridge
The Devagiri-Daulatabad fort with a tunnel entrance, cannon post, and narrow access bridge
Daulatabad is located in Maharashtra
Location of Daulatabad (Devagiri) in Maharashtra
Coordinates: 19°56′34″N 75°12′47″E / 19.942724°N 75.213164°E / 19.942724; 75.213164Coordinates: 19°56′34″N 75°12′47″E / 19.942724°N 75.213164°E / 19.942724; 75.213164
Country India
State Maharashtra
Region Marathwada
District Aurangabad
Demonym Daulatabadi, Devagirikar
 • Official Marathi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 431002
Vehicle registration MH-

Daulatabad also known as Devagiri is a town which includes the Devagiri-Daulatabad fort[1][2][3] It carries the distinction of remaining undefeated in battle. It is a 14th-century fort city in Maharashtra state of India, about 16 kilometers northwest of Aurangabad. The place was originally named Devagiri [4][5] when it was an important uplands city along caravan routes (ca. sixth century AD), but the intervening centuries have reduced it to a village. However it is also considered to be one of the seven wonders of Maharashtra and a developing tourist spot.[6][7][8][9]

Starting 1327, it famously remained the capital of Tughlaq dynasty, under Muhammad bin Tughluq (r. 1325-1351), who also changed its name, and forcibily moved the entire population of Delhi for two years before it was abandoned for lack of water and Tughluq was constantly known to shift the capital from Delhi to Devagiri and Devagiri to Delhi.[10]

There is a belief that Devagiri was built in 1203 AD by a Dhangar or herdsman who acquired vast wealth by his good fortune. He had a brother who was a shepherd named 'Raja Ram' and in correlation with it he assumed the rank of a Raja (King).[11]

Mythological origin[edit]

Lord Shiva is believed to have been stayed on the hills surrounding this region. Hence the fort was originally known as Devagiri literally (Hills of Gods).[12][13]

Fort of Daulatabad[edit]

The area of the city includes the hill-fortress of Devagiri (Marathi) (sometimes Latinised to Deogiri). It stands on a conical hill, about 200 meters high. Much of the lower slopes of the hill has been cut away by Yadava dynasty rulers to leave 50 meter vertical sides to improve defenses. The fort is a place of extraordinary strength. The only means of access to the summit is by a narrow bridge, with passage for not more than two people abreast, and a long gallery, excavated in the rock, which has for the most part a very gradual upward slope.[14]

About midway along this gallery, the access gallery has steep stairs, the top of which is covered by a grating destined in time of war to form the hearth of a huge fire kept burning by the garrison above.[15] At the summit, and at intervals on the slope, are specimens of massive old cannon facing out over the surrounding countryside. Also at the mid way, there is a cave entrance meant to confuse the enemies.[16]

The City[edit]

Devagiri (190 57’ N; 750 15’ E) is located at a distance of 15 km northwest of Aurangabad, the district headquarters and midway to Ellora group of caves.[17] The original widespread capital city is now mostly unoccupied and has been reduced to a village. Much of its survival depends on the tourists to the old city and the adjacent fort.


The site had been occupied since at least 100 BCE, and now has remains of Buddhist temples similar to those at Ajanta and Ellora.

Devagiri-Daulatabad Fort -- Devagiri (Deogiri).
The Mughal Army captures Devagiri.

The city is said to have been founded c. 1187 by Bhillama V, a prince who renounced his allegiance to the Chalukyas and established the power of the Yadava dynasty in the west.[18]

Capture of Devagiri Fort in 1633

Daulatabad or ‘the abode of wealth’ was the name given by Muhammad-bin-Tughluq when he made his capital here in A.D. 1327. The original name being Devagiri meaning ‘Hill of Gods’ under the Yadavas of Deogiri. The Yadavas were initially ruling under the Chalukyas of Kalyani over region of modern Dhulia and Nasik districts with their capital at Chandradityapura (modern Chandor / Chandwad), Nashik district. Bhillama V who was one of the powerful Yadava rulers led victorious campaigns against the Hoysalas, Paramaras and Chalukyas founded the city of Deogiri and shifted his capital here. Since then the succeeding Yadava rulers held their capital here. During the rule of Ramachandradeva, son of Krishna, Ala-ud-din Khilji invaded and captured Deogiri through deceit in A.D. 1296.[19] However, Ramachandradeva was allowed to rule from here as a vassal. Later, Malik Kafur led two campaigns against Ramachandradeva and his son Shankardeva in A.D. 1306-07 and 1312 respectively; Shankardeva was killed during the latter campaign. Harapaladeva was placed on the throne by Malik Kafur who later ascertained his independence. This led to another successful campaign against Deogiri by Qutb-ud-din Mubarak Shah Khilji and the fort was annexed to the Delhi Sultanate. Muhammad-bin-Tughluq succeeded the Khiljis at Delhi and he renamed Devagiri as Daulatabad and seeing its impregnable fort, shifted the capital from Delhi in A.D. 1328. This led to serious repercussions and he had to again transfer the capital back to Delhi. The region and the fort passed on into the hands of Bahamani rulers under Hasan Gangoo in A.D. 1347 and Nizam Shahis of Ahmednagar in A.D. 1499. Devagiri became the capital of Nizam Shah dynasty in 1607 A.D. Deccan witnessed turbulent periods due to the frequent invasions and infights between the local ruling families during this period. The Mughals led several campaigns during the rule of Akbar and Shah Jahan and only during the latter’s period the area was fully captured in 1633 A.D. after a long siege of four months. Thus the Mughals seized power and Aurangazeb was placed as the Viceroy of Deccan who led his campaigns to Bijapur and Golconda from Devagiri. The rising power of Marathas troubled the mahashahraj ormughals and for a brief period the region passed under the control of Marathas. Thus the Devagiri fort passed several hands, captured and re-captured, by the Mughals, the Marathas, the Peshwas, and finally placed under the control of the Nizams of Hyderabad in 1724 A.D. which was under their control till independence.


The outer wall, 2.75 miles (4.43 km) in circumference, once enclosed the ancient city of Devagiri and between this and the base of the upper fort are three lines of defences.

Along with the fortifications, Devagiri contains several notable monuments, of which the chief are the Chand Minar and the Chini Mahal.[20] The Chand Minar is a tower 210 ft (64 m). high and 70 ft (21 m). in circumference at the base, and was originally covered with beautiful Persian glazed tiles. It was erected in 1445 by Ala-ud-din Bahmani to commemorate his capture of the fort. The Chini Mahal (literally: China Palace), is the ruin of a building once of great beauty. In it Abul Hasan Tana Shah, the last of the Qutb Shahi kings of Golconda, was imprisoned by Aurangzeb in 1687.[18]


Road Transport[edit]

Devagiri is in the outskirts of Aurangabad, and is on the Aurangabad - Ellora road (National Highway 2003). Aurangabad is well connected by road and 20 km away from Devagiri.[21]

Rail Transport[edit]

Daulatabad railway station is located on the Manmad-Purna section of Central Railways[22] and also on the Kachiguda-Manmad section of the Nanded Division of South Central Railway. Until reorganisation in 2012 ,it was a part of the Hyderabad Division Aurangabad is a major station near to Devagiri. The Devagiri Express regularly operates between Mumbai and Secunderabad via Aurangabad, Maharashtra


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Devagiri-Daulatabad Fort". Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (in English) (Maharashtra, India). Retrieved May 2015. 
  2. ^ "मध्यकालीन भारत में सबसे ताकतवर था दौलताबाद किला" [Madhyakālīn Bhārat Mēṁ Sabsē Tākatavar Thā Daulatābād Kilā]. Aaj Tak (in Hindi) (India). August 2012. Retrieved May 2015. 
  3. ^ "देवगिरी – दौलताबाद" [Dēvagirī - Daulatābād]. www.majhapaper.com (in Marathi). Maharashtra. September 2012. Retrieved May 2015. 
  4. ^ "Daulatabad Fort". 
  5. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 174. 
  6. ^ "ऑक्टोबरपासून हॉट बलून सफारी" [Octoberpāsūn Hot Balloon Safari]. Maharashtra Times (in Marathi) (Khultabad). 25 May 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  7. ^ Neha Madaan (March 2015). "Virtual walks through tourist spots may be a reality". The Times of India (Pune). Retrieved May 2015. 
  8. ^ "રાજ્યના 'સેવન વંડર્સ’માં અજંતા, સીએસટી, દૌલતાબાદ, લોનાર" [Rājyanā 'Seven Wonders'māṁ Ajantā, Sī'ēsaṭī, Daulatābād, Lōnār]. Divya Bhaskar (in Gujarati) (India). November 2013. Retrieved May 2015. 
  9. ^ "स्वरध्यास फाउंडेशनच्या कलावंतांनी स्वच्छ केला दौलताबाद किल्ला" [Svaradhyās Foundationcyā Kalāvantānnī Svacch Kēlā Daulatābād Killā]. Divya Marathi (Aurangabad). 18 November 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  10. ^ Raj Goswami (May 2015). "UID યુનિક ઈન્ડિયન ડોન્કી!" [UID Unique Indian Donkey]. Mumbai Samachar (in Gujarati) (India). Retrieved May 2015. 
  11. ^ The Asiatic journal and monthly register for British and foreign India, pg 355. Published in 1827.
  12. ^ Vidya Shrinivas Dhoot (February 2012). "देवगिरी किल्ल्याच्या बुरुजावरून.." [Dēvagirī Killyācyā Burujāvarūn..]. Divya Marathi (in Marathi) (Aurangabad, Maharashtra). Retrieved May 2015. 
  13. ^ Dayanand Pingale (February 2014). "अद्भुत देवगिरी" [Adbhut Dēvagirī]. Prahaar (in Marathi) (Aurangabad, Maharashtra). Retrieved May 2015. 
  14. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 176. 
  15. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Daulatabad". Encyclopædia Britannica 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  16. ^ "दौलतीचे शहर दौलताबाद" [Daulatīcē śahar Daulatābād]. Maharashtra Times (in Marathi) (Maharashtra). December 2007. Retrieved May 2015. 
  17. ^ "Ticketed Monuments - Maharashtra Daulatabad Fort". Archaeological Survey of India (in English). Retrieved May 2015. 
  18. ^ a b Qureshi, Dulari (2004). Fort of Daulatabad. New Delhi: Bharatiya Kala Prakashan. ISBN 81-8090-072-X. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  19. ^ "THE KAIPULLAI'S VETTI THOUGHTS : THE OUTER PLAYGROUND OF MY INNER DEVIL". 12 September 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  20. ^ http://www.prabhasakshi.com/ShowArticle.aspx?ArticleId=120522-111547-290010
  21. ^ "Devgiri-Daultabad Fort". www.aurangabadcity.com (in English). Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Retrieved May 2015. 
  22. ^ Hārd Samā. "ઐતિહાસિક સ્થળો" [Aitihāsik Sthaḷō]. www.gujaratcentre.com (in Gujarati). India. Retrieved May 2015. 

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