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Daulatabad Fort


What :

Once known as “Deviri,” this magnificent 12th century fortress dominates a hilltop just a few miles from Aurangabad. It was given the name Daulatabad, “City of Fortune,” by Muhammad Tughluq, Sultan of Delhi, in the 14th century.

The Turkic sultan so favored the fortress city that he forced the entire population of Delhi to march some 500 miles to Daulatabad when he shifted his capital there in 1327. Within two years, the sultan was forced to abandon the fortress due to a lack of water, and shift his court back to Delhi.

Heralded as one of the best preserved medieval forts in India, Daulatabad is ringed by three concentric lines of defensive walls spanning a little more than two miles around the hilltop. The moat, sheer walls, and maze-like subterranean passages were all cut directly into the hill’s rock bed.

To assault the fort, attackers had to breech the first wall of defenses, and then push through a series of narrow walkways with uneven steps to the second wall. The moat, 40-feet deep and supposedly filled with crocodiles, then had to be traversed and the second gate breached. Once through the second wall, attackers were faced with a maze-like series of dark tunnels where twisting passages would dump charging warriors back into their own lines, resulting in injury and death. The passage outlet was further protected by a hearth-like grating where the defenders would keep a roaring fire burning to impede attackers.

While these staggering defenses gave Daulatabad Fort a reputation for being impregnable, it actually changed hands numerous times between the 12th and 17th centuries. The Chand Minar, similar to Delhi’s Qutab Minar, and the Chini Mahal are two of the structures left inside the fortress compound by Muslim conquerors to commemorate their victories over previous owners.

When :

Daulatabad Fort sits atop a lush, green hill that’s gorgeous between July and September when the seasonal rains come through the area. The weather is nicest between October and March, and the temperatures are highest between April and June.

Where :

Daulatabad Fort is about a half-hour drive from Aurangabad in West Indian state of Maharashtra. It’s best reached by private vehicle while on one of our luxury tours of India.

Who :

The sprawling fortress is a masterwork of medieval Indian engineering that should not be missed while sightseeing in Maharashtra.

Appropriate Attire :

Dress for warm weather and wear a stout pair of shoes as the steps and pathways inside the fort were purposely designed to be difficult to navigate.

Guest Reviews :

  Maria Gonda-Terrazas and Alexander Terrazas
February-March 2014
Chandni, we are back safely and had a great time and will definitely travel with your company again. I wanted to take the time to write to you to let you know what a superb experience we had at the Marwah’s home. They were very warm and welcoming, so eager to teach us about Indian cooking and customs. We have done home visits in many countries and this one was by far thefinest experience.

  Barbara Boom and Joe Schwartz
February 2014
The guides were great and each was better than the previous.  Special notice to Anu- our guide in Khajuraho- he was brilliant and we learned so much from our brief encounter with him.  I would travel anywhere in India with him as our guide.  Dada- our guide in Varanasi- was also excellent and made the Hindu rituals understandable.  With the tutelage of these two guides, we have both become fascinated by and interested in the roots of culture and religion that we were exposed to by them.
And the hotels were marvelous.  The upgrade to the Nadesar Palace was worth the cost.  It is a one of a kind experience.  The level of service and tranquility will always be a standard that others may try to live up to. The Imperial was a bit overwhelming on first encounter, but by the time we returned at the end of our journey it felt like we were coming home.  Victor helped arrange an upgrade to a suite on our second stay! 
We were quite pleased with the Oberoi, and the Rambagh as well.  Had it been sunnier, the views of the Taj would have been breathtaking in Agra.  Even so, our view of the gardens were lovely.
The drivers were awesome!  Though they were not so fluent, they made every effort to be attentive and helpful on the long road trips.  We cannot comprehend how they managed in the city traffic.
The trip to Bandhavgarh was another place entirely.  We were most fortunate to see tigers on all 5 of our safaris.  We understand that this is unusual. The guides really knew the jungle and it was impressive to see how they could track the tigers. 
Overall I think we got a good feel for the culture and the way of life in India and would hope to return.  The guides and Easytoursstaff were always there for us from the moment we stepped out of the airport.  The itinerary was well constructed.  We would definitely consult you for our return visit.