A small town in Maharashtra, Devagiri is found approximately 20 kilometres from Aurangabad on the Aurangabad-Ellora Highway. It’s rich and vibrant past makes it an important heritage site for tourists to revel in the marvels of numerous dynasties that ruled here over the ages. In 14th century AD, This city was renovated and heavily fortified by Muhammad-bin-Tuglag, who was the emperor of India during that period. He led an exodus from Delhi to Devagiri, shifting the whole population and means of livelihood, thus establishing his new capitol which he preferred to call Daulatabad. In the present day, Daulatabad or Devagiri is visited by tourists by the thousands to bask in its marvellous infrastructure and sky scraping heights. It is preferable to go to during the winters between the months of October to March.
A highly fortified structure that is nothing short of an architectural wonder, the Daulatabad Fort has been called the Unbeatable Fort. It was built by the Yadava clan and situated on a conical hill 200 metres above the bottom level. Large pieces of Capitol Hill are cut away, making it nearly impossible to climb, except by one narrow path. Thus, this Fort has to be accessed only after braving major hazards, such as crossing a narrow bridge and climbing through the steep mountainside. Wartime relics such as a cave meant to confuse invaders, a hidden hearth, the remains of ancient cannons etc. can be found along the way. Interestingly, the remainder of the low-lying city of Devagiri was also highly fortified, surrounded by a wall and three lines of defences, which were meant to guard the Fort from invasion.
A short and pleasant drive from Daulatabad lays the famous Ajanta Caves. These are a collection of 30 manmade Buddhist caves, built by the Satavahana Dynasty in the 2nd century BCE and considered one of the marvels that India has contributed to the world of archaeology. These massive caves are covered with beautiful Buddhist carvings that have stood the test of your time, also as carvings from other scriptures like our beloved Jataka tales. In the teaching spirit of the Buddhist religion, the world is surrounded by small monasteries and lots of speculate that these caves were originally meant for teaching. Besides this, it’s also a natural beauty, with its lush green hills and therefore the river flowing below.
An old palace within the Fort, one is sure to pass the ruins of the Chini Mahal on their way to the main Fort. The Chini Fort (China Fort) is so named due to the china stone tiles that one finds here. Not only is that this Palace famous for its beautiful architecture inspired from Persian and Mughal styles but is additionally considered a formidable location since it won’t to be the royal prison. It is here that the last ruler of the Qtub Shahi dynasty of Golconda, Abul Hassan Tana Shah was captured and held by the ruthless Aurangzeb.
Located within the Daulatabad Fort, the Chand Minar is a 64 metre high and 21 metre wide pillar which used to be covered in Persian glazed tiles. It is said that Ala-Ud-Din-Bahmani built this Minar on the occasion of his capture of the Daulatabad Fort within the year 1445.