Agra is everything that India promises to be from historic architectural sites to glorious palaces…
Gajendragad, a small town in the state of Karnataka, is well known for its considerable historical significance and religious inclination. The place proudly upholds the significantly popular Gajendragad Fort. The word “Gajendra” in colloquial language is called elephant and the gad is known as a fort. Well, you must be wondering what is the origin behind this name. From a bird’s view, the city of Gajendragad looks like the body of an elephant. The locals most commonly call the fort as Gada.
History says that the great Tipu Sultan signed the treaty of Gajendragad with the Nizam and the Marathas during the second Mysore war. The year dates back to the late 1786 – 1787. The fort had then shifted under the control of the Marathas. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the brave Maratha king, renovated the Gajendragad fort during the rule.
The Journey towards the Fort
The Fort is located at a hilltop amongst the lush greenery. The view of the fort on the slanting slopes enlivens the ancient history when the forts used to guard the city against its enemies. The fort seems to portray its undaunting nature in protecting the people with valour and courage.
The climb towards the approaching fort walls is exciting. Climbing steps have been carved out on the hill slopes. You can easily use them to reach the fort. The gigantic walls of the fort will greet you with its old and ancient architectural beauty. For the security of its residents, the fort entrance is hidden and cannot be viewed as you advance towards the fort. It is an example of the intellectual power of the people of ancient times, on how they had skillfully handled the security aspects.
The fort entrance contains some simple and elegant sculptures on the huge gates. There are steps inside the fort to climb up and venture out into the different parts of the fort. A few places on the walls, you will come across scriptures written in the Marathi language. There is an old tank inside the fort. It has been carved out from the rocks. It is said that the tank had been used earlier to store rain water. The soldiers used the rain water during the war or while standing in guard at the fort. A structure of an elephant head is built on the tank walls. Some locals believe that the Gajendragad fort was strong enough to be compared with the might of an elephant.
The walls of the fort stretch for long distances. It is amazing to watch the vastness of the fort. The fort has been constructed with huge and heavy stones to make it strong and sturdy. The expertise by which the stones were carved to build the fort is praiseworthy and remarkable.
There are several ruins inside the fort. One of them resembles a fort, which may be a further secluded and secret area within the fort. Some locals say that the commanding officer of the king’s army resided inside it. Near the fort, there is another water tank carved out of stone.
The beauty around the Fort
Though many portions of the fort are in ruins, the grandeur of the fort is still intact and visible. You can walk around the fort to witness the big windmills in the fields. The tranquility and serenity of the place refresh the mind and heart. The fort is a perfect weekend destination for people with special inclination towards history. It is wonderful to traverse through the fort and observe the architectural sculptures on the doors and the walls.
Due to its unique location, the place had been famous in hosting several film shoots. Many directors and producers of Kannada films and Bollywood movies have selected the place for shooting certain film scenes.
The grandness of the fort is a witness to the ancient Indian history. The rulers of the Chalukya and Rashtrakuta dynasties intelligently planned the fort to be secure and strong enough to forbid enemies from attacking the city. The fort can be compared to the mighty Himalayas guarding our nation with pride.
The fort requires preservation effort from the Government of India. There are many ruins of the past scattered in many places around the fort. A place with such magnum would require adequate care and attention else such a historical fort may completely turn into ruins out of neglect and ignorance.
Gajendragad Fort is evidence of the Indian historical heritage and the magnificence of the Indian craftsmen and designers. Hence it is essential to respect tradition and culture. Proper steps must be adopted by the Government in renovating the fort and ensure its longevity. It is a sense of pride for every citizen to uplift the spirit of India’s history and culture and attract tourists from all over the world.