Asirgarh Fort

Asirgarh Fort is an Indian fortress (qila) situated in the Satpura Range about 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of the city of Burhanpur, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. 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 the Mughal Era, it was considered that the Deccan started here while the empire from Asirgarh to Delhi was considered Hindustan.

Asirgarh Fort
Part of Madhya Pradesh,  India
Burhanpur, Dist- Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh, India [1]
Asirgarh fort -Asirgarh-Burhanpur-(Madhya Pradesh, India).JPG
Asirgarh Fort in 2013
Asirgarh Fort is located in India
Asirgarh Fort
Asirgarh Fort
Coordinates21°28′N 76°17′E / 21.47°N 76.29°E / 21.47; 76.29
TypeHill fort
Site information
OwnerGovernment of India
Open to
the public
yes
Conditiondilapidated
Site history
Built byAsa Ahir, Yadav King
MaterialsStone, Limestone and Lead
Garrison information
OccupantsAhirs->Faruqi dynasty->Mughal->Maratha->Holkars->Shinde->British

HistoryEdit

 
Fort map and image of gold coins issued by Akbar when he captured it.

The Asirgarh fort is said to have been built by a king named Asa Ahir in the early 15th century. He was murdered by Nasir Khan of Khandesh.[2][3]

Nasir Khan's descendant Miran Bahadur Khan (1596–1600) declared his independence and refused to pay homage to the Mughal emperor Akbar and his son Daniyal. Akbar marched towards Burhanpur in 1599 and occupied the city. Akbar then besieged Asirgarh fort and captured it on 17 January 1601.[4]

During the Second Anglo-Maratha War, on 18 October 1803, Company forces took the pettah of Asigarh with a loss of two killed and five wounded. The fort's garrison subsequently surrendered on the 21st after the attackers had erected a battery.[5]

Toward the end of the Third Anglo-Maratha War in early 1819, most Maratha forts had been captured by the British, with the lone holdout being Asirgarh Fort, which was under the command of qiladar Jeswant Rao Lar. In March of that year, a massive British contingent laid siege to Asirgarh, capturing and occupying the town next to the fort to serve as a temporary base of operations. The 1,200-strong garrison was subject to constant artillery bombardments before the British launched an assault, which led to the fort's capture on 9 April. With the capture of Asirgarh Fort, the British victory in the conflict was complete and all military operations ceased.[6][7]

ArchitectureEdit

The architecture of the fort was influenced by the Mughals, an amalgamation of Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian styles. There are three man made ponds to provide a water supply.

There is a temple known as Gupteshwar Mahadev Mandir, dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. There is a local legend that Ashwatthama, a character in the Indian epic Mahābhārata, used to come to this temple to worship and offer flowers each morning to Lord Shiva.

There is a ruined mosque with minarets known as Asir Masjid inside the Fort. Apart from the Hindu and Muslim architecture, some ruins are of British origin and there are also British graves. This fort has been deserted following the departure of the British.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "District Burhanpur, Government of Madhya Pradesh | the Gateway to Southern India | India".
  2. ^ B H Mehta. Gonds of the Central Indian Highlands Vol II. Concept. p. 569.
  3. ^ Numismatic Digest. Numismatic Society of Bombay, Original from the University of Michigan. 2003. p. 141. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  4. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus. p. 164. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
  5. ^ Reginald George Burton (1908). Wellington's Campaigns in India. Calcutta : Superintendent Govt. Print., India. pp. 67–68. ISBN 978-0-9796174-6-1.
  6. ^ Cannon, Richard (1849). Historical Record of the 67th Foot. London: Parker, Furnivall & Parker.
  7. ^ Burton, R.G. (1910). The Mahratta And Pindari War. Simla: Government Press.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 21°28′16″N 76°17′37″E / 21.4710°N 76.2937°E / 21.4710; 76.2937