11 Lesser Known Forts In India That Have Fascinating Histories
Forts have played an important role in the medieval history of India and
perhaps the world. Just like the medieval kings of Europe who based their
kingdoms around highly secure castles, forts built by chieftains, clans and
rulers served as a defense mechanism against invaders. Many of these forts
fortified households and entities that owed allegiance to the ruler, so it was
almost like a small city of its own. The Archaeological Survey Of India has
numerous forts listed as heritage monuments some which outdo the others. You may
not have heard of these medieval monuments before, but they have played an
equally important role in the functioning of what used to be their domain once
upon a time.
1. Ahilya Fort, Maheswar, Madhya Pradesh
Maheswar is located 91 km from the city of Indore on the northern bank of the
Narmada river. It was once the capital of the Malwa region which was ruled by
the Holkar Dynasty of the Maratha clan for 4000 years. Queen Ahilyabai Holkar
built the fort along the banks of the river Narmada due to her devotion to Shiva
as it was a product of his being. Even today you can see ghats leading down from
the fort where ceremonial rituals are performed.
The fort houses a temple complex fully devoted to Shiva with distinct Maratha
architecture. The queen is remembered for her excellent administrative abilities
and patronage towards cottage industries that flourish today. A room in the fort
houses her collection of idols of Shiva cast in gold and silver. The most
spectacular is the golden swing on which she would seat the idols. Ahilyabai's
court, where she would consult her generals, has been restored and gives an idea
of her life in those days.
Currently the Ahilya Fort is run as a heritage hotel which is still owned by the
descendants of the family. Richard Holkar, the son of the former Maharaja of
Indore, runs the 13 room hotel which offers unique views of Maheswar and the
Narmada river flowing alongside.
Dubai - An Architectural Delight
Dubai is a city-state in the United Arab Emirates, located within the emirate of the same name. The emirate of Dubai is located southeast of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and is one of the seven emirates that make up the country. Today, Dubai has emerged as a cosmopolitan metropolis that has grown steadily to become a global city and a business and cultural hub of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region.
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