Ahmednagar Fort

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Ahmednagar Fort is situated on the Bhingar River near Ahmednagar. It was the headquarters of the Ahmednagar Sultanate. In 1803, it was taken over by the British during the Second Anglo-Maratha War. It was used as a prison during British Rule. Presently, the fort is under the administration of the Armored Corps of the Indian Army.

Major Features of Ahmednagar Fort

In 1803, the Ahmednagar Fort was round in appearance, with twenty-four bastions, one large gate, and three smaller sally ports. It was a glacier, no covered path; a moat, with stone on either side, about 18 feet (5.5 m) wide, surrounded by 9 feet (2.7 m) of water, which only reached 6 or 7 feet (2.1 m) of the top of the scarp; Long reeds grew all around. 

The berm was only one yard wide. 

The ramparts were of Black Haven stone; The Chunum had a brick parapet, and the two together were visible from the crest of the glaciers, which was as high as the pole of a field officer’s tent. 

The strongholds were all about 1 ⁄2 feet high. One of them held eight guns on the barbet, pointing east; Everyone else had zingy, four in each. In 1803, two guns appeared in each bastion, and it was said that 200 cavalries would be drawn into the fort.

Also Read:- Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur

A gunshot to the west of the fort was Ahmednagar’s PETA. The fort’s main gate faced the PETA and was defended by a small semi-circular function for men, with a small semicircle and several smaller towers. 

There was a wooden bridge over the canal, which could be pulled out in times of war, but it was not a drawbridge. It was reported that an iron trough, such as a bridge, could be placed on it or its supporters and filled with charcoal or other combustibles, which could be ignited as the enemy approached.

A small river came from the north side, rounded to the west side of Peta, and ran along the south side of the fort. In the middle of the fort, a rivulet passes from the north side, which comes to Bhingar, and towards the east, at gunpoint, drains into the river. 

A possible defensive weakness was a small hill or rising ground close to Bhingar and to the east, from which shot from siege cannons could be accessed to the fort.

From the hills, two taps or covered aqueducts passed a mile or more to the north and supplied Peta and the town, and then into the fort, up to or below the moat, into which the waste fell.

There was no passage across the ditch from the Sally ports, and no part of the aqueducts was visible over the ditch. The creek mentioned above had steep banks and passed within 60 yards of the fort; The waterway from Bhingar passed under it.

 There was no bridge or even a significant crossing point over the drain, and hence there was no clearly defined route between the fort and the town of Bhingar.

Peta and around the fort were several small pagodas and mosques, but none between the fort and Bhingar or near the fort compared to those towns.

History of Ahmednagar Fort

The fort was built by Malik Ahmad Nizam Shah, after whom Ahmednagar was named in 1427. He was the first sultan of the Nizam Shahi dynasty and built the fort to defend the city against invaders from the neighbors. Initially, it was made of clay, but major fortifications began in 1559 under Hussain Nizam Shah. 

In 1596, Chand Bibi Rani successfully repulsed the Mughal invasion, but the fort passed to the Mughals when Akbar attacked again in 1600.

Aurangzeb died on 20 February 1707 at the age of 88 in Ahmednagar Fort. After the death of Aurangzeb, the fort was given to the Nizams in 1724, to the Marathas in 1759, and later to the Scindias in 1790. 

After a period of instability in the Maratha Empire after the death of Madhavrao II, the fort of Daulat Scindia and its surroundings were with him. In 1797, he imprisoned Nana Fadnavis, the Peshwa diplomat at Ahmednagar Fort.

During the Second Anglo-Maratha War in 1803, Arthur Wellesley defeated the Maratha forces, and the East India Company came into possession of the fort.

Modern Era

The fort was known as Ahmednagar Fort and was used as a prison by British Rule. It was here that Jawaharlal Nehru, Abul Kalam Azad, Sardar Patel, and nine other members of the Indian National Congress were released when they abandoned India.

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