Panhala Fort

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The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Mumbai Circle celebrated World Heritage Day at Panhala Fort.

About Panhala Fort 

  • It is located in Maharashtra and occupies a prime place in the history of this state.
  • Locally, the site was known as the abode of serpents and traditionally associated with the sage Parashar.
  • It is strategically placed in proximity to the trade routes connecting the Sahyadri mountains, the Deccan plateau, and the Konkan coast, the fort became the centre of interest for several dynasties.
  • The antiquity of the fort goes back to the Shilahara dynasty ruler Bhoja of 11th century CE.
  • The fort, as evidenced by the different structures, reflects the transfer of power in the hands of the Yadavas of Devgiri, the Bahamani of Bidar, the Adilshahi of Bijapur, the Marathas and the Mughals.
  • Features
    • The fort had 3 double walled gates, of which the eastern side gate; Chaar Darwaja is in ruins.
    • Teen Darwaja, the western gate is the main entrance with a pointed arch opening. Its inner gate is decorated with tracery design and is surrounded by a courtyard with arcade section. “A two-line Persian inscription written in Nasta’liq records its erection during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah I in 954 A.H. (1547-8 CE).
    • The Wagh Darwaja on the north appears hidden camouflaged by natural scarp that leads to a narrow pathway down the hill,
    • Some of the other structures include a three-storied tower called the Nayikinicha Sajja or the dancing girl’s tower, built during the reign of Ibrahim Adil Shah II in 1000 A.H. 1591 C.E., that is endowed with delicate stucco mouldings in the interior.
    • Ambarkhana: It is situated in the centre of the fort which consists of 3 buildings known as the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. It has sixteen bays each with its own flat vault with a hole on top.
    • Another granary is situated to its west called Dharma Kothi. It has a single staircase leading to its top.
    • Sajja Kothi is a double storied structure with upper gallery occupying the prominent and highest position on the hill and dated to the reign of Bijapur King Ibrahim Adilshah A.H. 1016 (1607-08 CE). 

Q1: What is a World Heritage site?

It is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). World Heritage sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other forms of significance.

Source: ASI educates and promotes Panhala Fort on World Heritage Day in Kolhapur