India is full of historical monuments but most of them are conquered and operated by Kings but today you will be experiencing something different. This is “Madan Mahal” The fort of Queen Durgawati. This fort is present in the city called Jabalpur, which lies in Madhya Pradesh. This is one of the most unique forts of central India. In Indian history, this fort plays an important role. It is situated at the top of a hill where one can reach only by climbing 290 plus stairs. Once you reach the top you can literary see the entire city clearly. Experiencing such a landmark with great geographical conditions definitely worths your time.
Basically, the Madan Mehal (The Fort) plays like a military post as well as a watchtower for the Gond Tribe. The Queen Durgawati after marriage was the queen for the Gond empire. As per the archaeological surveys, it was found that this fort was primarily made as a military barrack. In the discovery, they found rooms for military purposes. There are some secret passages, corridors, rooms for ancient scripts, etc. The fort looks gigantic hence the entire fort is small but the rocks through which the entire fort is designed is truly unmatchable. The entire symmetry, balancing of the fort is only on 3 heavy rocks. Thus due to its heavy built, it was selected for military purposes.
The Queen Warrior Durgawati
This queen warrior was born in Kalinjar a city in Uttar Pradesh in the year 1524 on 5th of October. She was born into a family of warriors. Her father was King Keerat Rai. Then later in the year 1542, she was married to King Dalpat Shah who was the ruler of Garha Kingdom and ruled over the Godhwana people and their region. The alliance of both the kingdom brought new powers and new opportunities. It was not strategic but the marriage of Queen Durgawati and King Dalpat Shah made both the kingdoms more progressive and friendly.
In this same era, most of the kingdoms were afraid of the Mughal empire. Slowly they were conquering many empires by destroying them. Therefore, the same terror was on both the empires but alliance of these empires made them more powerful. However, later Queen Durgawati gave birth to a son, who was named Vir Narayan. But in the year 1550, her husband King Galpat Shah passed away. As Vir Narayan was very young so the Queen decided to sat on the throne of the Godhwana Kingdom. Later Baz Bahadur attacked the Queen but the Godhwana army managed to defeat Baz Bahadur.
Soon Akbar conquered Baz Bahadur and attacked the Godhwana Kingdom by conquering nearby regions. She fought with the Mughal army and kicked them three times out of the territory. But later she didn’t succeed and killed herself on the battlefield on 24th June 1564. Her son and the entire army lost the Kingdom. The Queen was a brave fighter as she was equipped with all fighting techniques. That’s why she fought the battle for so long. Later the empire was taken under control by the British government.
The Magnificent Fort
As soon as you see the fort the first thought that would appear in your mind is how this is possible. Giant rock placed upon each other building a perfect looking fort is something really impossible. However, the engineers of that era somehow made it possible. The fort is located at a height of 500 meters. Thus the fort is small but impressive, you will explore some cells which are used to keep armours, swords, and other types of artillery. This is a four-storey fort where you can see different levels for all sorts of stuff. On the top, you can see space for watchkeepers from where they kept an eye on invaders and enemies. Other floors are allocated for artillery purpose and other floors are having secret rooms, passages and a dedicated floor and room for some scripts.
This magnificent fort was constructed in the 11th century. From the top-level one can see the entire city clearly. As the height plays an important role in maintaining the security of the fort. In front of the fort, you can also see the ruins, according to the survey it is mentioned that these are the stables for elephants. As in history, there is no document which exactly says the purpose of these ruins. So the government survey team associated it with stables as the entire fort is just a watchtower. Despite being just a watchtower still the kind of architectural work, carvings and high quality of work are just impressive.
Attractions To See
This is the only location where you will see multiple locations and you can enjoy your picnic and stay for a while. All these locations are on the way to your Madal Mahal fort. Generally, to reach Madan Mahal you need to take around 290 plus stairs and most of the locations are on this route. Here is the list of attractions you can explore during your journey to the fort:
Lord Shiva Temple
If you are planning to see the Queen Durgawati fort then you might have encountered Lord Shiva Temple across the route. When you climb the stairs you will see a Lord Shiva Temple on the right side, the temple is covered with huge stones. There is a dedicated path which indicates the way to the temple. Visiting the temple for devotees it is a good way to start your journey.
The first thing you will notice while starting your journey to Madan Mahal fort is the Balancing Rock. It is made up of a volcanic rock formation. It is still not clear how it is balanced on 6sq inches on the edge of another rock. Even this balancing rock managed to survive the earthquake of 6.5 Richter scale. It is a famous tourist spot with lots of mysteries holding underneath.
While your journey to Madan Mahal fort has another attraction, which is the formation of a natural pond. This pond is very small but most of the time it is filled with water in it. The pond is located on the backside of the temple, that’s why the pond is covered with lots of medium-sized rocks. Tourists spend there entire day while sitting next to this pond, even it is a good picnic spot for tourists.
There are some destroyed structures in front of the fort. According to the study, the government allocated it as a stable place where the elephants were kept by the Godhwana Kingdom. However, on the front right side of the stable, you can see a small destroyed structure which is said to be the part of the fort. Now it is been destroyed but still, you can see the ruins.
In the end
Basically, in older times the king always has two forts one for their personal usage where they stay and another is for the military purpose. Hence, this Queen Durgawati’s Madan Mahal Fort is a prime example of a watchtower. If you are someone who likes to visit and explore historical monuments then do visit this magnificent fort and divine into the history of this fort.
Also read: Famous Monuments Of India