Paranda fort, Paranda, Maharashtra - hidden 15th CE fort architecture with fine bastians and big cannons

Paranda fort, Paranda, MH

Above image: Paranda fort, Paranda, Osmanabad District MH in ruins. About 18 miles West of Barsi town........

 Paranda fort, MH
It is one of the many built by the Bahmani sultans to defend against the Moguls, the Sultanate of Ahmednagar and the Marathas.  Built in the middle of the 15th century by Sultan Mohamad Gawan, though located on the plains west of Barsi town, it used to be a strong fort with as many as  26 bastions with supporting walls guarded my formidable cannons made of an alloy of 5 high grade metals-panchdhatu 

cannon. Paranda fort,

cannon. Paranda fort, MH

cannon balls.Paranda fort, MH

Rectangular in plan, special attention is given to the bastians, including the ones in the corner. Each one has a sort of  heavy curtain wall that runs parallel separated by a space to protect the gunner from projectiles, The fort is surrounded by a deep moat ever filled with water.  The battlements of both walls are reinforced at intervals and among the bastians, the Mahakal Buruj, the Chanchal buruj, the Buland Buruj etc are worth mentioning. Some of them still carry old heavy cannons. The famous 55 ton largest bronze cannon Malik-E-maidan cast in Ahmednagar in 1549 was here atop the fort and later transported to the Bijapur fort with the help of several war elephants innumerable bulls and soldiers. 

Entrance to the Paranda fort MH

Mogul king Aurangzeb (1618 –1707) on his war mission in 1668 to the Deccan brought two powerful cannons along with many others. One of the two was called “Fateh Rahber”. This cannon played a historic role in his victories against the Deccani sultanate. A replica of ‘Fateh Rahber’ is another canon named ‘Azdaha Paikar’, The mogul cannons here are big and still rust free. In 1630  his father Shah jahan made a vein attempt to capture the fort. 

 There is one passage to the fort. The outer gateways on the thick wall  could be approached through a drawbridge with heavy chains which in case of raids could be fixed  across the front of the door and secured on both sides.Now across the moat there is a masonry passage to reach the outer fort. The thick teak door was clad in iron plates  sometimes the inner gate way  door has sharp  spikes to repel elephants; an  angled passage will slow down the speed of the ramming elephants.   The interesting defensive feature is the customary right-angled turn in the vaulted entrance could be defended by guards posted to the left. Loopholes to the north and west cover the approaches and the ditch. The wide rampart has the advantage of seeing the approaching enemy and open fire range to fire cannons.   

The fort represents an example of the civil and military architecture, and metallurgical engineering expertise of  people of past era.