Asigarh Fort , Hansi, Haryana

 Asigarh Fort (also called Hansi Fort) on the eastern bank of Amti lake in Hansi town  of Haryana state about 135 km from Delhi is one of the strongest and  most impregnable forts of India built centuries back to protect invasions from the NW provinces. A declared national monument (way back in 1937), the fort covers a vast area of 30 acres. In the heyday, it is said this fort is one among the 80 forts in the area built to protect the kingdom.

Asigarh fort, Haryana,

Above image: Asigarh fort, Hansi, Haryana state - Barsi Gate Main Entry Point out of  four gates; built by ruler Prithviraj Chauhan in 12th Centaury .....................

 As it was constructed by a great ruler and courageous warrior  Prithviraj Chauhan 
of the Chauhan dynasty, the old fort also carries his name.   Believed to have been founded by Tomara king Anangpal Tomar (Anangpal II) of  Tomar Dynasty that dates back to 1000 CE. The kings belonged to the Rajput clan and they controlled vast regions in the north.  

The rulers were so powerful it took several years for murderous  invader from NW region Md. Gazni to loot the Hindu temples including Somnath temple. In 1192, after the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan by Mohammed Gauri, Hindu rule ended in Hansi.  After 1192 CE  the Ghurid forces at last took control of the fort from the Chauhan dynasty after a long fierce battles.
Mosque inside  Asigarh fort, HA

Above image: Asigarh fort - Baradari. Long pillared structure with a flat roof atop  the mound in the fort..............

Asigar fort, Mosque in the fort.

Charqutb_dargah. Asigarh fort-   It came up  inside the fort  post  Prithviraj Chauhan period. It is a group of monuments  containing the tombs of celebrated  Sufi saints Jamal-ud-Din Hanswi (1187-1261 AD), Burhan-ud Din (1261-1303 AD), Qutab-ud-Din Munawwar (1300-1354 AD) and Nur-ud-Din or Nur-e-Jahan (1325-1397 AD)........

Taking into account the skills of natives here, son of King Anangpal Tomar, Drupad of  Tomar Dynasty established a sword manufacturing factory in this fort (hence the name "Asigarh" fort) The swords made in the fort used unique mental alloy and was sought after by many rulers from neighboring countries. it is said the Arab countries imported special swords made in the fort  for personal use and for the army.

Asigarh fort,

Square in plan  the fort has thick walls of stones measuring several meters (about 37 ft) and the height is about 52 feet (16 m) guarded by tall heavy doors with four gates. Outer wall construction is so plain it is impossible for the raiders to climb the fort.

During the reign of  Firoz Shah Tughlaq an underground tunnel was constructed that connected Hansi to Hissar  for safety consideration.  
The fort came under the British control  after the Marathas. In 1786  he British sailor George Thomas took control of the fort and handed over the fort to East India Company in 1802. In 1803, Captain James Skinner formed the famous Cavalry Regiment of 1 and 3 Skinner's Horse. This cavalry regiment actively participated in 1857 war of independence which saw the down fall of last Mogul emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. In the final phase, the ruler's son and two grand sons were shot dead at point blank near Khooni gate in Delhi after their arrest near Humayun tomb.  

About Lal Sadak, the popular belief has been that  the main road of Hansi is known as the Lal Sadak. During the 1857 revolt, the EIC army had let loose hell on the patriots and killed them  without any mercy. The British  had crushed them under road rollers and their blood was spilt on the the entire road. road. According to historians Jagdish Chander and Bhup Singh it was named so because of the road was laid with red sandstone  

 The carvings on the walls appear to have Hindu origin. The fort encloses a pillared hall atop the  mound called  Baradari. and a mosque  with three tombs behind it   came up after the defeat of Prithviraj.  There are old statues of   Jain Gods such as Mahavira and Buddha in the open yard,  suggesting the great antiquity of this fort.  There was a sword manufacturing factory/ foundry inside the fort specialized in superior quality swords. During excavation  in1982,  fifty seven Jain idols were found made of   Asthadhatu (a mixture of eight expensive metals) highlighting  the advanced knowledge of metallurgy. 

 Such a historical and old fort is being poorly maintained by the state government and also by the  ASI. Vandals and hooligans misuse the sites at several places such as the mosque and baradari in side the fort for the simple reason  they are not barricaded  or closed after certain hours of the day.  It is said the mosque, a revered place is  
is misused by the culprits.   The three other tombs behind  the mosque  have become a favorite hangout for the  addicts and anti social people. The isolated place gives them  an added advantage to indulge in drinking, etc., and spoiling the sanctified place. Lots of people from various communities come here for prayer, These culprits are a source of menace for a long time to the visitors ere.   Even the police do not take action despite several complains. 

Bhup Singh, a historian and the author of the book, Hansi ka Itihas, laments, “It is true that important historical sites such as Lal Sadak, Asigarh Fort and Char Qutub area, have turned into safe spaces for drug addicts. We have often seen college students indulging in illegal activities at these spots and informed the local administration but to no avail.” (vide Hindustan Times, articles 1 March,  2020)