A beautiful fort on the verge of ruins

A beautiful fort on the verge of ruins

Field gun Cannons at Gulbarga Fort. photo by author

Gulbarga Fort, located in the heart of the city, is one of the most beautiful forts in our state. The fort was built in the 14th century, and it is said that the architecture of the fort is influenced by the Western Asian and European military styles. It is believed that the fort was strengthened by Allauddin Bahaman Shah. The fort stretches over an area of around 20 acres. At the main entrance is a well called Kamanabhavi.

The fort, considered as one of the mightiest fortifications, was an engineering feat in itself. There is a 50-foot-thick double wall surrounding the fort. The inner wall is much taller than the outer wall. There is a large moat which has covered the entire fort that stretches over three km. A total of 15 towers and 26 cannons makes the fortress impenetrable. One of the cannons placed there, Bara Gazi Toph, is said to be one of the longest in the world, measuring 29 feet in length. 

Inside the fort, there is a beautiful mosque, the Jama Masjid. The architect of this mosque, Rafi, is from Kazwin which is in the northern part of  Persia. It is said that this mosque is similar to the Great Mosque of Cordoba in Spain. What makes the Jama Masjid unique is that unlike other mosques there is no open courtyard and the entire structure is covered by a roof.

Unfortunately, the fort is in ruins now due to the vagaries of nature and human neglect. One can see a lot of settlements inside the fort, and there is no proper maintenance. People are allowed to touch and walk on the cannons and littering is a common sight. This fort is under the tentative list of UNESCO heritage site under the cultural category. The treasure needs urgent intervention and the authorities concerned should work towards bringing the glory back to the fort.