Monday, November 14, 2016

Medak Fort

At a distance of 2.3 km from Medak Bus Station and 95 km from
Hyderabad, The Medak Fort is situated in Medak town of Telanagana State. This is an important historical site around Hyderabad.

The fort was built in the 12th century during the reign of the Kakatiyan ruler, Pratapa Rudra. The fort was originally known as Methuku durgam, which denotes cooked rice. The fort was the command post for the rulers of Kakatiyas and also for the Qutub Shahis who ruled the area.

It is a huge structure located on the top of a hill. One has to climb more than 500 steps to reach the top of the fort, which occupies 100 acres on the hilly area. Medak Fort is noted for its architectural magnificence. The architecture of the fort represents a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles. The main entrance proudly displays the double-headed Gandabherundam of the Kakatiyas. It has three main entrances, the Prathama Dwaram, the Simha Dwaram- that has two snarling lions at the top of the entrance and the Gaja Dwaram or Elephant's Entrance that has a sculpture of two elephants interlocked on both sides. The huge boundary walls of the fort have several bastions carved from the rocks and boulders of the hillock.

The fort houses a small lake, a barrack and a warehouse. The fort has a 17th century mosque that was constructed by the Qutub Shahi rulers. Although the Fort is in ruin state, it still holds the glory of the history hence it is one of the important historical sites to visit. It provides an excellent picturesque view of the town and the regions around.


It is a huge structure located on the top of a hill. It takes about 10 minutes drive from the town on the newly built CC road and about one-and-a-half hour drive from the State capital.

One has to climb more than 500 steps to reach the top of the fort, which was built about 800 years back in Medak, the former headquarters of the district. Built about 90 metres height from ground level and spread in about 100 acres on the hilly area, the fort attracts ones attention.

One can find huge structures inside the fort, which are in a dilapidated condition, used as stable for horses and elephants. On the top of the third gate, at both left and right sides the ‘Ganda Bherunda,' emblem of Vijayanagara Empire built by Srikrishna Devaraya, stands out. It was believed that the fort built by Kakatiya's was renovated by Qutub Shahis's around 400 years ago. The Medak fort, which was ruled by two dynasties -- Kakatiya's and Qutub Shahi's -- is crying for attention. Large size bushes and trees have come up across the hilly location.

One of the iconic structures of Medak which has withstood several invasions and has seen dynastic changes for over eight centuries is the Medak fort, which was also known as Metukudurgam. The fort which was built between 1139 AD and 1157 AD by the 2nd Polaraju (Pratapa Rudra II) of Kakatiya dynasty continues to amaze tourists coming from all over the world.

What we know as Medak today, has seen many changes in its nomenclature such as Vaidikapuram, Rachaveedu, Siddapuram, Gulshanabad, Sadapur Vedik and so on, under the rule of Kalyan Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, Bahmanis, Qutub Shahis and Asaf Jahis who have left their architectural marks on the fort.

Medak fort was built as an expansion strategy of Kakatiya dynasty which held control of Warangal, but extended its control into Saddinadu (the western parts) including Medak, Karimnagar and Adilabad districts of the present. The fort is located on a hillock with a strategic military advantage, being close to the confluence of Haldi Vagu and Manjira River. Methukudurgam was built for military defence of the area covering around 300 settlements.

Massive walls, rooms, burjs (towers), palace, grain and gun powder storage rooms made of granite and sand stone built and rebuilt over several centuries by various rulers on the hillock speaks of the amount of labour that went into maintaining the fort through history. Smell of gunpowder still emanates from one of the rooms.

There are a few statues of Gattamma goddess (local deity) in some of the caves and people still offer prayers there. There used to be a Shiva temple at the top of the hillock, where now stands a mosque which was built in the 17th century by the Qutub Shahis. There are several gates to enter the fort and each gate has a unique identity. Two lions, two elephants with riders wielding bows and arrows, two peacocks and other sculptures are still intact on the pillars of the gates.

The top of the hillock presents a spectacular view of water bodies on all its sides and devotional and celebratory music from the town can be heard quite clearly at the top. There is a pond called Raju-Rani cheruvu which is currently full with water and is a perfect location to shoot a romantic scene for any movie. There are also naturally formed wells on the hillock from where water used to be supplied to the fort using pipelines and simple physics of the ancient times.

There is also a 3.2 metres long 17th century cannon still intact at the fort. Though much of the fort has been destroyed, there is much scope for protecting it by making structural renovations. The fort certainly needs more security personnel and stricter regulations with respect to use of plastic and disposal of garbage on the hillock.

Gulshan Mahal, a palace located on the hillock has now been transformed into Hotel Haritha Resort and is managed by Tourism Development Corporation. There are 4 rooms (AC Suite- Rs 1500 and AC room- Rs 1200 per 24 hours) and a restaurant with a very reasonably priced menu. Reservations can be made at 9133533917.

The Hotel is currently catering to private parties and is a perfect venue to hold birthdays, coming of age functions, even wedding receptions. “It would be great if parks can be developed on the hillock and kids’ play areas are setup. That would really enhance the look of the fort,” suggested Sebastian, Project Manager of Bahubalimovie, who was flying a drone at the Raju-Rani cheruvu, trying to film his mother and wife who seemed to be having a great saas-bahu chatting time sitting by the pond during sunset on Sunday.

So, if you are one of those adventurous types, archaeology enthusiast, nature lover, a school, or even if you are a honeymoon couple, Medak Fort is one heritage protected site which should be on your list of places to visit during a lifetime- better sooner than later. Above all, there is no ticket to have this out of the world experience which would take you back in time during the days of old when the knights were bold. You may actually stumble upon something of historic significance, you never know.


http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/medak-fort-left-to-ruin/article2980723.ece

http://www.trawell.in/telangana/medak/medak-fort


http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Commoner/2016-11-09/Metukudurgam-to-regain-its-past-glory/263177








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