In the entire world, if there is a which has a humungous number of forts and palaces, then it would be Rajasthan. Go to any part of the state and you’ll find a fort or fortress waiting for you. Today’s article is dedicated to the one such amazing fort named as ‘Gagron fort’.
Located in the Jhalawar district of Rajasthan, this fort is surrounded by water from all sides. Not just this, but the fort is unique in its own way as it is the only fort which doesn’t have any foundation. Gagron Fort’s popularity has been spread far and wide for its glorious history and awe-inspiring architecture.
Gagron Fort and its outstanding architecture
Gagron fort was constructed by the Dod king Bijaldev in the 12th century and the fort was ruled by the Khinchi kingdom for 300 years. Although the exact time of the construction is not known. Historians say that the fort was built from the seventh century to the fourteenth century.
It has witnessed a total of 14 wars and 2 Jauhars (Hindu custom of mass self-immolation). The magnificence of the fort can be estimated by the fact that it has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is the only Fort of northern India which is enveloped by water; hence it is also called ‘Jaladurga’. Generally, all forts have two ramparts but Gagron Fort has three. Along with that, its towers are blended with Mukundara Hills of the Vindhyan mountain ranges where the hill itself is acting as the foundation of the fort.
The fort has two main entrances. One gate leads towards the river and the other leads towards the hilly road. Earlier this fort was used to give the death penalty to the guilty. Inside the fort Ganesh Pol, Nakkarkhana, Bhairavi Pol, Kishan Pole, Selekhana are the important gates. Apart from this, there are other important historical sites in the fort such as Dewan-i-Aam, Diwan-e-Khas, Janaana Mahal, Madhusudan Mandir, Rang Mahal etc.
The significance of Gagron in the Medieval period is known by the fact that both the famous emperor Sher Shah and Akbar the Great conquered it and merged it into their empire. Akbar also made it his headquarters, but in the end, gave it to Prakashraj of Bikaner as a part of his estate.
The Unfortunate Saga of Jauhar at Gagron Fort
Achaldas Khinchi was the last Khinchi-Chauhan ruler of the historically renowned Gagron Fort. In 1423 AD, Sultan Hoshangshah of Mandu surrounded the fort with 30 thousand horsemen, 84 elephants and numerous infantry with many other rich kings. When Achaldas realized the tremendous army and advanced weapons of the enemy, he clearly estimated his defeat. At that point in time, instead of surrendering in front of them, he sacrificed his life while fighting with valor. Following that thousands of women embraced death to protect their self-respect from the enemy.
Some Interesting facts related to Gagron fort
- After the victory of Hoshangshah, he was so impressed by the bravery of Achaldas that he did not meddle with the king’s personal residence and his other souvenirs. For hundreds of years, the fort remained with the Muslims, but out of fear or respect, no one dared to remove or destroy Achaldas’ bed from the bedroom. Till 1950, the bed remained in the same place.
- According to the folk tales, the spirit of the king Achaldas Khinchi would come and sleep on this bed every night. At night, many people claim to have heard the noise of someone smoking sheesha from this room.
- The maintenance and cleanliness of the king’s bedroom were managed by a hairdresser on the behalf of the state. It is said that every day he used to find 5 Rupees on the bedside. The hairdresser once told someone about this incident and from then on he stopped receiving it.
- Once, an ADC attempted to steal the sword of the king but he had to leave it midway as it was extremely heavy. Currently, the sword is guarded in the Jhalawar Police Station.
- The fort also houses a number of peacocks and unique parrots. These parrots are known as Hiraman parrots and are considered to be twice the size of the normal parrots. They are usually dark in color and have black stripes on their neck. They are experts in mimicking human speech very well.
The picturesque and the most dramatic fort never disappoint any of its visitors. Everyone leaves with a tinge of history and lots of memories to cherish.
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