The Fort of Snakes
In this article, we will discuss a fort of Maharashtra, also called as the “Fort of Snakes”.
Indian is a land of forts. One can find many such forts here which are hundreds or thousands of years old. Even, some of the forts are so ancient that no one knows about the time, it was built. We are going to tell you about one such ancient and historical fort, which is called ‘Fort of Snakes’. It is believed that this fort is more than 800 years old and was built sometime between 1178 and 1209 AD by Bhoj II (the ruler of Shilahara). Also, the saying ‘Jahan Raja Bhoj, Wahan Gangu Teli’ is associated with this fort.
Actually, we are talking about Panhala fort, which is also known by the names of Panhalgad, Panhalla and Pahala. This fort is situated at a distance of 20 km to the southeast of the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. Although Panhala is a small town and hill station, its history is associated with Shivaji Maharaj.
Although this fort has been under many dynasties like Yadavas, Bahmani and Adil Shahi, in 1673 AD it was taken over by Shivaji Maharaj. It is said that Shivaji Maharaj lived in the Panhala Fort for the longest time. He spent more than 500 days here. Later this fort came under British rule.
Panhala Fort is called the ‘Fort of Snakes’ because of its zig-zag structure, that is, it looks like a snake is walking. There is the temple of Kuldevi Tulja Bhavani, situated nearby the fort, in the Osmanabad district of Maharashtra. A secret tunnel has been built here which opens directly to Panhala Fort, 22 km away. At present this tunnel is closed.
The Panhala fort has a secretly constructed well at the bottom of the three-storey building, which is known as Andhar Bavadi (meaning, Hidden Well). It is believed that the Mughal ruler Adil Shah built this step well. The reason for its construction was that Adil Shah believed that whenever the enemy attacked the fort, he could mix poison in the water present in the nearby wells or ponds.
Founder, Upgrading India