Daulatabad Travel Guide

  • The Mahakot Walls
    The Mahakot Walls
    by MM212
  • Things to Do
    by MM212
  • Jami Masjid
    Jami Masjid
    by MM212

Daulatabad Things to Do

  • The Amberkot

    The first line of defence in Daulatabad is the outer ramparts, called the Amberkot. It covers a vast area and is pierced by a number of gates, through which passes the main road linking Aurangabad and Ellora. The area within the Amberkot contains agricultural lands, as well as the modern town of Daulatabad, which is the site of the 14th century...

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  • The Mahakot & First Gate

    The Mahakot is the main fortified wall encircling the Daulatabad Fort and the second line of defence after the Amberkot. It consists of a double wall with numerous bastions. The First Gate in the Mahakot is the main visitors' entrance, which has survived intact, along with its terrifying spike-studded wooden doors, designed to prevent elephant...

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  • Chini Mahal

    The blue Chinese tiles that once covered this palace earned it the name Chini Mahal, or "Chinese Palace". Only fragments of these tiles have survived (see attached photos) to remind us of the long-gone opulence. In 1687, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb imprisoned the last Sultan of Golconda, Abdul Hasan Tana Shah, in Chini Mahal for 12 years until his...

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  • Mendha Cannon

    Within the Kalakot walls is this round bastion in the attached photo. On top of it rests an impressive 17th century cannon that rotates as needed. The cannon is beautifully decorated and its head is in the shape of a ram's head. An inscription on the cannon contains the name of Aurangzeb, the 17th century Mughal Emperor.

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  • The Baradari - Mughal Palace

    The best preserved structure in the Daulatabad Fort, the Baradari, commands views over the Fort and the surrounding plains. The octagonal shaped palace with arched windows is where the rulers resided within the mighty protection of the citadel. The palace was built in the 17th century, during the reign of Shah Jahan, the great Mughal emperor.

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  • The Citadel & Andhari Passage

    Any invader who miraculously made it past the fortified walls and across the moat would have been faced with the final obstacle in this formidable fort. The Citadel, where the rulers lived, lies on top of a hill whose sides were smoothened out to prevent anyone from climbing. The only way to reach the top of the citadel is up numerous steps through...

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  • Ganesh Temple

    A small domed Hindu temple dedicated to the god Ganesh is located in the citadel and overlooks the entire Fort. The temple was built in the 18th century during the short rule of the Peshwa dynasty.

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  • Nizamshahi Mahal

    Another ruined palace within the Kalakot ramparts, Nizamshahi Mahal carries the name of the Nizam Shahi dynasty which ruled Daulatabad from 1490 until Aurangzeb conquered the area. The palace exhibits typical Islamic architecture of India, with pointed arches and geometric motifs. Some restoration work on the palace was being carried out when I...

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  • Second Gate of the Kalakot

    Up a few steps from the Main Gate of the Kalakot is the second gate. It is more monumental than defensive and stands in partial ruins. Beyond it are additional steps that lead to the bridge across the moat.

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  • Jami Masjid - Entrance

    A stairway leading to a monumental domed structure marks the main entrance of Jami Masjid, the grand mosque of Daulatabad. The gateway has a double pointed archway topped by a dome, with Islamic style motifs. It is said that the gateway was added well after the construction of the mosque. This seems likely, since the entire gateway appears to be...

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  • The Iron Bridge

    In 1952, a modern iron bridge was installed along the path leading the citadel to facilitate crossing. Originally, the moat had two bridges: a stone bridge and a leather (!) bridge. The stone bridge, which has survived in ruins, lies deep in the moat, connected by stairs, while the leather bridge would have rested where the iron bridge is today. In...

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  • The Moat

    The fourth line of defence in the Daultabad Fort is the deep rock cut moat that surrounds the citadel. It is considered an incredible engineering feat, 16 metres wide and 20 metres deep. The water in the moat, filled with crocodiles, was controlled by a dam to increase its level during times of threat. The stone bridge below would be flooded as a...

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  • The Kalakot & Main Gate

    The third line of defence in this impenetrable fort is the Kalakot. Like the Mahakot, this fortified rampart consists of a double wall that encircles the base of the citadel mount and its access. It only has one entry point, the Main Gate - seen in the attached photograph, followed by the Second Gate.

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  • Chand Minar

    Towering 60 metres above the Fort and the surrounding plains, Chand Minar is the architectural jewel and symbol of Daulatabad. The red circular minaret-tower was built in 1435 AD by Sultan Alauddin Bahmani to commemorate his conquest of the Fort. It was once entirely covered in blue Persian tiles, of which only fragments have survived. At the base...

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  • Jami Masjid

    The largest surviving building in the Daultabad Fort is the Jami Masjid, the Grand Mosque. It is located immediately south of the east-west path leading from the main gate to the citadel. Like all grand mosques in India, Jami Masjid consists of a spacious courtyard open to a covered hypostyle hall, with a central dome, under which lies the mihrab,...

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  • Hemadpanthi Temple-Mosque

    Located just below the Main Gate of the Kalakot wall, this window-less square stone structure looks like a barrack from the outside. The local guidebook I acquired upon entry said nothing, except that it was a Hemadpanthi Temple. Upon entering the structure, it was clear to me that it had been built as a mosque in an architectural mix of Hindu and...

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  • Hathi Haud

    The Fort and the Daulatabad town had an extensive network of underground water pipes, tanks and wells to preserve the water supply during the dry months. Many of these wells are still intact around the Fort and within the Amberkot walls. The largest tank is called Hathi Haud, which translates to "Elephant Tank," due to its size. Though empty, it is...

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  • Jain Temple

    The ruins of a small Jain Temple lie on the right hand side immediately past the Third Gate of the Mahakot. The open interior of the temple consists of a small hall with carved square columns.

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  • The Kacheri

    A small detour from the main road - a right hand turn just past the Jain Temple, takes the visitor to a ruined building with a well. The building was the Kacheri, or the courthouse of Daulatabad. The building is mostly in ruins, but the central courtyard is clearly visible and part of the surrounding structure with pointed arches has survived.

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  • The Third Gate

    The Third Gate is merely an archway leading from the second court into the Fort. From here is an impressive view of the main road running up the hill, along which lie the various ruins, including Chand Minar, the red victory tower.

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  • The Second Gate

    The courtyard where the ticket office is located lies between the first two gates of the Mahakot. The main photo shows the impressive Second Gate which is flanked by two carved elephant sculptures (seen in another attached photo). Within the courtyard is a display of old cannons, and beyond the Second Gate lies a second courtyard.

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Daulatabad Transportation

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    Approaching Daulatabad from Aurangabad - Feb 09

    by MM212 Updated Nov 7, 2009

    Most travellers visiting Daulatabad choose to be based in Aurangabad, a city equipped with an airport and modern hotels (not to mention its own splendid monuments). Daulatabad is located about 20 minutes East/Northeast of Aurangabad, an easy day trip that is best combined with Ellora Caves and a quick stop in Khuldabad, time permitting. Ellora is located 15 minutes further on the same road from Aurangabad. Although buses and tours are available, independent travellers will find it easiest to hire a private car and driver, or a taxi, to reach Daulatabad and Ellora.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces

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Daulatabad Local Customs

  • MM212's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    by MM212 Written Nov 8, 2009

    The Daulatabad Fort is a very popular excursion for school children in the area. When I visited in February 2009, I encountered numerous groups - see the attached photos.

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Daulatabad What to Pack

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    by MM212 Updated Nov 8, 2009

    Miscellaneous: 1- Take a couple of chilled bottles of water.
    2- Pack a lunch or a filling snack for the road.
    3- Bring a torch (flashlight) if you plan to climb the Andhari Passage.
    4- Put on a hat and/or apply sunblock if you are sensitive to the sun.
    5- Wear comfortable hiking shoes.

    Finally, at the Fort's entrance, you will encounter many sellers of guidebooks. The Daulatabad Fort guidebook is worth purchasing, mainly for the map of the Fort and some useful historical information. It is rather inexpensive.

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Daulatabad Off The Beaten Path

  • Ellora Caves

    Along with nearby Ajanta, Ellora ranks top among India's cave-temple sites. It is essentially the main reason anyone comes to the Aurangabad area and is therefore a must-see when in town. With its 34 caves, carved into an escarpment between the 6th and 11th centuries AD, Ellora has been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its prized...

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  • Khuldabad

    One of the holiest towns in this part of India, Khuldabad, whose name translates to "Abode of Eternity," is the burial place of some 1500 14th century Sufi Moslem saints. The abundance of domed shrines of these saints earned the town the nickname "Valley of the Saints," which led the pious Aurangzeb, the last great Mughal Emperor, to select it as...

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