Jun 18, 2014

Shahapur fort - part 2

..continued from Shahapur fort - part 1.
The hill's length is aligned in east-west direction. With the fort's main entrance at the east, we move westward as we climb. West of the summit is again a slope but as steep as the eastern slope. Here the terrain is different, natural pits and rock shelters dominate this part.. kind of gives a feeling this place was inhabited much before the fort came into existence.

One large fresh water pond and few smaller ones. If rains are normal, these pits would enough water to last a year.

The tall wall seen here is the back part of the mosque. There seems to be a gateway, its kind of hidden behind boulders.

We walk around the ponds and come directly behind the mosque.

The laughing rock. That little cave is a natural shelter, its quite low and not so deep but offers good shelter during rains.

The rock now looks different, it seems like an one-eyes monster. I feel there are many more such shelters concealed behind vegetation. Behind me is the edge of a sheer cliff.

Kamanna spotted his friend Mounesh working in his fields in the valley below. Those are tamarind trees and in the field is jowar, I think. Despite the distance we could hear Mounesh.. of course he had yell a bit. Mounesh asked if I was a foreigner!! Kamanna said "illo, nammavare."

Looking back towards the summit. Between the edge behind us and the summit is bare rock with pits and ponds.

Beyond the edge is a valley created by two mounds of the same hill. The drop is at least a hundred feet from where we stand. Notice the complex system of walls connecting the two hillocks. In plan the fort is a long ship.. and now are the mid point of that ship.
The other part of the hill looked so far away. My thought was to end the tour here but my friend was determined to take me right till the western tip :) Like I said before his energy is contagious.

We walk along the edge of the cliff, towards a gateway. Again this part of the hill has few water tanks, some natural and some man made. The arc shaped wall on the left is part of the water tank, though stagnant water looked fresh and clean.

A well designed gateway system between the two hillocks restricts movement here. The gateway has curved stairways, watch points with commanding views and own supply of water.

Looking back towards the admin center, space in between has been well utilized to store water.

View of the other end of the valley, this end is not as wide at the opposite side. Those walls and bastions discourage any attempt to bypass the gateway.

We climb down slowly because of the steep ground. The path was littered with jaaligida thorns and overhanging thorny branches of jaaligida made our progress slow. Finally we made it to the passage, a narrow one well concealed between two bastions. If not for Kamanna I would never have see this part of Shahapur fort.

On the valley floor, looking back towards the eastern fort. Having seen one half of the fort, I'm sure this hill was a busy place during Neolithic times. However, there's no evidence such as rock paintings or etchings.

Now we have another steep climb ahead.. to reach the western fort.

It is said that Shahapur fort has 7 or 8 entrances, we could see three. Unlikely we'll see any more.

..this article will continue in Shahapur fort - part 3.

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