November 29, 2013
We reached Shahabad town outskirts around 8-45 PM, I was hoping to find a hotel but somehow the looks of the town was not encouraging. We missed a left turn to the town and ended up going around the town (I have no words to describe the condition of the road), with some difficulty we reached the town, it was close to 9-30. The town looked as though it was bombed, we could see just ruins every where. I spotted a khanawali, decided to have a meal before it closed. Then I checked out Indian Hotel, the place was chaos, a wedding party had camped there and the wedding hall was part of the hotel building. Forget it. Close by was another one - Karnataka Hotel, the building was dark, no light inside or outside. We drove back to the main road, saw the police station.. thought policemen should help get some accommodation. No such luck, I was asked to drive to Gulbarga - that was the best thing I could do. It was around 12-30 when we checked into a hotel in Gulbarga.
November 30, 2013
Morning we left the hotel by 5-45. First we visited Malkhed fort, drove back to Gulbarga and then to Maratur. Rather than going back to Gulbarga-Shahabad road, we took the inside road linking Martur and Shahbad. We saw number of stone quarries - sources of the famous Shahbad stones. As we entered old Shahbad town, I inquired about the fort, it was easy to find. There we are- facing Shahbad fort main entrance. This spot is know as Ashoka Chowk ~ Ashoka Square, named after emperor Ashoka.
The very look of the ruins is an indication that the inside can be even more filthy. I decided to go around the fort.
Upper level of a bastion. Tapering three layered supports hold the overhang.. functionality and aesthetics are hand in hand.
A couple of kilometers from here (on Maratur-Shahbad road) was this limestone quarry. It was amazing to see perfect layers of sheets, as though someone had buried a stack of them.
archaeological site of Sannati, looking at the ruins of an Ashoka era Stupa. The Stupa's parts were made of limestone i.e. Shahbad stone. The history of limestone blocks for construction technology is more than 2200 years old. Besides Shahabd fort, Malkhed fort and Maratur fort are also built of limestone blocks.
Close to Shahbad are two shrines- Sharanabasaweshwara temple and Ramanadevi temple.
Shahbad fort coordinates: 17°8'27"N 76°55'50"E