Ahmednagar Fort – Maharashtra’s Historical Gem Or Ahmednagar Fort
Located in the heart of Maharashtra, Ahmednagar is an ancient Indian city famous for its architectural brilliance and scenic surroundings. If you decide to visit this city, you will be spellbound by its majestic palaces, sugar factories, and exotic flora and fauna. This town has been an integral part of India’s rich ancient and medieval history, proof of which is etched on the walls of important landmarks such as the Ahmednagar fort. Since the times of the British, Ahmednagar has been an important military base for India. Even today, the Mechanised Infantry Regimental Center and the Indian Armoured Corps Center and School remain there.
Ahmednagar dates its existence back to 1490. It was founded by Ahmed Nizam Shah I, who dissolved Bhingar in favor of Ahmednagar. After the 15th century, it was taken over by the Sultanate kings of the era. It remained an important part of the Sultanate until the Mughals, led by Shah Jahan, captured the city in 1636. It remained with the Mughals until the death of the last Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. Thereafter, the Maratha kings and the British fought numerous battles over the city. At the time of Indian independence, the city was under British rule according to the Treaty of Poona.
Ahmednagar is a perfect vacation spot for those looking to get away from the busy tourist destinations. While there, you will not run out of things to do, but will also not be overwhelmed. It is a small, yet welcoming city that will keep you entertained.
Ahmednagar Fort – Majesty Personified
The Ahmednagar Fort is the perfect reflection of the forts in India. This fort, with its towering roofs and firm bastions, will propel you deep into the history of the Indian subcontinent. Its history is incredibly interesting, making it one of the most frequented tourist spots in the country.
The Ahmednagar fort is one of the best historical places in Maharashtra, which was constructed by the first ruler of the Nizam Shahi dynasty – Malik Ahmed Nizam Shah I. At the time, it was just a mud-fort with kutcha construction all over. Fortification of the Ahmednagar fort commenced in 1559 under the rule of Hussain Nizam Shah. The fort was completely constructed by 1562. The last Mughal Emperor died in the fort, after which it was handed back and forth numerous times by the Marathas and the British. Both of them used the fort as a prison. The Marathas imprisoned a Peshwa within its walls, while the British kept Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as a political prisoner. Nehru wrote the world-famous book “The Discovery of India” whilst serving his sentence within the fort, making it immortal for generations.
A thing of beauty, the fort has 22 bastions and about 18 m high walls supporting its roofs. You will be astonished by the impregnable design of the Ahmednagar fort with its carefully constructed glacis and a 30 m wide ditch. As you stand in its corridors, you will hear the sound of the Bhingar River flowing through the surrounding hills. Historically, these hills were considered to be a weakness to the fort’s otherwise impenetrable build. The Pettah of Ahmednagar lies to the west of the Ahmednagar fort. Its main gate faces the Pettah. The fort premises consists of several towers. These housed military men in times of war. The ditch had a bridge over it. According to legends, the bridge supported tons of ammunition during the war. It was also used to set alight the fort’s surroundings when the rulers desired protection from the enemy.
This fort tells stories of countless wars and invasions. While the fort is controlled by the Indian Armoured Corps, it is open to the public. You will be amazed by the stories you hear as you enter the two rooms of the fort that are now museums. Remnants of the Indian freedom struggle can be viewed in this museum, reminding tourists of the constant struggle of the revolutionaries. Its surroundings are covered with trees and wild grasses through which you can walk to look at the facade of the fort. The roofs of the fort offer spectacular views of the entire town of Ahmednagar.
Exploring Tourist Spots in Ahmednagar
Chand Bibi Palace
The Chand Bibi Palace is named incorrectly, for it is not a palace but the tomb of Salabat Khan II. This stone-made structure sits atop a low hill. You can hike a little to reach this three-storied octagon that offers gorgeous views of Ahmednagar. Lying at an altitude of 3080 feet from the sea level, this tomb tells stories of the death of Changiz Khan and the Nizams that ruled Ahmednagar. Besides the Ahmednagar Fort, this is one of the most prominent monuments of the city.
The Cavalry Tank Museum
Established in 1994, the Cavalry Tank museum is one of its kind. It has on display numerous remnants of significant wars such as the First World War and the Indo-Pakistani war of 1972. While there, your kids will be fascinated when they see the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Armoured Car, Valentine, Churchill Mk VII, M47 Patton, and the Canadian Sexton Self Propelled Artillery Vehicle. It is open to visitors every day. The regular opening time is 9 AM.
Situated 9 km away from Ahmednagar, Meherabad is an ashram that plays home to many pilgrims and devotees of Meher Baba who established the ashram in 1923. You can visit this ashram to escape the busy streets of the main city.
Rehkuri Blackbuck Sanctuary
One of the most exotic animals of the Indian subcontinent – the blackbuck – finds its home in the Rehkuri Sanctuary. Taking a photography tour of the Rehkuri Sanctuary will be rewarding for both you and your kids. Here, you can see more than 400 blackbucks roaming amidst tall grasses and green trees. If you love adventure, take a jeep safari of this wildlife sanctuary.
Staying in Ahmednagar
Despite being a small town, Ahmednagar has an expansive list of lodging options. You will easily spot plenty of budget hotels in the city offering excellent amenities. High-end hotels are not present in plenty. Most of these are located near premier tourist spots like the Ahmednagar fort. Resorts and boutique hotels offer amenities like free Wi-Fi, private suites, guest lounges, gardens, indoor and outdoor pools, and gyms. In some of these, you will find the option to opt for a guided tour of the town. Budget hotels are conveniently located near the main markets and in the city center.
A Treat for Your Taste Buds
There are plenty of small and big restaurants you can visit in Ahmednagar to get a taste of authentic Marathi food. Marathi cuisine is primarily vegetarian, although tasty non-vegetarian options are also available in plenty. While in Ahmednagar, the best way to taste local food is by visiting small restaurants and local street food vendors. A must-try delicacy of Ahmednagar is Thakkar, a fritter made of sabudana and potato and served with Kaju chutney. You can also try Udid Vada and Sambhar, a sweet called Kala Sona, Chutney Vada, Thalipeeth, Bread Rolls, Handi Bhakari, Bhel, Vada Pav, Nachani Papad, Bhakari Chura, Biriyani, Chewda, and Misal. Some places in the city serve decent continental food and Indo-Chinese cuisine. Fine-dining is not a popular option in Ahmednagar.
Shopping in Ahmednagar
Ahmednagar has plenty of local shops offering some Maharashtrian staples that you should take home with you. There are a few big malls to shop from. The street markets and small vendors offer excellent handicrafts and decorative items. You can shop for sculptures, Warli paintings, Kolhapuri chappals, silk sarees, Lacquerware, Bidri ware, and Paithani sarees.
Enjoy These Festivals in Ahmednagar
The most popular festival celebrated in Ahmednagar is Ganesh Chaturthi. Celebrated enthusiastically by the locals in September-October, this festival sees the entire town decorated with fairy lights, colorful hangings and special pandals housing extravagant statues of Lord Ganesha. If you happen to be in Ahmednagar during this time, you will find yourself enthralled by aromatic lit up streets. People of Ahmednagar sing and dance on the streets, making it a hearty affair for tourists. Festivals like Holi, Diwali, and Eid are also popular in the region.
How to Reach Ahmednagar?
- If you are traveling from outside India, you will have to board a flight to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai and take a bus from there to reach Ahmednagar. The closest domestic airports to Ahmednagar are the Pune airport and the Aurangabad airport.
- If you have decided to travel by train, board one heading to the Ahmednagar Railway Station.
- Traveling by road to Ahmednagar is also very convenient. It is connected to major Maharashtra cities like Mumbai, Pune, and Aurangabad. You can either board a bus or rent a cab going to Ahmednagar from these cities.
Cameras and Mobile Phones
In Ahmednagar, there is little to no restriction on the usage of cameras and mobile phones. Most tourist places will allow you to use them freely. Museums and natural parks might charge an extra fee for their usage. Many religious places will restrict their usage completely or partially.
Whether you are passionate about adventure, history, architecture or culture – Ahmednagar holds the promise of an enjoyable trip. This city is capable of amazing you with its stunning forts, brilliant architecture, serene landscapes, and vibrant markets. Plan your Ahmednagar vacation soon to experience this Maharashtrian marvel.