||FortHeight : 2700|
|Type : Hill forts
||Fort Range : Ajantha|
|District : Aurangabad
||Grade : Medium|
| Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district is adorned with many beautifully carved cave structures. The world renowned Ajanta caves are carved in the Ajanta range of Sahyadri mountain. The Ajanta range covers many forts, but the best among them is the Antoor fort.
|Fascinating Spots :|
| Travelling to Antoor fort by a vehicle from Nagapur or by foot from Gopewadi; we reach the majestic bastion (a parking lot facility is made available here). There is a watchguard outpost on the left of the cement path from the bastion that leads to the first doorway of the fort. On the upper side of this path; there are some bastions among which is a three layered bastion. After climbing some stairs; we reach the first doorway that faces the south. A stone cannonball lays in front of this doorway. Earlier; on both the upper corners of the doorway’s arch were the sculptures of Sharabh. Now only the one on the right remains. The road ahead of the doorway is surrounded by fortification walls. Turning left on this path; one reaches the second doorway. Positioned at the right angle to the first doorway; the second doorway is an eastfacing doorway. This doorway has two sqare edged bastions on its sides. To attack the enemy from top; the arch has pits; through which hot boiling oil or scorching coals can be poured. On the inner side of the doorway; there are porches for the guards. Two lotus flower sculptures are carved on the inner side of the doorway and four cannonballs are placed on this doorway. After entering through second doorway; a staircase turns at a right angle and leads to the third doorway. The third doorway is also southfacing and lotus flower sculptures are carved on its arch along with a 5.5 feet long and 2 feet wide inscription in Persian language at the middle. To reach over the top of the arch; there are stairs on the side. Entering the fort through this doorway; one finds decrepit building on the right with some ornamental stones still intact. |
After entering through the door; one faces a lake ahead. The path on the right goes further through the fortification wall on one side and the royal palace on the other side. There is a small entrance to the royal complex of two mansions. Both mansions have dome structure. There are steps carved that takes you to the top of one of the mansions. Some tombs can be found behind this mansion. Exiting the palace; towards the west end; there is a dargah on the way and then there is the square shaped alienated bastion used for keeping watch over enemy. It has stairs and the entire fort can be seen from the top of this bastian. You can continue from here and visit the lake. Water of the lake is in bad condition. On one side of this lake is a dargah named ‘Godi’. On the opposite side of the palace and to the south of the lake is the grand doorway but its presence here raises a question about its purpose of being there. Behind this doorway are some remains of a decreipted building structures. After having look at these structures; walking towards the west-facing bastion; midway there are some dilapidated structures. The celler near to the pond seems to be a gun-powder magazine storage chamber. The descending path at the edge of the bastion’s fortification leads to the water tank carved in the stone. Four carved poled cisterns can be found here. One of the cistern holds potable water for drinking. Above the tanks is a well built pond that has gone dry.
Return to the bastion; after having a look at the water tanks and head towards the narrow part of the fort at the south. An noticable thing about this fort at this point strikes you is that this part is alienated from the main fort by a fortification wall and 2 bastion. To go across the fortification a door is built. Entering through this door; we approach the fort’s south end. A cannon lies here. In front it; lies a small room between the fortification and the bastion. There is a door on the side and vestibule for the watchguards. This grand bastion is the main attraction of the Antoor fort. There is a distance of about 50 feet between this bastion and the plateau. To alienate the fort from the main mountain range; rocks were cut out to make the 50 feet trench. A massive bastion is built on the fort’s side of this trench; thereby strengthening the fort. Presently the bastian houses a dargah named after ‘Gaibanshali Baba’. There are stairs to get to the top of the bastion where one gets the view of the parking lot and the plateau in front from above.
Starting from Antoor fort towards Nagapur; on the lower left side of the road is an ancient mile stone on which there are directions to four cities in Persian language.
Even though the fort is neglected; there are lot many architectural remnants on the fort worth a look. It takes 2-3 hours to cover the entire fort.
|Ways To Reach :|
| Antoor fort is located on the border of Jalgaon and Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. There are two ways to reach by vehicles.|
1) Via Aurangabad : reach Kannad via Aurangabad road. Kannad-Nagapur distance is 20 kms. Jeeps or ST buses are available from Kannad to Nagapur. The forest department has created a cobbled rough road from Nagapur to Antoor fort. It leads straight to the fort by vehicle except in rainy season as it becomes little difficult.
Landing in Nagapur village by ST bus or jeep: there is a village named Kolapur 3 kms from Nagapur village. It takes about 45 minutes to reach here from Nagapur. After leaving Kolapur; within hour and half; we reach the steps of the fort. Leaving the kolapur village behind; in ten minutes; the path takes a left turn. Walking for about 15 minutes, there is a Maruti idol on the right. The path edges towards the left of the fort from the Maruti idol. An important sign to keep in mind is that the path always goes ahead from the left side of the hill. A dome-like structure can be seen ahead on the hill. But don’t go up towards the structure, instead continue turning left around the path on the hill until it finishes at a valley. At this point; one gets to see the first glimpses of the Antoor fort. After having a first look at the fort; walk in the direction of the fort. The path ends at the base of the fort. Rather than climbing the fort head towards; take the jungle route keeping the plateau to your left. Ten minutes after continuing on the road; vestibule for watchguards can be seen. In about another two minutes; we arrive at the first doorway of the fort. It takes 2 and half hours to reach the first doorway from Nagapur.
2) Via Chalisgaon : The Nagapur village lies on the Chalisgaon – Silload road. Nagapur is 40 km from Chalisgaon village. Jeeps or ST buses are available from Kannad to Nagapur. The forest department has created a cobbled rough road from Nagapur to Antoor fort. Apart from difficulties experiened in travelling during the rainy season; this road leads straight to the fort by vehicle.
By walking: the Naagad village lies 20 km on the chalisgaon – silload road. Reach Gopewadi from Pangra-Belkheda road through Naagad village. There is a shepherd village or ‘Dhangarwada’ on upper side of Gopewadi. Except during rainy season; there is a easy way straight upto Dhangarwada. Otherwise one can start climbing from Gopewadi. It takes 3 hours to reach Antoor fort from there. Chalisgaon-Naagad bus service is available. After Naagad; it is difficult to find a public transport for the fort, hence hiring a private vehicle for Gopewadi will be a better choice.
|Accommodation Facility :|
| 10 to 15 people can stay in the mosques inside the fort.|
|Food Facility :|
|Drinking Water Facility :|
| There are potable water tanks on the fort for drinking.|
| It takes 2 and half hours to walk from Nagapur. The climb from Gopewadi takes 3 hours.|