|Fort Name :||Alphabetically||RangeWise||DistrictWise||CategoryWise||GradeWise|
|Ankai||FortHeight : 3170|
|Type : Hill forts||Fort Range : Satmal|
|District : Nashik||Grade : Medium|
| Ankai and tankai are joint forts the forts are built on different hills that are sepraterd by a khind.This forts were buit to keep an eye on the trading route between Surat – Aurangabad. Brahmin and Jain caves and the heritage of Agusti muni denotes the ancient culture of the fort. Since the fort is only 10 Km away from manmad and it is also an holi attraction there is always rush on the fort during the weekends and holidays so preferably you first visit ankai fort then visit the tankai fort.
For a brief visit of Ankai and Tankai fort we need 5 to 6 hours in total. Considering you reach manmad from the your hometown early in the morning. You can complete the exploration of both the forts till noon after visiting the forts you have two options either you can visit gorakhgad which is located 6 km from the ankai fort and stay in the temple which at the based village of the fort or you can visit in the katra fort which is 7 km away from ankai and the stay in the base village katarvadi.If you plan the trek carefully you can visit 4 forts in 2 days .There is no public transport available between the forts so personal transport is preferable.
|On the big hill of ankai there was aheritage of agusti muni.the Brahmin caves which are present on the fort and jain caves which are present at the base village proves the ancient heritage of the fort. The fort was built in the 12th centuryin the era of the yadav from devgiri. In the 1635 the mughal won the fort by bribing the fort keeper.The fort gained importance since it was on the Surat –Aurangabad trading route.In 1752 the fort was in Maratha teretory due the BHALKI tah . In 1818 the fort was won by the English men.|
|Fascinating Spots :|
| There is a proper road from Ankai village passing near a school to the base of the fort. There are Ganesh idols and Veerghals kept in the open alongside the road. Another Veerghal is kept facing opposite the school. This Veerghal is nearly four-foot tall and square in shape and is engraved with sculptures on its four sides on the lower strip. One of the sculptures depicts a wild boar being hunted. Sati's hands are carved on the upper side. After seeing this return to the school and reach the base of the fort. The archeological department has built steps from the end of the road to the Jain caves which takes us 10 minutes.|
These caves are built in two levels. There are two caves at the first level. In front of the second cave there is a water tank. After visiting these 2 caves, one can reach the second level of caves by climbing another 10 to 15 steps. There are 5 caves here which might be built in the 10th or 12th century. The first two caves comprise of two floors. There are three parts, such as their angles, a hall and a terrace. There is a beautiful carving on the doorway of the main hall of the cave. This hall is supported by four pillars. At the end of the pillar there is a carving of yaksha which is supporting the ceiling, there is a nice lotus on that ceiling. There is a staircase to go to the first floor from the main hall. The room on the first floor is supported by to pillars. In the front veranda of the second cave there is carving of yaksha on the left side and carving of indrani in right side.the carving of indrani is now turned into bhavani mata. The main hall is supported on four pillars. Stairway to the first floor is in the main hall. On the first floor the window is carved in the square shaped .On the other side of the window there two vyals carved. In the front varanda of the third cave two idols are there.the idol on the left side is of kichak and the idol on the right is of ambika mata. In the fifth cave there are statues of tirthankar.
When we start ascending after watching the caves the pass between the two forts is guarded by fortification wall. There are charya in the fortification wall. After ascending for 10 minutes we reach at first south faced door of the both ankai and tankai fort. There are two big bustons on the both side of the door. The fortification wall starting from this bustons is until bothj the forts ankai and tankai. Some part of wooden remainings of the door is still present there. After few more steps the fort on the right is tankai fort and the fort on the left is ankai fort and in the front there is manmad door(vayavya door). You can expreince the hugeness of th manmad door
By descending down in the door, by this means the pass between the two forts is protected by two doorways and fortification wall.
In the direction of ankai fort we can see a structure, this structure may be used as a checkpost in those days. A road behind these structure goes towards caves. There is a Brahmin cave. Inside the cave a room(GARBHAGRUHA) is carved . the cave is so detoriated that we can only identify the statues of Jay and Vijay. Near the cave there is a cistern. There is a huge water reservoir supported by pillars in above the caves.After ascending steps we reach the second door.there are two octagonal bustons surrounding the door.steps behind this door are carved in 80 degree angle.After climbing few steps we reach the third door after that there is a fourth door. These three doors are in straight line in these three doors on one side there is huge fortification wall and on the other side there is solid rock.the steps are carved in this solid rock .
After the fourth door the the stairs rotate in 90 degree.
After crossing the fifth and the detoriated sixth door we enter into the fort. on the left side there is a building.after ascending few steps there are cistern on the left as well as on the right .
The trail between the cisterns take us towards the sita guha.there is a water reservoir inside as well as outside of the guha. The villagers keep there cattles in these guha so we cant stay in this guha . at two minute walk from sita guha there is another cave named agasti muni cave. There is a water reservoir above the caves it is at 4 feet from the ground.some saints live in the agusti cave. The cave is well decorated.
Walking for few we reach the platue of the fort. There is lake carved in the rock the lake is known as kashi lake.in the middle of the kashi lake there is a self immolation of augusti muni.there is huge structure away from the lake before reaching the structure we come across two more lakes. The structure is huge with a lake in the middle of it with is dry. There is no ceiling to the structure and only arch of the structure are remaining. In the structure of the wada there is a square shaped buston. In the one end of the structure there is pir(darga).
After visiting structure start ascending the hillup of the augusti cave. In the right side there is a big constructed water reservoir. On the top of the hill there is only a flagpost. From the top of the hill we can see tankai in the east gorakhgad katra and hadbichi shendi in south. We can descend at the sita guha. It takes 1 complete hour for visiting the places on the fort.
|Ways To Reach :|
| Manmad Junction is connected by road and by train all the cities. Manmad is on the Aurangabad road, 10km from Ankai village, from Manmad. From the village school to the base of the fort, there is a private escape. ST going towards Manmadahun Yeola, Aurangabad, can be reached at the foot of Akkai village and goes to the base of the fort with a speed of 1 km.|
Ankai fort is a railway station. But only the passenger stop here. This station is nonsooch because it is 2 km from the fort.
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|Forts in the range of Satmal||Ankai|