Saturday, December 11, 2010

Travel and Adventure: "Chavand" .......... Part 1

Situated at a height of 3000ft from sea level, the fort houses many a remnant of constructions that take us about 800 years back into the time. The fort is in Pune district, at a distance of 20 km from the city of Junnar. The region at the foothills of the fort contains exotic flora & fauna. It was here that we could spot at least 12 varieties of birds. Village of Chavandwadi lies at the base of the fort.

Malik Ahmed founded the Nizam Dynasty in 1485. He was the first Nizamshah who acquired the fort of
Chavand after the dissolution of the Bahmani Empire. The seventh Nizamshah was Second Burhanshah. His grandson Bahadurshah was imprisoned here in 1594. Bahadurshah was the nephew of Chandbibi, a renowned personality from the same period. She played an important role in helping him to achieve the throne. In 1636 Shahajiraje, father of Shivaji Maharaj, signed a treaty with the Moghals, in which the Moghals got Chavand. Shivaji Maharaj named the fort as Prasannagad", Mythological references :
- The forts named after the names of great sages (for e.g. Vasota, named after Vasistha) are pre-ancient forts.
- The forts decorated by Buddhist carvings and sculptures (for e.g. Shivneri) are ancient forts.
- Forts belonging to the medieval period are related to Shaiva, Shakta or Naath.
- The goddess Chamunda is an idol of destruction of evil, with a terrifying appearance, armed with weapons. The deity belongs to Bengal, Bihar and Karnataka.

- Saptamatrika (The seven cisterns) : The British in their attack have destroyed many a construction in the eighteenth century. Here a temple half buried in the earth can be seen. As we go ahead on the left, we can see 7 water tanks aligned along each other. These have much mythological significance, & their names are as follows: Brahmi, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrayani & Chamunda, the most powerful goddess of all.
- Rock Cut Caves : As we proceed towards the northern direction around the fortification, we can see that a proper way was constructed hereby to move around to keep watch. On the north side of the fort, human made caves are situated where the fortification ends. Here it is said that a secret passage exists, amidst the wall, right below the caves. As we go the south side, we can have a beautiful view of the river Kukdi that originates from Kukdeshwar, a famous pilgrimage near the fort. On the southeastern side, no fortification exists as steep fall dominates this place. Again as we proceed westwards, we can see the fortification here. This fort being strongly secured was used for imprisoning Bahadurshah Nizam in 1594.
- Chavandabai Shrine : On the topmost part of the fort, i.e. on a small hillock, is situated the temple of Goddess Chavandabai. Here rises the question, that who brought this deity here in Maharashtra, which is predominantly from the provinces of Bengal, Bihar & Mysore. The answer is also quite simple. Naneghat had been the main route for transport of goods that came from other provinces via harbour of Sopara & Kalyan, the place of junction. Some well established businessman from Mysore, who came through Naneghat, must have established Chamunda here.

1 comment:

Sylvester said...

Thanks for the wonderful historic information. They are so valuable and important. Keep up the good work.

The photographs are also awesome.


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