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Asirgarh Fort

Madhya Pradesh Forts

INTRODUCTION
‘Fort’ word is also known as ‘Qila’ in Hindi word, Asirgarh Fort is situated in the famous Satpura Range, about 20 km north of the town of Burhanpur District of Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Topped onto one of high apex of Satpura Mountain, spread over 60 acres of land, some historian stated this fort as ‘Babe Deccan’ means the “key to the Deccan”, which was considered invincible, some author said that after conquering this fort, ways to seizing southern area or ‘Khandesh’ become more easier. It is called "Door to South India". Burhanpur has strategically important position for moving from North India to South India. There is much to see like a mosque and one palace inside this fort. The location becomes more beautiful as this place is encompasses through Narmada and Tapti River valleys. This fort is built by the king Asa Ahir, Ahir is an Indian Hinduism caste, which is referred to Yadav, and it is proposed that the word ‘Ahir’ derives from the Sanskrit word Ahi (snake) or so say those worships snake, though there is so many beliefs and relating myths for finding its derive. During the time of Asa Ahir, fort is not as grand as it seems now which means, after his rule, many changes, for security reasons have been introduced.

TERM "ASIRGARH"
This fort was constructed by Asa Ahir, its original name was Asa Ahir Garh, later this name is turns easier as its three middle letters were dropped to the name Asa Ahir and this became Ashirgarh Fort.

HISTORY
Asirgarh fort was invincible by straight fight so whenever it was won, ways are by cheating or conspiracy. In year 1399 Nasir Khan of Faruqi Dynasty, took over control of Asirgarh fort. He didn't won by actual war but by cheating King Asa Ahir. He urged the King Asa Ahir to provide shelter to hes family ladies as they were under threat. Asa Ahir agreed to provide them shelter and opened the fort door to allow the palanquins of royal family ladies to enter but inside those palanquins, in place of ladies, trained soldiers were secretly present. Once they entered the fort, they came out and charged on the guards and Asa Ahir family member and killed them also and thus fort came into the hand of Nasir Khan and from here Faruqi dynasty rule starts here and it became part of Khandesh. It is year 1536 A.D. when Mughal Emperor Humayun visited Burhanpur via Baroda - Bhatuch - Surat, after conquest of Gujarat. After that, that region was ruled by Raja Ali Khan or also known as Adil Shah who was asked to except supermacy of Akbar and dropped his title of Shah. Earlier he refused but when Akbar forces were sent on expedition, he dropped his royal title of Shah and accepted the Suzerainty of Akbar. It is Adil Khan when many buildings of Burhanpur like Jama Masjid, Idgah at Asir, Mosque of Zainabad and upper part of Asirgarh fort was constructed. Adil Khan's successor Bahadur Khan (1596-1600 AD) again declared independence and refused to except Akbar's supremacy due to which Akbar marched towards Burhanpur in 1599 A.D. and occupied the town without any opposition on April 1600A.D. During that time he stayed at Asirgarh Fort for 4-days. Asirgarh fort was built by Hindus and was ruled by Ahirs, Bargujars, Moughals, Holkars & Britishers. It has seen many phases of history.

ARCHITECTURE
The architecture of this fort is similar to Mughal architecture, which is an amalgam of Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian architecture. There are few tombs, balcony’s and one minar which clearly depict a royal medieval Indian architecture.

HOW TO REACH
One can reach Burhanpur via Indore, as this is well connected city of Madhya Pradesh and 183 km from Indore. You can take any of following modes of transport:

By Air: The nearest airport for reaching Burhanpur is Indore (IDR), which is 183 km from Burhanpur. As Indore is a financial capital of the central state of India Madhya Pradesh, one can get wide air connectivity for all major cities of India like Mumbai, Bhopal, and Delhi from here or for here. Delhi which is the National Capital of India is at a distance of 894 km from Indore, and from Delhi on can board the flight for any destination abroad or domestic.Major Air carriers like Spice jet, Air India, Indigo, Jet Airways provides their air services widely inbound and outbound for all major Indian cities and abroad.

By Train: Burhanpur town is very well connected by train from other important cities and tourist destinations of India. It lies on Mumbai-Delhi & Mumbai Allahabad rail-route. Burhanpur has its own Railway Station (Railway Code: BAU). Trains like Tulsi Express, Kamayani Express (11072), Kushinagar Express (11016), Punjab Mail (12138), Howrah-Mumbai Express (12321), Mahanagri Express (11094), Karnatak Express (12628) etc are some of the important trains connecting Burhanpur from important destinations of India. In simple words, Burhanpur Railway Station (BAU) has train connectivity with destinations like: Mumbai, Delhi, Agra, Gwalior, Bhopal, Eranakulam, Lucknow, Kolkata (Howrah), Allahabad, Varanasi, Jabalpur (Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench), Katni (Bandhavgarh), Pipariya (Pachmarhi), Jhansi (Orchha-Khajuraho), Jalgaon (Ajanta-Ellora), Bangalore etc.

By Road: There is a major road transport structure for reaching Burhanpur, as one can get in to the bus if he wants to reaches here from Indore, which is 183 km away. Since Burhanpur situated on the State Highway – 27, which links it to the Indore, it would be best to drive down from Indore in the bus or hired car or taxi. The nearest town is Khandwa, which is 69 km away and encompasses through Indore-Burhanpur SH-27.

DISTANCE CHART
LOCATION MAP
From
Distance
(in Kms)
Omkareshwar 125
Maheshwar 200
Jalgaon 145
Indore 215
Ajanta Caves 195
Ujjain 270


CLIMATE & WEATHER
Here we can find all seasons i.e. winters, summers & monsoon. Winter season can be observed in months November-December-January-February, summer time ranges from March - April-May-June whereas Monsoon can be seen in July-August-September till mid-October.

BEST TIME TO VISIT
Fort can be visited throughout the year. Usually it is travelled while going from Ajanta caves to Omkareshwar/Maheshwar/Mandu or reverse journey. Burhanpur is usually used as a break-point to avoid long journey. Here only few good hotels are available for visitors. Best time to visit is from October to March.
ACCOMMODATION
Asirgarh is a ruined fort building which is visited when tourist stays at Burnahpur town. Fort don't offer any place to stay but one can stay in Burhanpur which is a small town used as a journey halt. While traveling from Aurangabad to Indore sector or vice-versa, to avoid long drives, tourists usually take overnight stay at Burhanpur and than proceed towards their destination. Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Department has its own hotel called "Tapti Retreat" in Burhanpur which is good option for stay for tourists with air-conditioned and air-cooled rooms. It is good reliable option.
NEXT TO ASIRGARH
Asirgarh is a fort near Burhanpur town. After Burhanpur one can either go for Ajanta -Ellora caves and take departure from Aurangabad city else you can go towards Indore excursions like Mandu, Maheshwar, Omkareshwar or Ujjain and further drive to Bhopal for World heritage sites like Sanchi & Bhimbetka rock shelters.
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