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Haryana’s Asigarh Fort: Where history comes alive

[ecis2016.org] Haryana’s Asigarh Fort, which lies just 135 kms away from New Delhi, covers a whopping 30 acres

Not everything can be measured accurately in terms of a specific value or price tag. The proud and imposing Asigarh Fort is one such prime example, nestled along the eastern bank of the lovely Amti Lake in Hansi, a town in Haryana. Asigarh Fort lies just 135 kms away from New Delhi, along National Highway 9. It covers a whopping 30 acres, which indicates a possible value amounting to a staggering amount!

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Asigarh Fort

(Image courtesy Pkindian23, Wikimedia Commons)

Asigarh Fort valuation

Take for example, an average thumb-price of Rs 25,000 per sq yard in Hansi along the highway. Considering that 1 acre is 4,840 sq yards, the 30 acre property works out to roughly 1,45,200 sq yards. This translates into a mind-boggling valuation of Rs 3,63,00,00,000 or three hundred and sixty three crores for the land alone! Consider the heritage and cultural value of the property and the structure itself and this could go up by leaps and bounds! Anyhow, this priceless monument was once the epicenter for controlling about 80 forts in its surrounding region. It was once one of ancient India’s most impregnable structures and is an ASI-safeguarded monument.

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Hansi Fort

(Image courtesy Pkindian23, Wikimedia Commons)

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Asigarh Fort: History and legend

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The Asigarh Fort or Hansi Fort has a chequered history of its own. The excavation of ancient coins right from the BCE timeline indicate a lengthy history of several settlements along the mound upon which the fort stands today. It is believed by historians that the original structure was developed by Harshavardhana, the iconic emperor or possibly Prabhakaravardhana, his grandfather. They belonged to the Vardhana or Pushyabhuti Dynasty. The current fort seems to have been built with materials dating back to the previous fort in 7th century CE.

Asigarh Fort Haryana

(Image courtesy Pkindian23, Wikimedia Commons)

Anangpal Tomar, the former Tomar King who ruled Delhi, has a strong connection to the Asigarh Fort. He may have founded the current version of the fort while his son set up a factory for manufacturing swords here too. It is thus known as Asigarh. Swords were exported from here to lands as distant as the Arab countries. Qazi Sharif Hussain wrote in his Talif-e-Tajkara-e-Hansi in 1915 that close to 80 forts were controlled from Asigarh itself.

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Several Tomar kings may have borne the name of Anangpala and the Dynasty controlled the Delhi, Haryana and Asigarh regions around 1000 CE. However, they were attacked by Mahmud Ghazni in 1014. His son Mas’ud I of Ghazni also mounted an attack in 1037 CE. The throne was seized ultimately by Ghazni’s nephew Mawdud of Ghazni in 1041. Kumarpal Tomar once again captured the Hansi and Thanesar regions sometime in the 11th century. A new capital may have subsequently been set up at Mahipalpur or Mahipalapura as it was known previously.

Haryana’s Asigarh Fort: Where history comes alive

(Image courtesy Pkindian23, Wikimedia Commons)

As per inscriptions found by historians, Hansi was once under the control of Vigraharaja IV, brother of the Chauhan Dyanasty’s Someshvara. Prithviraj Chauhan made some additions to Asigarh back in the 12th century. He was defeated by Mohammed Gauri in 1192. During Aurangzeb’s reign in 1705, Guru Gobind Singh came to Hansi and Baba Banda Singh Bahadur laid siege to Hansi in 1707. The fort came under Maratha rule from 1736. Maharaja Jassa Singh Ramgarhia also had the fort under his control in the 1780s. George Thomas, the Irish immigrant made Asigarh Fort his capital between 1798 and 1801. It was seized by the British East India Company after 1802 and they ruled from 1810 actively until 1947. George Thomas rebuilt the fort in 1798.

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Asigarh Fort: Key details

  • Hansi was an active participant in the liberation war of 1857, including the Asigarh Fort.
  • The Cantonment was built here by the British Indian Army after the surrender of George Thomas to the British Raj in the year 1803.
  • Prisoners from the Kuka movement were kept here in the 1880s.

Haryana’s Asigarh Fort: Where history comes alive

(Image courtesy Pkindian23, Wikimedia Commons)

  • The walls go up to 16 metres or 52 ft high, while being 37 ft or 11 metres thick. The southern end has a large gate which was added by George Thomas later on.
  • There are wall carvings which clearly indicate its origin.
  • The Baradari is the pillared and long structure which has a flat roof located on the top of the mound.
  • The Char Qutub Dargah was added after the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan, within the fort complex.
  • Ancient coins were found at the Asigarh Fort dating to the period before Christ. Excavations yielded 57 bronze images depicting Jain Tirthankars while the Buddha statue found here is also well-known.
  • The Hansi Hoard was found in 1982 including idols from the Gupta period and also from the 7th to 8th centuries.

Haryana’s Asigarh Fort: Where history comes alive

(Image courtesy Pkindian23, Wikimedia Commons)

The Asigarh Fort is one of the treasured monuments in India and a must-visit for history and architecture lovers. This is truly where history comes alive.

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FAQs

Where is Asigarh Fort located?

Asigarh Fort is located in Hansi, a town in Haryana, along the banks of the Amti Lake.

How far is Asigarh Fort from Delhi?

New Delhi is approximately 135 kms away from the Asigarh Fort.

How much area does the Asigarh Fort cover?

The Asigarh Fort covers a total area of 30 acres.

(Header image courtesy Pkindian23, Wikimedia Commons)

Source: https://ecis2016.org/.
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Source: https://ecis2016.org
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Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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