History of Mahuli Fort
The fortress was built by the rulers of the Mughal Dynasty. Later it was occupied by the Nizam Shahi Dynasty in 1485. The Mughal rulers of Delhi attempted to overpower the Nizam Shahis after Shahaji Raje was appointed as the secretary of Nizam Shahi Dynasty. Later Shahaji Raje went to Mahuli in the year 1635. The Mahuli Fort was ruled by Shahaji during this period. Later Khan Jaman invaded the fortress and Shahaji Raje was forced to surrender.
However on 8 Jan 1658, Mahuli Fort was occupied by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj after he defeated the Mughal army. Later it was handed over to the Mughals in 1661 but was again re-captured by the great Maratha Emperor Shivaji. After the signing of the treaty of Purandar in the year 1665, the Maratha Empire was forced to surrender the fortification to the Mughals. Later in June 1670, the regions and forts of Mahuli, Palasgad and Bhandargad were conquered by the Maratha army and were incorporated into the Martha Kingdom.
The rulers of the Martha Empire ruled over Mahuli Fort until 1817. Later the fortress was captured by the army of the British East India Company.
Architecture of Mahuli Fort
Mahuli Fort includes several other structures inside the premises of the fortress, such as perennial water reservoir, a temple devoted to Lord Shiva and various other small buildings. Apart from these, there are three caves in the vicinity that are used as shelter many other hill forts in the Sahyadris Mountain Range. The main gateway is known as Kalyan Darwaza. It is built with stone and consists of an archway. Presently the dome of the arch is in a state of disrepair.
Present Condition of Mahuli Fort
Mahuli Fort has been declared as one of the protected monuments of the country by the Government of India. It is being preserved and maintained by the local government. The site has become a popular tourist destination. The landscape and various pinnacles in the area attract several trekker and rock climbers throughout the year.
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