Must Visit

Asirgarh Fort

4.1 / 5 55 votes


Weather:

Time Required: 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee:

No entry fee
Ad

"Where History and Legend Meet"

Asirgarh Fort, Burhanpur Overview

Located in the historical town of Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh,  Asirgarh Fort stands impegnable in the Satpura Ranges. It was built by the a zamidar (Land owner) knwon as Asa Ahir of the Ahir dynasty in the 15th Century. The fort, spread over a total area of more than 60 acres, is situated about 20 kilometres to the north of Burhanpur. It may appear to be a single large fort, but is, in fact, a colleon of 3 forts known as called Asirgarh,  Karmargarh, whereas the third part is called Malaygarh.
Even though the Asirgarh Fort is now in ruins, it still holds immense importance for history lovers as well as for those who wish to simply explore the beauty of a monument that once held esteem and prestige, but unfortunately could not escape the ravages of time. It is known to be an impregnable fort and has never been taken by force!

Because the Asirgarh Fort demands a pass through the Satpuras that connects the valleys of the Narmada and the Tapti Rivers, which is one of the most important routes from north India into the Deccan, it is also popularly known as the 'Babe Deccan' or the 'Key to the Deccan'. In fact, during the Mughal era, it was widely agreed that the Deccan started from here, while the area that lay between Asirgarh and Delhi was considered to be Hindustan.

The majestic fort was earlier known by the name of Asa Ahir Garh, on the name of the  who built this grand structure. The name of the fort, however, was later changed to its present name, that is the Asirgarh Fort. The fort is about 259 metres high and is at the height of 701 metres from the sea level. Inside this grand fort, one can also find a mosque, gurudwara and a temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Legend has it that the fort is haunted by the presence of Ashwattha  - The ill-fated warrior prince from the epic Mahabharata who was doomed with a curse by Lord Krishna that he will remain immortal with no one to care and care for!

More on Asirgarh Fort


The Asirgarh Fort was built by the Ahir dynasty emperor Asa Ahir in the 15th century. When Nasir Khan of Khandesh, a ruler of the Faruqui Dynasty, requested Asa Ahir to provide shelter to his family members, especially women, in the fort since these people were under some potential threat, the latter agreed. This, however, was a conspiracy and no sooner had the family members been allowed to enter that some trained soldiers under Nasir Khan killed Asa Ahir and all his family members. The fort then came under Nasir Khan's empire.

Nasir Khan's descendant Miran Bahadur Khan, who ruled from 1596 to 1600, refused to pay homage to the Mughal Emperor Akbar and his son Daniyal and asserted his independence. Enraged, Akbar marched Burhanpur in 1599 and captured the entire city. He then also besieged the fort and captured it on 17 January in 1601. Finally, during the Second Anglo-Maratha War, the British forces took the pettah of Asirgarh on 18 October 1803. Eventually, the fort's garrison surrendered on 21 October in the same year.

The Asirgarh Fort was deserted after the departure of the British and is now in ruins. The architectural style of the fort was heavily influenced by the Mughals and is a combination of the Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian styles of architecture. The fort has been constructed of stone, lead and limestone. Peculiarly enough, it houses a temple, a mosque, and a Gurudwara in its confines!

The fort houses a temple which is known as the Gupteshwar Mahadev Mandir and is dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. According to local legends, Ashwatthama, a famous character from the Indian epic Mahabharata, visited this temple on a regular basis to worship Lord Shiva and offer him flowers.

Other than the temple, the Asirgarh fort also houses a ruined mosque with minarets, which is known as Asir Masjid, and a gurudwara. There is also a place inside the fort just opposite the Shiva temple where criminals were hung and later on thrown from over the cliff. A vast natural water tank in the fort serves as the water source for the residents of the Fort. One can also find ruins of British origin, British graves, human-made ponds, balconies that showcase the royal medieval Indian architecture, and tombs inside the fort.

It has been reported by some people that they can see an apparition of Ashwatthama in the fort. The story goes such that to avenge the death of this father Guru Dronacharya, Ashwathama killed all the five sons of the Pandavas and even attempted to kill Abhimanyu's son Pareekshit while he was still in his mother's womb. Lord Krishna then cursed Ashwathama and stated that he would bear the load of the misdeeds of other people on his shoulders, and always roam like an apparition and get no sympathy or affection. He also stated that Ashwathama would live away from the society in complete isolation. Ashwathama was also requested to give up the gem that was on his forehead. 

It is believed that Aswathama has been roaming around in the Asirgarh fort for the past five thousand years. He is the first one to worship Lord Shiva in the morning, and mysteriously enough, there are fresh flowers and sandal that are offered to Lord Shiva every morning. Some people also believe that Ashwathama lingers around the Asirgarh Fort at night time, and asks people for turmeric and oil to stop the bleeding of his forehead. He also takes a bath in the pond which is on the campus of the fort and worships Lord Shiva in the temple of the Fort. Anyone who sees this apparition has been reported to either go mad or lose their mental stability.

To visit the Asirgarh Fort, you will first have to reach Burhanpur via Indore. Burhanpur is situated on the State Highway 27, which links it to Indore. From Indore, it is best to drive down to Burhanpur or hire a taxi or bus.

The Asirgarh Fort is located about 20 kilometres to the north of the city of Burhanpur. From Burhanpur, you can hire an auto-rickshaw, which will cost you around INR 500 for a round trip to and from the fort.

Asirgarh Fort Reviews

Add a Review

No reviews yet

Latest questions by travellers on Asirgarh Fort

I had reached the Asirgarh fort at about 1700 Hr. The fort door were locked. Is there a time to enter the fort?

Answer: The timings of the Asirgarh fort is from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Last entry is usually around 30 minutes to 1 hour before closing.

Ask a question from people who travelled to Asirgarh Fort recently