Aligarh Fort

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Moat at the Aligarh Fort

Coordinates: 27°55′42″N 78°03′26″E / 27.9284684°N 78.0571125°E / 27.9284684; 78.0571125 Aligarh Fort (Aligarh Qila) also known as "bonay (बौने / بونے ) chor ka qila"(English- Dwarf thief's fort) is located in the city of Aligarh , Uttar Pradesh. It is also called "Aligarh Qila". Most part of it is damaged and only a peripheral appearance of a fort is present. It is situated near the G T road and consists of a regular polygon, surrounded by a very broad and deep ditch.[1]

History

It was built during the time of Ibrahim Lodi by Muhammad, son of Umar the governor of Kol (Aligarh city is subset of this greater set) of, in 1524-25. Sabit Khan, who was the governor of this region during the time of Farrukh Siyar and Muhammad Shah, further rebuilt the fort.[2] It became a fortress of great importance under Madhavrao I Scindia in 1759, and was the depot where he drilled and organized his battalions in the European fashion with the aid of French soldier Benoît de Boigne.[1] During the Battle of Ally Ghur, it was captured from the Marathas under the leadership of a French officer Perron by Lord Gerard Lake's British army, in September 1803, since which time it has been much strengthened and improved. In the rebellion of 1857 the troops stationed at Aligarh mutinied, but abstained from murdering their officers, who, with the other residents and ladies and children, succeeded in reaching Hathras.[1]

The fort is built on a little raised north of the Aligarh Muslim University at Barouli Road. It has steep ravines, over 30 feet high, on every side, and bastions in every angle on the walls. Currently Aligarh fort is under the care of Aligarh Muslim University as a protected site of Archeological Survey of India. The university uses part of the internal area fort as location for its department of Botany. The fort has been the seat of many governors and other rulers of this land, including Sabit Khan, Maharaja Surajmal in 1753 and mentioned Madhavrao Scindia in 1759. The fort was expanded three times in 1753 by lieutenant Banasaur, commanding officer of contemporary ruler Maharaja Surajmal, to include a basement, an explosives warehouse and an air cooled kitchen.[3]

Aligarh fort, as it stands today, is the work of the French engineers under the control of de Boigne and Perron.[2] Presently, the fort houses a small primary school within its premises.

On its front side the new building of the Dawakhana Tibya college, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh is situated. On its back side there is the Street Number 1 of the Fort Enclave (a posh colony of the university teachers). The back side ( south) of the fort is now identified by the office ( Arafaat, Street Number-1 Fort Enclave) of the National Society for Educatioal Empowerment of the Masses ( NASEEM) an NGO working particularly for Have-not sections of the locality. To protect the remains of this historic fort it's out boundaries were constructed [as per the 100 m rule of the (ASI)] by the Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh during the tenure of Mr. Mahmoodurrahman the vice chancellor of the varsity.

References

  1. ^ a b c Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Aligarh" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 663.
  2. ^ a b History of Aligarh
  3. ^ HolidayIQ.com. "Aligarh Fort | Aligarh Place to Visit | Aligarh Fort Photos". Holidayiq.com. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
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