Akola Fort



Akola fort (also called Asadgad or Asagad) along with the Narnala and Akot forts forms the major fortifications of the Akola district, Maharashtra, India.


History:

Its earliest form of mud was made by one Akol Singh to protect the village. He saw a hare chasing a dog and considering this to be an auspicious sign, he built an earthen wall here to protect the village. Akola was heavily fortified in 1697 CE during the reign of Aurangzeb by Asad Khan, from whom the fort took its name (Asadgad). In 1803, Arthur Wellesley camped here before proceeding to win the Battle of Argaon in the Second Anglo-Maratha War. The fortress was dismantled by the British Raj in about 1870. It was reported in 1910 in a district gazetteer that the central part of the fort (the hawakhana) was used as a school.



Major features:

Akola fort is notable in that it is bereft of any decorative embellishments.

There are several inscriptions on the fort. An inscription on the Dahi handa gate gives its date of construction as 1114 AH (1697 CE), 'during the reign of emperor Aurangzeb when Nawab Asad Khan was minister.' Another on the Fateh Buruj bastion has no exact date. It too mentions the same minister but a different emperor (Shah Alam). One on the Eidgahcontains texts and a statement that the building was finished by Khawja Abdul Latif in 1116 AH (1698 CE). On the Agarvesgate an inscription in Marathi reads that Govind Appaji in 1843 CE constructed the fort. The latter statement contradicts all the other inscriptions.


Shri Raj Rajeshwar Mandir

Akola’s oldest Shiva temple is Rajeshwar Mandir. The Shiv temple was built by Chola Empire king Raj Rajeswar.

Folklore

While king Akolsingh was living in the Asadgad Fort, there is a famous story is associated with this payas temple. Every night his queen went to this temple to worship Lord Shiva at midnight. She had deep belief in Lord Shiva. Once king Akolsingh thought that his queen was going out at midnight for a wrong reason, so he followed her with a sword; the queen came to know that King Akolsingh was following her, thinking that she was walking at midnight not for worship but for something illicit. She felt gloomy and guilty and went straight to the Shiva temple and pleaded to the god that her husband the king was thinking wrong about her, and that it was insulting that he was having no faith in her loyalty and her character. So she pleaded "kindly get me into your Pind (ShivaLing)", and suddenly the Shiva ling broke in two parts and the queen jumped into that ling, and then it was closed. The king understood his mistake and could not forgive himself. Still the Shiva ling in this temple has a little crack which shows and proves the reality of ancient story. This temple is the base aastha of this Akola city. There are 2 bridges: the first one is the dagadi pool (stone bridge) and the other is lokhand pool (iron bridge). This iron bridge was built at the time of British.