Military Review

Fortresses of India (part of 3)

16
“Junnar-grad stands on a rock of stone, is not fortified by anything, God fenced. And the way to that mountain day, they walk one by one: the road is narrow, the two cannot pass. ”
(Afanasy Nikitin. "Going beyond three seas". Translation P. Smirnova.)



One Chinese traveler noted that as early as the 7th century, Indian cities and villages surrounded walls with gates and towers erected from damp or burnt bricks, although our traveler Athanasius Nikitin saw there a city with nothing but natural obstacles protected. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, incessant wars were fought in India. The local rulers, the Rajis, fought among themselves, and from the north, Arabs and Mongols invaded the country. In India, even a special feudal military class of Rajputs arose - professional warriors and, in fact, the very same knights who were constantly learning military craft and were always ready to go on the march.

The Indians built five types of fortresses, differing by their location: in the desert, on the water, in the mountains, in the forest and earthen fortress. The most powerful was considered a fortress in the mountains, as well as a fortress ... which was held by a particularly loyal garrison! The walls of fortresses and castles of grandees in India consisted of two rows of masonry with earth or rubble filling between them (also built in Europe). The masonry stones did not hold each other together: they lay under their own weight. At the same time, the thickness of the walls ranged from 2,5 to 10,5 m. Sometimes there were several such walls, and between them were dugs filled with water, or seated with pointed stakes. They even held and fed poisonous snakes in the moats near other castles. Such a "live" weapon it was even more frightening and effective than deep ditches with stakes at the bottom.


The biggest fortress in India is Kumbalgarh. There are 700 (!) Bastions in it, and inside there are more 360 temples. The rulers of Mevara shut in it in case of danger. But today it is open and can be visited by driving 90 km north of the city of Udaipur.

Embrasures were made in the walls, but machiculi, so common in Europe, appeared in India only in 1354 year. The gates were defended by two massive Barbican, between which was a winding passage. Above it hung turrets-cabins with embrasures for archers. The gates themselves in the Indian fortresses were always double-winged and very high: an elephant with a turret-palanquin on its back was free to pass through them. However, the high altitude weakened the gate. Therefore, they were made from very durable and rot-resistant teak wood covered with iron. In addition, on their outer wall had teak or iron spikes. They did not allow war elephants, which opponents used as live rams, to approach the gate closely. But the relief images of elephants adorning the walls of the gate were considered reliable amulets, as well as statues of Hindu deities.

Fortresses of India (part of 3)

Gate Kumbalgarh. There are seven of them in the fortress!

In the hot climate of India, water was of paramount importance. Therefore, in each castle or fortress there were reliable wells and reservoirs for collecting rainwater. Quite often, gardens and fountains were arranged nearby, refreshing the air and diminishing the exhausting tropical heat.


The Kumbalgarh bastions resemble a Buddhist stupa in their form. Down to scale are people, donkeys and poles with wires.

In each castle and fortress of India there were numerous underground rooms where everything necessary was prepared in advance for a long siege: water, grain, ammunition, etc. The eerie custom of human sacrifice was then emphasized by the construction of fortifications in India. It was believed that if at the beginning of construction to perform such a rite, the castle or fortress would be unapproachable because they stand on human blood.


If you look at the walls of many Indian fortresses from below, then ... dizzy!

Medieval fortresses with massive walls and towers were built in India until the middle of the XVIII century, which is almost three centuries longer than in Europe. At the same time, the desire to make an impression on both enemies and friends was so great among the Indians that they often erected powerful and thick walls even where there was no need for it. The fortress could be built, for example, on a steep rock. The walls and towers were carved and stuccoed. And even the teeth on the walls tried to give a decorative shape.


And this is not an Indian nuclear power plant at all, far from it, but ... bastions of the Deravar fortress in Bahawalpur.

In southern India, numerous rows of walls were usually built around Hindu temples, which in this case served as castles and fortresses. Gate towers at these walls sometimes reached the height of 50 m and allowed to observe the surroundings.


Temple tower height 28 meters. It was possible to observe from it.

Fortified mausoleums played the same role - in fact, the same castles or fortresses. However, the most famous mausoleum of India is still not a fortress, but a shrine-tomb accessible to all. This is the world-famous Taj Mahal. Storming the Indian fortress was much more difficult than European, primarily because of the heat, which exhausted people and animals. Throwing machines here were similar to European ones, but often shells or clay vessels with snakes were used as shells.

Well, now let's get acquainted with at least some samples of the serf architecture of India, because it is simply impossible to get to know everyone, because there are so many of them. Not just a lot, but a lot of them themselves, for the most part, are in excellent state of preservation, not that the numerous knightly castles of Britain itself.


Golkonda fortress. Bala Hissar (The Citadel). Golkonda, Andhra Pradesh.

To begin, let's go to the Golkonda fortress, which is only 11 kilometers from the city of Hyderabad, where, by the way, there is a very famous university in India, where many students from Russia study, and there are also those who study there for free with grants from the Indian government! Previously, it was here that diamonds were mined, and it was here that all the world's most famous diamonds were mined! Therefore, local rajas did not spare the money for the fortress. They erected it on a hill with a height of 120 meters, and they fortified 87 with bastions on many of which are rusty guns that still stand today.


These are the stone cores used by the medieval Indians in order to shoot at their fortresses. Near the iron cannon miraculously missed the melting.


“But we have found another cannon for you!” Thanks, of course, girls, but only the “not that” cannon. However, in the Indian fortresses a lot of all English weapons.

Four lifting bridges lead inside, and there are warehouses, mosques, and 18 granite mausoleums. The acoustics of this structure are amazing, which, of course, the guides enjoy, attracts the attention of tourists: the clap of hands near one gate is audible a mile from this place! Well, the first of the Europeans was well-known to us Afanasy Nikitin, and not only visited, but also described Golconda.


Ordinary fortress gates.


Gate leaves covered with spikes.

The most amazing thing is that with its huge size Golkonda as a whole is not at all an impressive structure when compared with other Indian fortresses. Whether the case of Mehrangarh Fortress is a Rajput citadel in the northwestern part of the state of Rajasthan.


Mehrangarh fortress - as if growing out of a cliff.


The top view of Mehrangarh is probably even more impressive than the bottom.

The fortress is located on high cliffs and when you look at it from below, the impression is that it is simply cut from the cliff standing on it. It seems that human hands are unable to build such a structure, and even with the local heat, but they have erected it. And when and how, and with whom - all this is precisely known. Began to build it in 1459 year, and finally finished only in the XVII century!


Another gate, and near the fortress wall.

The main gate to Mehrangarh is located in the Victory Tower - one of the seven highest towers that guard the approaches to the fortress. Behind it is a winding and steep road, around which there are walls with terraces of open arbours and living rooms with barred windows through which you can watch all who pass below.


Wall, and on her gazebo.

The iron tower is famous for the beauty of the finish; The Pearl Palace is built of pure white marble, and the Throne Room itself, located on the topmost floor of the Palace of Flowers, is not at all inferior to the rooms that were intended by the Great Moguls themselves.


The fortresses of India - literally whatever you take, are very large in size, and seem to grow out of the steep slopes of the hills. The impression is that for their builders there was nothing impossible. However, neither aliens nor antediluvian civilizations helped them, but how they were built was seen by many European travelers.


But this photo has nothing to do with fortresses, but it is very interesting. India has a temple ... rats! They are loved there, cherished and fed!
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  1. ratfly
    ratfly 20 November 2015 06: 38 New
    12
    For rats, separate ATP
    1. War and Peace
      War and Peace 20 November 2015 18: 24 New
      -1
      round stone cores are very difficult to manufacture, I can not imagine the mass production of such ammunition. What is interesting, the stone cores look PERFECTLY round, manually process the stone to such an ideal shape and spend a lot of time on a single-use product, the value of the application, which is still doubtful, causes distrust. It seems that these stone cores are as "real" as say the cores near the king guns ...
  2. Glot
    Glot 20 November 2015 06: 42 New
    +4
    Article plus.
    Amazing photo. Mehrangarh is impressive!
    But to breed rats ... Brrrr ...
    1. sherp2015
      sherp2015 20 November 2015 07: 59 New
      +5
      Quote: Glot
      Article plus.
      Amazing photo. Mehrangarh is impressive!


      Very interesting article. Thanks to the author for the work! +++
  3. SeregaBoss
    SeregaBoss 20 November 2015 07: 15 New
    +3
    Great article, as if I had been there myself, the photos are excellent! Of course you can’t describe anything interesting in the article, so there is a reason to go yourself and see the truly grandiose structures!
    1. kalibr
      20 November 2015 07: 56 New
      +7
      Yes, you need to go, but it's expensive and hot, in the summer until 40 in the shade. Masses of people! A city with a population of 5 million people is considered small! But, of course, everything is very interesting. Khajuraho temples are very interesting - this is a stone Kama Sutra. And it's not just about ... poses. And this is not only for "concerned". Just a huge layer of erotic culture before your eyes. Playboy and Hustler are resting. And then they will tell you about modern India and problems with this and with their own eyes one can see how the colonial past and the dominance of the British influenced the country's cultures. The police are very interestingly armed - long bamboo sticks with iron ends, long - sticks - horror! And you can’t eat anything anywhere and drink and touch the monkeys!
  4. parusnik
    parusnik 20 November 2015 07: 41 New
    +2
    Impressive ... The photos are wonderful ... and the article..Thank you!
  5. Cap.Morgan
    Cap.Morgan 20 November 2015 08: 57 New
    +1
    Beautiful of course ...
  6. traveler
    traveler 20 November 2015 09: 31 New
    +4
    in terms of the number of fortresses, it seems that Rajasthan is leading, but nevertheless, the Rajputs seem to be like a military caste, the rank obligates. the central complex there is the fortress-palace Amber, also on the mountain, on which tourists are raised on elephants. I would put pictures here, but everywhere there, either I, or my wife, or me and my wife lol
    and so Rajput architecture is impressive only from afar, when approaching you understand the greatness of the Mughals and the secondary nature of the local Indians in those days. if Mughal architecture is detailed in jewelry and really magnificent, the Taj Mahal is probably the most beautiful building on earth, breathtaking in beauty, photos and television do not transmit this, then the Rajput architectural delights turn out to be just painted with approximation and not very neatly.
    and so here the article does not mention (or I missed) the famous red fort. but this structure and its history are worthy of a separate article.
    Thank you to the author, India is really a very interesting country, a must visit.
    1. kalibr
      20 November 2015 14: 04 New
      0
      I don’t have about Red Fort. I was not there, was a daughter's girlfriend with girlfriends. She lives there now, but I can order her to go and flip out everything I need. There is a lot about the Taj Mahal, but in VO it’s only ears!
      1. traveler
        traveler 20 November 2015 15: 00 New
        0
        I simply mentioned the Taj Mahal in the sense that the local Hindu architecture of that time, in particular Rajput, is much inferior to the Mughal. and that from afar seems awesome, on closer inspection it looks cheap.
  7. Griboedoff
    Griboedoff 20 November 2015 11: 47 New
    10
    Just the same illustrations for the fantasy film (also Mehrangarh):
    Mehrangarh



    In general, looking at the architecture of India and China, you understand that after all, Europa, as the center of world civilization, is an anomaly, not a normal state.

    How did chicarono look like when it was freshly built? Gwalior Fortress:

    [img] https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&ua
    ct=8&ved=0ahUKEwiCg7fe0Z7JAhWDXSwKHS00BFsQjRwIBw&url=http://citizenfresh.deviant
    art.com/art/Gwalior-Fort-India-61144150&bvm=bv.108194040,d.bGg&psig=AFQjCNE6hZXE
    ZSvDOBmSJooyD2uvbGx7uQ & ust = 1448096428746682 [/ img]
  8. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 20 November 2015 13: 13 New
    +1
    Thank you very much for the article, Vyacheslav! The topic is very important, but I have not thought about this before.
    When you look at these magnificent buildings, the idea of ​​an urban state suggests itself, but ... just such fortresses were in India long before the Aryans, in the Harappan era! And at that time the population was a mixture of Caucasians, Melanchroids, Australoids, a little Negroids and Semites! Aryan genes in general NO !!! And civilization --- Great! Now at first thought such books:
    Mortimer Wheeler. Ancient Hindustan. M. Center Polygraph, 2005.
    S. Sidorova. Sculpture of Ancient India. M. "Art", 1971
    Indian architecture ???
    ABOUT SNAKE. I’ve been trying to read about animals in the war in VO numbers from the first days. Not all VO pages have been traced. What animals have not been written about! About Snakes --- nothing !!! Such an important topic.
    Sincerely.
  9. The comment was deleted.
  10. traveler
    traveler 20 November 2015 15: 53 New
    +1
    jaipur. Fort Amber:
  11. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 20 November 2015 16: 10 New
    +2
    ONCE AGAIN I looked at all the photos. Both the author and the readers !!!!!! +++++
    Such a beauty!
  12. xan
    xan 20 November 2015 17: 11 New
    +1
    The article is good, but it is necessary to speak about fortresses with military history.
    1. kalibr
      20 November 2015 19: 57 New
      +1
      You are certainly right. But ... where to get the information? In India it is difficult to mine, although there are many interesting sources.
  13. Truth-lovers
    Truth-lovers 20 November 2015 22: 13 New
    0
    Quote: Glot
    Amazing photo. Mehrangarh is impressive!
    But to breed rats ... Brrrr ...

    India is such, and the wonders of beauty, and the horrors of abomination, there is no one without the other.

    Quote: kalibr
    But, of course, everything is very interesting. Khajuraho temples are very interesting - this is a stone Kama Sutra. And it's not just about ... poses. And this is not only for "concerned". Just a huge layer of erotic culture before your eyes.

    Well, yes, such a culture ... Cattle-breeding and incest are the norm ... If you want to delve into this abomination, then please, but this is not culture, this is if you want "features of tradition."

    Quote: Griboedoff
    In general, looking at the architecture of India and China, you understand that after all, Europa, as the center of world civilization, is an anomaly, not a normal state.

    Yah ? Hmm ... I don’t even know how to approach the solution of such a global topic. For brevity, India and China (but the latter to a lesser extent) has nothing to do with the rest of humanity in terms of culture, these are completely separate civilizations. And you will be uncomfortable to say the least. Fair.

    Quote: Reptiloid
    precisely such fortresses were in India long before the Aryans, in the Harappan era! And at that time the population was a mixture of Caucasoids-Melanchroevs, Australoids, a little Negroids and Semites!

    Well, I saw the fortresses of the Harappan civilization, I also saw reconstruction, nothing particularly, quite primitive. I even know about their famous sea and river docks. But in the Middle East it was already cooler then.

    Now who are the "melanchroids"?!? I do not know such a race or ethnic group! Dravids - yes, massively. Even DODRAVIDA massively! There are no negroids there, it has not been there before, no, and now, at least, they are not fixed. Veddoids and Dravids are NOT NEGROIDS. But close. Semites are a later and newcomer population, rare inclusions. There are many more Indo-Aryan genes, but they are highly dissolved and terribly mixed together.
  14. Griboedoff
    Griboedoff 21 November 2015 06: 03 New
    +1
    Hmm ... I don’t even know how to approach the solution of such a global topic.

    The theme is global, but the conclusion is banal ... Although, as you might call some place "the center of world civilization", if development was parallel and beyond the distance of China, for example, Rome did not need to figure out which of them is the center :)
    For brevity, India and China (but the latter to a lesser extent) has nothing to do with the rest of humanity in terms of culture, these are completely separate civilizations.

    Yes, these are separate civilizations. But what are they "completely isolated"? Especially if you recall how many technological borrowings were between different civilizations.
    And you will be uncomfortable to say the least. Fair

    It may well be uncomfortable for me there, but the reasons for this will be mainly because there is still a low standard of living. And these are the consequences of the lag in socio-economic development. But times are changing, the east is evolving, and very fast.
    1. kalibr
      21 November 2015 08: 16 New
      +1
      Well, if you were in India, then you know that the Indians adopted Victorian morality and traditions, that there are just problems with this and very serious ones. The temples of Khajuraho are watched mainly by foreigners, they are surrounded by a fence and cause a quiet horror among the modern Indians themselves. Try to talk with the modern educated Indian about the Kama Sutra - he will be offended and how! After washing, the lingerie is dried under the sheets so that no one sees!
  15. unknown
    unknown 21 November 2015 16: 24 New
    0
    Caucasoid melanchrome is a type of person that is close in structure to white, but with black skin. Ethiopia's population is of this type. This is not a mixture of white and black. An independent type of person.

    Dravids are the indigenous population of Hindustan.

    Semites are the stupidity of modern Western historiography. The first real mention of a-slaves (God's slaves) is the seventeenth century. Arabic history, including caliphate tracing of Ottoman history. Arabs call their "Arabic" letter Turkish. Many Russian proverbs make sense only in translation from "Arabic". And our mat is in many ways the usual "Turkish" language.
    A Jew translated is a settler. Europe is a country (side) of immigrants. Shlomo Zand (professor at Tel Aviv University) in the book "The Origin of the Jewish People" substantiated the complete artificiality of this people. In fact, this estate of the Jews (merchants) has become a sect.

    The history of India, in contrast to the fake stories of "Ancient Rome", "Ancient Greece", "Ancient China", as well as "Ancient Egypt" in its modern transcription, deserves respect.
    Suffice it to say the death of the city of “Moheje-Daro” from a nuclear explosion more than two thousand years ago.
  16. Truth-lovers
    Truth-lovers 21 November 2015 23: 41 New
    0
    Quote: Griboedoff
    Although, as you can call some place "the center of world civilization",
    In fact, when most of the world adopted civilizational attitudes and the material culture of this region, this is the center. It was not the Chinese or Negroes who mastered the New World or discovered Australia, and not the Indians who passed through Siberia to the Pacific Ocean, but the Europeans ...

    Quote: Griboedoff
    But what are they "completely isolated"? Especially if you recall how many technological borrowings were between different civilizations.
    In fact, not so much, this is one of the cliches. The interaction was minimal. Just people with a different psychotype - they just don’t need what people of another world have.

    Quote: Griboedoff
    It may well be uncomfortable for me there, but the reasons for this will be mainly because there is still a low standard of living. And these are the consequences of the lag in socio-economic development.

    Yah ? As for the East, it will lag all the time ... And it will be uncomfortable EXACTLY because of the MENTALITY OF ANOTHER. From personal - I communicate perfectly with Czechs or British or Canadians, but with Indians or Chinese or even blacks - it is difficult, OTHER THEY.

    Quote: kalibr
    Indians adopted Victorian morality and traditions,

    Quote: kalibr
    they are surrounded by a fence and cause a quiet horror among modern Indians.
    Not really so. There are many erotic festivals. The easiest and most famous is the Holi festival. Freedom is complete sexual intercourse. And now he is still very “humane” - because they were taught this by Muslims during the “Islamic Raj”, and then Christians during the “British Raj”.

    Quote: kalibr
    Try to talk with the modern educated Indian about the Kama Sutra - he will be offended and how!

    Actually, if a foreigner talks to me “about this”, I will either shut up or change the subject. Just India - it is two-faced - there is a "show face" and an "inner face." And the second is even more terrible than the first ... (for example, the boys are sacrificed to Kali BEFORE, if that).

    Quote: ignoto
    Dravids are the indigenous population of Hindustan.
    Briefly, no. There were a number of pre-Dravid nations that are still meeting.
  17. dmikras
    dmikras 23 November 2015 20: 28 New
    +1
    Thank you for the article
    But if they had such fortresses why they so quickly fell under the influence of England in due time
    The sale of elites does not guarantee the reliability of defense
  18. 4thParasinok
    4thParasinok 19 December 2015 14: 03 New
    0
    except pictures in the article there is nothing. -