Manikgad(also called Gadchandur) is an ancient fort in Chandrapur district, Maharashtra. It is a hill fort 507 metres above sea level built by the Naga kings in the 9 CE. Currently the forts is in a state of ruins and is frequently by wild animals that live in the vicinity like panthers and boars. Several monuments of historical importance are also present in the area.
Manikgad was built by the last Mana Naga King - Gahilu. The Mana Nagas settled in this area around 9 CE. Initially, the fort was named Manikagad after the patron deity of the Mana Nagas - Manikadevi - but later on this got shortened to Manikgad. Local legend holds that the fort was built by a Gond king named Mankyal(hence the name Manikgad). However, the lintel of the entrance gate has a Naga image carved in relif and not the Gond emblem of lion and an elephant. So this legend is not true.
The fort is built of large black stones and it would have been a formidable fort in its time. Rampart walls of the fort enclose a valley which has ruins of old buildings and store-houses. Outlines of some apartments are visible against the rampart walls. The southern bastion along with its supporting wall has collapsed. In the valley below lies a cannon which likely was mounted on that bastion. Unlike a cast iron cannon, this cannon made of several iron straps welded together. The gateway of the fort is still intact.
Places to visit
The entire fort can be visited in 1–2 hours. The main gate, Queens palace , Patal vihir, and few bastions are visited the most. The Queen's palace is situated near a small dam with steps and few rooms constructed for bathing.There are two wooden pagodas constructed by the Forest Department. The fort area is filled with shrubby growth and wild trees.
- "Friends of Forts". Archived from the original on 2009-04-05. https://web.archive.org/web/20090405125744/http://www.fortsofsahyadri.friendsofforts.com/list_of_maharashtraforts.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
- "Chandrapur District Gazetteer". Government of Maharashtra. http://www.chanda.nic.in/htmldocs/pdf/dgazette2/places_Manikgad.html. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
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