In the Satmala Range highlands in western India, there is a historic site called Ankai Fort. It is situated in the Maharashtra state’s Yeola Taluka in the Nashik district. Yadava of Devgiri constructed the fort. The location is close to Manmad. Two distinct forts on nearby hills are the Ankai fort and the Tankai fort. They build a common fortification to protect both.
The Ankai fort is situated on a hill with perpendicular scarps on all but the eastern side, which has a narrow snout.
The Ankai-Tankai Fort’s past
General Khan Khanan of the famous Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who constructed the magnificent historical monument of India, the Taj Mahal, seized the Ankai-Tankai forts. Following the fort’s capture by British forces led by Lieutenant-Colonel McDowell on April 5, 1818. He managed to take Ankai-Tankai without a fight or any casualties.
In the region between Nashik and Manmad, this fort is situated. Seven rings of defenses surround the Hindu temple carved out of solid rock in the Ankai fort. The curving steps were important because they would offer excellent defense against enemies who would assault them. In the last section of the steps, the breadth is so narrow that only one or two men could even foot on it, and the fort’s defenders could throw stones at the enemies.
An effective method of defense was to keep firewood near the door, and when the adversaries arrived, they would light the wood, keeping them away from the fire.
A mysterious domed structure with a treasure chamber is claimed to have been located behind the final doorway. In the center of Ankai’s square water tank is an old sculpture. Buildings once stood atop the fort, but they were destroyed, leaving just remains.
Fort plateau includes 7-8 water tanks on the top and 15 m-deep, rock-cut granaries. On the fort’s western side, a palace can be seen with a pond in front of it. At the base of the plateau are Hindu rock-cut shrines with hermits that are still in good shape today.
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Compared to the Ankai fort, the Tankai fort is less tall and more level. The plateau is covered in grass, and horses that are constantly buffeted by the wind graze there. On the fort, there is no available shelter, although there is a Shiva temple that has partially fallen.
The Shiva temple is made of enormous stone blocks decorated with stone sculptures, and Nandi stands in front of the time gazing at the Shiva linga shrine.
Fort contains fortifications on each of its four corners and a relic of a guard house on its eastern side. The Tankai fort served primarily as a big supply of storage space.
How to get to Ankai-Tankai Fort from Mumbai
Bus from Mumbai to Ankai-Tankai
There are ST (State Transport) buses and Volvo buses that travel from Mumbai to Manmad; the distance between the two cities is 250 km. From Manmad, local transportation is accessible to Ankai (the base village); the distance between the two cities is about 8 km.
Train from Mumbai to Ankai-Tankai
Trains are available from Mumbai to Manmad; the distance between the two cities is around 207 km. From Manmad, local transportation is available to Ankai (the base village); the distance between the two cities is approximately 8 km.
The Manmad City
On the road connecting Malegaon and Pune is Manmad town. It was a significant location where the Peshwa of Pune transacted business. The Peshwas used Manmad City as a major commerce route to reach northern India; Chandwad and Nandgaon were also viable options to Delhi. Massive amounts of agricultural, petroleum, food grains, and cement are produced in Manmad City.
Hadbichi Shendi is a pinnacle that is simple to access from the base but difficult to climb due to its unstable rocks. Some intrepid people and climbers have scaled the Hadbichi Shendi. In the village of Katarna, the route begins along the “Dattamandir road.”
It is the main draw for visitors to Manmad. Gurudwara was located beside a thick forest. Balarao and Rustumrao, two inmates from the Satara fort, were brought by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. People helped to build the gurdwara by removing the thick forest during the Sant Baba Nidhan Singh Ji-initiated karseva.
A buried bauli was discovered during the gurudwara’s construction. The gurudwara was then given the name Gurudwara Guptsar Sahib since it is said that the water from the well is heavenly and pleasant.