Part 1: Introduction


The Hilltop Palace in the Fort of Daulatabad, by Carl Lindquist

General Info:

Chronology of Daulatabad 

Map of Daulatabad Fort

Palace History and Design:

Brief History and Description of Daulatabad Fort 

Daulatabad and the Mughals 

Dating the Palace 

Description of the Palace 

Possible Functions of the Palace 

Design of the Palace 

The Daulat-Khana 

Placement and Approach 

The Citadel and Architectural Symbolism 

Conclusion and Further Research 

 

 

 

In the following sections are some of my research, photographs, and architectural renderings relating to Daulatabad Fort. All text and images are my original creations; the only reproduced work is a painting by Murar, an artist who served in the court of Shah Jahan.  (Murar's painting is an opaque watercolor on paper and measures 35.5 x 25.3 cm, and was painted circa 1633; it is in the collection of the Windsor Castle Royal Library.)

The Fort of Daulatabad is in a poor state of preservation. Natural elements and human activities are eroding the site.  It is hoped that this research promotes interest in and awareness of Daulatabad, and that the photographs, architectural renderings, and research will serve as viable sources for further study and preservation of the site. -Carl

The Fort of Daulatabad is a site of historic importance for the medieval period in the Deccan, the large plateau which is located just south of India's broad central area. Daulatabad was first settled in the ninth century, and its frequent changes of ownership over the centuries is reflected in its constructions. Despite its historical significance, many of the buildings within this fort have not received sufficient attention from scholars. Because continual pilfering of stones is resulting in the disappearance of the fort's walls and buildings, it is important that this site and its constructions receive better documentation and attention toward preservation. 

There are many interesting buildings in the fort, and one that stands out in elegance and prominence is a construction on the hilltop. This building, often referred to as a baradari, has been largely overlooked in published accounts of Mughal architecture. Although it has received mention by some scholars, it is frequently discussed as a peripheral feature of Daulatabad. It is therefore important that this well-preserved monument be studied in both its formal and symbolic dimensions.
Various dates in the seventeenth century have been assigned to the building. How it was originally used is not precisely known, and its function perhaps has been confused by its being frequently referred to as a baradari. The term baradari refers to a pillared pavilion which is open on its external sides. This structure, however, is closed on the outside and has several rooms that could have served a variety of functions. To label this structure a baradari belies the fact that its form resembles an imperial residence. Therefore, the building is properly termed a palace, at least in its formal considerations. In fact, its floor plan is very similar to that of another Mughal palace at Daulatabad, a structure known as the Daulat-Khana, which likely served as the primary imperial residence at the fort.  The Daulat-Khana is discussed in another section of this research.