An early urban centre in Orissa (India).

As early as Chalcolithic period, the fundamental principles of fortification were in practice for the protection of life and properties of the inhabitants and for strategic reasons.The ancient texts like Arthasastra, Manasara, Sukranitisara, Yukti-kalpataru and many others deal with the subject of fortification in detail. Archaeologically speaking long before the preparation of Sanskrit treatises on fortification of township and villages, they were in vogue in many sites like Harappa, Mahenjodaro and Kalibangan of Chalcolithic period.

When we come across the term durga meaning a fort in Rig-Veda it was used in the sense of a fort or a strong hold. It was synonymous with Pura meaning a rampart or fort or stronghold. The Brahmanas and Upanishads also refer to the word pura and Mahapurato mean the fort. The Ramayana furnishes us with the classified list of forts into river forts (nadya), the hill fort (parvatiya), the forest fort (vana) and the artificial fort (krtrima). On the other hand the Mahabharata reports different types of citadel in Shantiparva, viz :- water citadel, human citadel and forest citadel.

The Jatakas also mention about cities being fortified with walls and ramparts with buttresses, watch -towers and massive gates, multi-storeyed dwellings, underground chambers. It is also evident from the writings of classical writers that Alexander invaded forts and strongholds held by Hindu chiefs in 4th century B.C.

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Author: Prabhas Kumar Singh


Prabhas Kumar Singh

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