Significance of Forts during the Vijayanagara Period

Forts play a crucial role in the protection of a region or territory.

A significant characteristic of defence in Ancient and Medieval times was the construction of forts in important cities and places of strategic value. In fact, it can be said that the entire land of India is studded with magnificent fortresses from where kings are said to have ruled. Though the primary motive of building forts was for military operations, the impact of forts on the political and administrative matters was more profound.

One of the first innovations of civilization seems to be the growth of fortifications. The erection of a physical barrier between oneself and an anticipated enemy is the basic concept of fortification (Bag, 1997, 524). The nature of barrier changes with reference to the thing to be protected and the danger to it perceived by its protector. For example the object of protection couldbe a temporary camp and the danger apprehended might be of wild animals; or it could be a whole city and an army equipped with artillery might pose a problem. In the case of former, a train of carriages chained to each other and small screen of tough branches or bamboo in between would be enough, whereas a strongwall of considerable height and thickness would be needed in the case of latter.The fortification is thus static; purely defensive in purpose and is in the nature of a well thought out reaction to a given set of circumstances.

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Author: P. S. Harish

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Image Source: Udayagiri Fort -

Keywords: Fortifications, India, Vijayanagara, Military Architecture



P. S. Harish

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