Vishalgad Fort

Overview

Vishalgad Fort

Vishalgad fort, is also called ‘Khelna’ or ‘Khilna’ by locals, and was one of the important forts of the Maratha empire. The name ‘Vishalgad’ means grand fort in Marathi, the name was given by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj after annexing it during 1659. The structure covers an area of 1130 m and was built on a hilltop in the Sahyadri mountain ranges at a height of 3500 feet above sea level, and is about 76 km north – west of Kolhapur.

History

Shahu of Kolhapur attempted to undermine the Brahmin princelings of Vishalgad jagir, as also those of Bavda and Ichalkaranji, from around 1895. He had inherited the throne of Kolhapur in 1894 placed blame for the past weak government of his state on Brahmins, including those in its civil service, and claimed that there was justification for discriminating against them in order to improve the lot of his less privileged subjects.

Aside from introducing policies of job reservation and education for the underprivileged in his state, he asked the British Raj provincial authorities of Bombay Presidency to allow a reduction in the privileges enjoyed by the feudatory chiefs, whom he claimed had been harbouring Brahmin terrorists from Poona. Historian Gordon Johnson says that "The case, although plausible, was not entirely convincing, and the matter dragged on into the 1920s

Location

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