MARKINDA FORT History

Ma’rkinda, a hill fort in Kalvan, 4384 feet above sea level, stands opposite the sacred hill of Saptashring or Chatarsingi. Captain Briggs, who visited Markinda in 1818, described it as a small barren rock rising out of a flat hill. It faced the Ravlya-Javlya hill, and between the two, over a low neck of hill, ran the pass leading from Kalvan to Khandesh. From this pass two roads struck in opposite directions, one to Markinda and the other to Ravlya-Javlya. The ascent to the fort was very difficult. At the top was a door and a ruined wall. The water-supply was ample, but there was no place for storing guns except thatched houses where five of the Peshwa’s militia lived. There is a peak on a tableland on the top, and to the south of it is a pond near an umbar tree called Kotitirth. People come in large numbers to bathe here on no-moon Mondays or somvati amavasyas. There is another pool or tirth on the summit called Kamandalu or the waterpot, which is said to have been built by the Moghals. East of Kamandalu are two underground magazines or granaries. To the west of the magazines is a perennial reservoir with excellent water called Motitanki. The old name of the hill is Mayur Khandi or the Peacock’s Hill [Ind. Ant VI 64; Jour. R. A. Soc. V. (Old Series) 350.] The resemblance of sound has given rise to a local story that the hill is called after the sage Markandeya who lived on it and persuaded Devi to punish Bhimasur and other demons who were attacking Brahman recluses. Under the name Mayur Khandi, Markinda appears as the place from which two grants were issued by the Rashtrakuta king Govind III. in A.D. 808 (Shak 730). If not a Rashtrakuta capital, it must have been an outpost or at least a place of occasional residence. [Ind. Ant. VI 64; Dr, Burgess’ Bidar and Aurangabad, 32] Under the Peshwas a garrison was kept on the hill. The hill slopes were not originally cultivated, but crops have been grown for the last fifteen years and seven or eight years ago the slopes were surveyed.

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