Pisol Fort

Pisol Fort, [Mr. H.R. Cooke, C. S.] in Satana, is situated about four miles north of Jaykheda and two miles west of the Pisol pass which leads into Khandesh, and can, but with difficulty, be used by carts. The fort is on a moderately high range of hills running east and west. It is of easy ascent and of large area, and on the south-east is separated from the range by a deep rock-cut chasm. At the foot of the hill, and spreading some way up its lower slopes, defended by a wall of rough atones, is the small village of Vadi Pisol, whose ruins show that; at one time it was a place of some size. The main ascent to the fort lies through the village. A sleep path leads to an angle in the natural scarp. It then passes through a succession of ordinary gateways constructed in the crevice as the angle reaches the plateau on the top. The hill is well supplied with water and there are numerous reservoirs at all points of the ascent. Within the first gateway a path leads through a small opening to the right, now blocked with earth and stones, along the base of the natural scarp to pasture lands on the hills beyond, where the cattle of the fort used to graze. At the mouths of two of the reservoirs, are figures of Mahadev’s bull, and, inside the reservoirs, are lings which are hidden except when the water is low. The water of the two reservoirs, which are separated by a partition not more than a foot and a half thick, stands at noticeably different levels. The natural scarp is imperfect, and nearly all round the top has been strengthened by a masonry wall. Here and there at weak points there were special defences and provision for military posts. This wall and the defences are now much ruined. To the east, the ridge on which the fort stands stretches for a considerable distance with only a small drop. As this is the weak point of the hill the drop ‘ outside the wall has been deepened by an artificial cut about thirty feet deep and twenty feet across. At the back of the hill is an outlying spur with tremendous precipices on all sides and especially on the north-west. Criminals used to be tied hand and foot and thrown from where the scarp is sheerest, at a point known as the Robber’s Leap or Chor Kada.

There are only two buildings of note in the fort, one an old mosque on the south edge of the precipice which is visible from a distance below, and the other the ruins of a large pleasure-palace or Rang-mahal. The old gateways are still standing, but all else has been recently destroyed by fire. The Lokhandi gate now at Gains is said to have belonged to this building and to have been removed when the fort fell into disrepair.

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