Yet another fort on its way to oblivion

Yet another fort on its way to oblivion
Highlights

Walls of 600-year-old historic Jataprolu Fort built by the Surabhi royal dynasty, which in the past protected hundreds of princely families, is now in dire need of patronage.

Mahbubnagar: Walls of 600-year-old historic Jataprolu Fort built by the Surabhi royal dynasty, which in the past protected hundreds of princely families, is now in dire need of patronage. The Jataprolu Sansthanam, which was in possession of Vijayanagar kings, was gifted to Surabhi king Malla Naidu in which the later built the fort in 1520 AD. The Surabhi dynasty had ruled Kollapur area comprising about 84 villages spread over an area of 191 sq km for hundreds of years.

Fearing an attack from the Golconda royals as Surabhi king’s army along with Vijayanagar kings were in war with them, the glorious fort was abandoned. In 1840 another fort was built in Kollapur following attacks during 1810-20 AD. Since then the majestic fort has been lying unused and has been reduced to rubbles.

Stone structures of the fort, located on the banks of the Krishna in Kollapur constituency of Nagarkurnool district, are still intact and attract visitors. The walls got submerged after the Srisailam project was built. They remain under water for nine months and surface during the rest of the period of the year. Following the fall in the Krishna river water level, the ruined fort was exposed recently.

Some interior parts of the fort have been dug up by miscreants looking for hidden treasure. However, rather surprisingly, the Hazrath Inayat Pasha Quadri Dargah built by the Surabhi kings, as a symbol of communal harmony, still remains intact. Local residents offer prayers there during the three months when river water recedes and are in hopes that the Archaeology and Tourism departments take up the fort’s restoration work and preserve it given its historic importance.

There are 11 historic temples, including that of Agastheswara Swamy, which have been relocated in Jataprolu village during 1959. The temples are also on the verge of collapse. Satyanarayana Reddy of Koppanur village said the fort looked beautiful when it surfaced. During this period, treasure-hunters looked out for valuables, thus damaging the existing structure further. He demanded that Minister Jupalli Krishna Rao who belongs to the area take steps to protect the historic marvel.

By V Narender chary

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