A few days back I was walking around an abandoned fort – Koulas Fort (Kowlas/ Kaulas) in Telangana, India. I had found this during a long drive with my family and everyone was sportive enough to give this a try.
A little search about this place showed so much history, so many battles had been fought here. Built by the Kakatiyas, in the 13th-14th century AD, which was then taken over by the forces of Alauddin Khilji, the emperor of the Khilji Dynasty in India. The fort had then been ruled by the Rajputs and ultimately had been taken over by the Nizams.
Walking over the lawns, I was lost in thought. Imagining what all must have been happening around the time, the immense culture it held, especially the shift in cultures of alternative Hindu and Muslim rules over the dominion.
Walking by the walls I couldn’t but help think how many people had toiled to built this fort with stone. How many people lost their lives. How many people smiled and reveled at the sight of this magnificent feature.
How many traders had come? The jewels that were adorned by the women in the fort ( This court housed the queens for a while; apparently their descendents lived in the nearby village until a while back.) What sort of festivals were celebrated here? How many troops were wounded and treated?
How many children must’ve run through it’s walls and passageways? How many decisions must’ve been taken by the queen to help the people or perhaps caused a ripple effect that worked around to you reading this exact article.
How many people had been killed defending these walls? How many screamed victory over the dead? How many times were the walls and doors broken down and rebuilt? How cruelly were the prisoners of war treated? Or were they treated with respect?
What sorts of sorcery must’ve people witnessed? How many people found love within these walls? How many people lost their loved ones because of these walls? How many people earned their living here?
The rituals that people must’ve followed would’ve been so different when compared to those of today!
To all those priests and moulvis who prayed to the gods and Allah to protect them. How their prayers must’ve reverberated through the walls of this magnificent fort?
And what have we done with all this history that we can’t even think about? or even dare to imagine?
We have left it to ruins, rubble. There’s barely anyone who knows about this place. The locals have forgotten about it’s rich history ( or atleast those people we’ve asked around did.)
It was saddening to find it so desolate, with fallen and broken walls, guns, statues of gods, broken temples. With no attempts to maintain this place, it hurt to stay within these walls.
What was worse? People who come along paint stuff, carve on the walls with no thought or respect to what this place stood for.
It was a plight looking at these things that people do! Looking at such carvings, I have begun to think if it is even worthy to bring this place to the people to notice? But then, would people treat it with the respect it deserves? Or would they ruin it and would more love birds leave marks of their existence forever?
I am not sure what part I can play in restoring this fort to it’s glory. Or even make it look like it deserves some respect from us. And this was the thought that motivated me to share my voice. I wanted to bring the story of the fort out.
I have partially done my part. And yet, there’s a lot more to be done, by me and by the people of this state and country. I hope people would come forth, take an initiative to make a difference!
I’m hopeful for a better future for this place! Is it worth bringing it to public’s notice? or is it better off without humans around?
Or perhaps, these are just dreams as I am
PS: I’ve penned down a poem-Her Story about the same which I’ve scheduled to post it by the weekend! The link to the poem will be active from 24 January 2020 19:50 hrs IST.