Elagandal Fort

Elgandal Fort is situated amidst palm groves on the banks of the Manair River (a tributary of the Godavari River), approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from Karimnagar on the Kamareddy Road in the Indian state of Telangana.

The Elagandal fort is situated in a hillock presents a picturesque view of Elagandal. “Elagandal khilla” is the name of the fort on the hill. The magnificent facade of the fort attracts tourists.

In olden days it was also called as Bahudanyapuram and it was called veliganadu during Kaktiya times.

The inscription dated 1202 AD found on a stone slab at chintamani tank belongs to Chaunda Preggada of Malyala family subordinate of Kakatiya Ganapatideva.

Elgandal Fort is one such structure that takes us to an Utopian world. The big archways, doors, minarets, water tanks inside the fort depicts the life inside the fort. At a time, Elgandal Fort was a priced possession for any ruler and today it is one of the must-visit heritage sites near Karimnagar.

Elgandal was a major centre that witnessed major political dynasties including the Kakatiyas, the Bahmanis, the Qutub Shahis, the Mughals and the Nizams.

This place is historically important because 5 important dynamic sites ruled over this place. The antiquities of the place worth mentioning are

A fort on a hill.
Brindavan tank on the outside of the eastern gateway of the fort by Zafar-ud-Doula in 1754 A.D. with minarets that oscillate when shaken and tombs of the Muslim saints like syed Shah Munawar Quadri saheb, Doola Shah saheb, syed Maroof Saheb, Shah Talib Bismilla Saheb and Vali Hyder saheb.

On the 11th and 12th days of Moharram, and annual Urs of these saint's is celebrated by the Muslims and Hindus alike with great reverence and people from far off places participate in it.

Besides, there are temples of Nelakantha Swamy and Narasimha Swamy.

It was once under the control of the Qutub Shahi dynasty, the Mughal Empire, and the Nizams of Hyderabad. During the Nizam era it was the headquarters of Karimnagar. It is believed that a secret tunnel connects Elgandal Fort and Manakondur some 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) from Karimnagar on the Karimnagar-Vemulawada highway.

Originally known as Veligundula, Elgandal is a hillfort built during the Kakatiya dynasty (1083–1323) and served as a stronghold for the warrior Musunuri Nayaks and Recharla padmanayaks.

1518 AD - 1687 AD : Qutb Shahi dynasty or Golconda or Golkonda Sultanate
The Qutb Shahi dynasty occupied the fort in the 16th century and posted Quinamul Mulk as commander. 
1518 AD - 1543 AD : Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk
Quinamul Mulk or Qawam-ul-Mulk
During the absence of Sooltan Koolly Kootb Shah in his late campaign, his northern districts had been attacked and laid waste by Kowam-ool—Moolk Toork, an officer of the Bahmuny Government, who, during the late convulsions, had rendered himself master of the forts of Elgundel, Mulungoor, and some other districts, and collecting a force of six thousand horse and about ten thousand infantry, invaded the countries of his neighbours. On the return of Sooltan Koolly, he received accounts of Kowam-ool-Moolk's incursions. He accordingly addressed letters of advice to him, and demanded restitution of the property he had plundered in the Kootb Shahy territories. The ambassadors who waited on Kowam-ool-Moolk were directed to inform him, that their master was sorry to hear what had happened ; and that it Was his wish to be on terms of friendship with all his Mahomedan neighbours, since it is written in the Koran, that " all the faithful are brethren ". Kowam-ool-Moolk, elated with his success in declaring his independence, and despising the power of Sooltan Koolly, shortly afterwards sent his troops again into his territories to plunder. Sooltan Koolly Kootb Shah could no longer restrain his rage, and immediately ordered his army into the field, and marched towards Elgundel. He was met by Kowamool-Moolk at the distance of one day's march from that place at the head of his army. On the following day an action ensued, which lasted from dawn till noon, when the King charged in person, at the head of two thousand cavalry, and defeated Kowam-ool-Moolk, who fled in confusion, and threw himself into the fort of Elgundel. To this place the King proceeded, and invested it; but Kowam-ool-Moolk, finding himself unable to contend with his enemy, fled to Berar, and solicited assistance from Alla-ood-Deen Imad Shah. Elgundel, shortly after, fell into the hands of the King, and many of the Mahomedan troops of Kowam-ool-Moolk entered his service. Having now occupied the forts of Elgundel and Mulungoor with his own soldiers, the King returned to his capital. Kowam-ool-Moolk, who had fled to Berar, persuaded Alla-ood-Deen Imad Shah to espouse his cause, and to march to recover his country. When Kootb Shah heard of this movement, he sent an ambassador to that monarch, relating the obstinacy of Kowam-ool-Moolk, and reminding him, also, that the Imad Shahy troops had lately usurped the country of the seven tuppas, which the late Mahmood Shah Bahmuny had bestowed upon Sooltan Koolly; he, therefore, demanded the restitution of the seven tuppas, and required, also, that Imad Shah should not give protection to Kowam-ool-Moolk within his territories. Alla-ood-Deen Imad Shah, however, so far from yielding to any of the above demands, sent back an answer full of indignation, which induced Sooltan Koolly to march with his army towards his dominions ; and Imad Shah moved from Elichpoor, and opposed the Kootb Shahy troops near the fortress of Ramgeer. On the day following an action ensued which lasted till the afternoon. The Imad Shahy army outflanked Sooltan Koolly's which was in the act of giving way on all sides, when he, as usual charged through the centre of his own army with the reserve of two thousand cavalry in armour, broke the enemy's line, and completely defeated them. Alla-ood-Deen Imad Shah fled to Berar, and Sooltan Koolly directed his army to occupy the district of the seven tuppas; after which he returned to Golconda. Here he heard that Seetaputty, the Raja of Cumamett, had presumed to Jay hands on some of the Kootb Shahy districts which lay contiguous to his country.

Subsequently, it fell under the administrative control of the Mughal Empire.Amin Khan was appointed as Khiledar of Elagandal during the reign of Nizam of Hyderabad Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah I (r. 1724–1748) followed by Muqarrab Khan.
Mirza ibrahim dhamsa became Khiledar during the reign of Nawab Salabat Jung. Dhamsa rebuilt and strengthened the fort in 1754 during the reign of Sikindar Jha (r.1803-1823). Bahadur Khan and Karimuddin served as Khiledars. Karimnagar was named after Karimuddin. While reorganizing the districts, Mahbub Ali Khan, the Sixth Nizam, shifted the District Headquarters from Elagandal to Karimnagar in 1905.

Elgandal's rulers surrounded the fort with a crocodile filled moat of around 5 metres (16 ft) wide and 4 metres (13 ft) deep to prevent enemy incursions.

The site also houses a mosque and an eidgah, the designated place for special Eid prayers.


The fort remains open for visit by public on all week days, and the timing to visit the fort is 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM.

Responsible Tourism & Human Accountability for Sustainable Businessedited by Dr Ramesh Kumar Miryala, Dr Jayaprakash Narayana Gade