Paranda fort in Osmanabad district of Maharashtra has never been actively involved in any battle during the Maratha or Mughal rule. However, these were still strategic fortifications used as munitions depots, and the remains of weapons still appear today. Some scholars believe that Paranda fort was built during the Yadava period and was built by Mahmud Gavan in 1470 AD. Some believe it was built in 1470 CE by Mahmud Gawan, the prime minister of the Bahamani king Muhammad Shah II. After the dissolution of the Bahamani kingdom, the fort became a part of the Ahmednagar kingdom.
Filled with the rivers Sina and Dudhna, ancient records say that the paranda was originally known as 'Paliyanda', as mentioned in the Konshila (foundation) inscription. In the copper plate of Vikramaditya I, the king of the Badami Chalukyas, 'Prandak' is the name of the paranda. Hemadri mentions Prandaka in his royal court. Further, Osmanabad was formerly known as 'Palyanda 4000' during the reign of Kalyani Chalukya. Archaeologists consider Paranda to be the best example of a 'Bhudurg' or land fort. This large fort is surrounded by a moat.
Paranda Fort is a beautiful example of medieval architecture. Spread over 12 acres and fortified with 26 strong bastions, the fort is surrounded by a protective moat with a bridge to enter. There are underground tunnels leading to the moat from the various bastions, which have been fortified by cannons. Above the entrance are small turret windows that were used to repel the enemy with artillery shells and cannons.
Some parts of this fort have excellent examples of Hindu sculpture and architecture. The second door leads to a warehouse that was probably used to store food and other supplies. The state archeology department, which now has offices here, has preserved cannons and more than 300 artillery shells to remind what the fort was used for.
Other buildings inside the fort include a mosque with 24 pillars and 60 pillars, a three-part hamakhana with sculptures of Hindu deities, a Narasimha temple and a stone well which are indicative of how important water storage was at that time.
Distance from Mumbai: 342 km