Classification fortification along the sea and hills

Classification
as per capacity:

Main
fort:

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This type has the capacity to hold a garrison of over 500 troops and is
well stocked with weapons and ammunitions and armoury and is capable of
withstanding a long seize.

Secondary
fort:

This type has the capacity to hold a garrison of more than 200 troops
and is treated as an extension to the main fort.

Fortified
Outpost:

This type is a small fort to hold garrison of less than 200 troops. The
main function is to act as a screen to the main and secondary forts, to
increase the range of patrolling, surveillance and communication. These are
mostly constructed at the edge of land or near mouth o creek which are the
first point of attack and defence.

Types
of Military architecture:

Maratha
military architecture:

Shri Shivaji Chhatrapati Maharaj, the founder
of Maratha Empire, established a competent and progressive civil rule with the
help of a disciplined military and well-structured administrative
organisations. The Marathas built fortification along the sea and hills to
establish, expand and conserve their territories and to control trade and
political-military functions. The design and architecture was fiercely detailed
to defend the territories against enemies and also take advantage of the
geographical features of the Sahyadri Mountains. Key aspects of fort
construction were the location, access and presence of water source. Capitals
of Maratha territories were often located in forts instead of cities and their
conquests reflected this principle of conquering land, forts and cities for the
last. i

Forts
were located on strategic hills of considerable heights and difficult to
access. Hills with minor mounds were preferred and designed as outposts around
the main fort and were made as administrative centres. The design and elements
in architecture reflected the defence strategy such as outposts to maintain
communication (met), steep cliff
walls (Kada), ramparts (tat bandi), night vigil area, bastions (buruj) etc. The hill forts were
constructed from stones quarried from the very mountains and were constructed
with lime, rubble, gravel, stones, bricks (used mainly in land forts/smaller
forts), molten metal and sand. In some cases, the walls were two layered with
external facia of stone and filled with sand and lime internally and in some
cases molten metal was used to fill up fissures and strengthen the
construction. Many forts have a natural water collection tank for use by the
residents as well as the soldiers.

Naval
strongholds were located along the coast and on mouths so rivers and creeks and
served as armoury supply depots and as a retreat in case of defeat on land. The
elements for hill forts were common to islands with variations in construction
materials and techniques to stand on islands in the sea. The walls and bastions
of marine forts were much stronger to serve as buffer against attack and for
escape during crisis. Locations were chosen such to provide for fresh water by
constructing stone lined reservoirs to support the army.

 

Siddi
military Architecture:

The Siddis settled down on the West coast of India a
Janjira on the Konkan Strip of Maharashtra. The Konkan has witnessed many
conflicts between the Siddis and the Marathas for dominance over the coast. The
fortifications designed by the Siddis were based on strategic location on the
sea to build island forts off the coast to attain maximum security. The fort
layout had provision of granaries, storage for ammunition, administrative
houses and a water tank. To facilitate transportation of armoury, streets were
laid down in a grid iron pattern with in the fort. Strong bastions were erected
to provide as turrets to fire ammunition and canon. Material and construction
systems was designed to sustain the pressures from the tidal waves.

 

Portuguese
military architecture:ii

The
military architecture of the Portuguese in India bears resemblance to forts
built in Europe during the same periods. The earlier forts were distinct with
high towers used for firing. The design was function oriented and had basic
enclosures with long ramparts with round towers or enclosures in square
profile. Later, the towers were eliminated as they were prone to enemy fire and
ear shaped bastions or angular bastions built to conform to the military
architecture of Renaissance period. The Renaissance period saw the emergence of
two types of fortresses namely regular and irregular fortresses. Preoccupation
with symmetry and perfect geometric forms made one look for solutions inside
perfect geometric form. New bastions were triangular with pointed angles in
front which could not be easily damaged by artillery. At each side of each
bastions heavy guns were placed such to shoot in direction of the next bastion
without reaching it, thus protecting the wall between them.

i MMR report

ii MMR report

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