ITAFORT AT ITANAGAR-The capital city of Arunachal Pradesh

Itafort at Itanagar-Arunachal Pradesh

Itafort at Itanagar-Arunachal Pradesh

Itafort at Itanagar, capital City of Arunachal Pradesh
Itafort at Itanagar, capital City of Arunachal Pradesh

ITAFORT AT ITANGAR

The capital city of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar has derived its name from the famous Ita Fort. The Ita fort of Itanagar is of ample historical importance and is located at the heart of the capital city in Papum Pare district of Itanagar. . The Research Department of the Government of Arunachal Pradesh has surveyed, explored and later on excavated the remains of the fort.

This historical monument the Ita Fort of Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh was established by the rulers of the Ahom dynasty, somewhere between 14th and 15th century. The excavated ruins of this historical fort are one of the major tourist attractions in Itanagar and being imposing it was highly irregular in shape.

There is a controversy regarding the date and builder of the Itafort. Scholars usually ascribed the fort to one Ramchandra of Jitari dynasty, who constructed it in between 1350 and 1450 A.D. however recently, Lila Gogoi, an authority on the Buranjis of Assam, reveals the fact that Itafort was built by the Ahom King Chakradhvaj Simha in 1688 A.D. on the basis of Assam Buranji, a history of Assam from 1648-1681 A.D., published from the Department of Historical and Antiquarian Studies.

The stone work of the Ita Fort at Arunachal Pradesh covers an area of 45 cubic meters and around 80 lakhs of bricks were required to erect the structure of the fort during that era. The volume taken up by the brick structure is about 16,200 cubic meters. Interesting facts about the fort is that almost 45,000 man days were used to build this fort. The fort has three different entrances at three different sides, which are western, the eastern and the southern sides.

The fort is actually a fortified area of an irregular shape, enclosed by natural ridges and brick ramparts. There are said to have two brick walls and three gates. Brick ramparts are noticed in the western and eastern sides. The eastern rampart is more than half a kilometre long having only one gates.; while the western one of more than 1.40 kms in length, has two gates. The average width of the wall is 1.5 mts. And the original height could be 5 meters. In the north and south, irregular steep ridges of more than a kilometre length each, provide natural defence. The area of more than a square kilometre, thus fortified, is slopping from south to north.

Three gates of varying sizes are noticed in eastern, southern and western directions. The eastern gate, a heavily damaged one, is built on stone masonry, overlooks Doimukh in the Dikrang valley. The southern gate is built largely in brick and limited use of stone, stone-slabs, animated and floral designs were used for the door ways. However, the doors are completely lost. The purpose of these gates was obviously to check the enemy from Gohpur and Ramghat in the south. The western gate, probably the main entrance, faces the Senkhi river. Thus ruins at the gate reveals that comparatively less defence arrangements existed in this area.

The fort is built of bricks as well as stone. The bricks are of variety of sizes, including the ornamental bricks. The stones used are mainly sand stone. The bricks of the fort are typically medieval and pre-Ahom period as well. Iron claps and nails were used in the fort construction. The fort belongs to the category of the forest hill fort and has an elongated semi-circular shape, as prescribed by the architectural texts mentioned above. The remains of Itafort indeed gives us an idea of the development of fort architecture in this part of the country.

There is a controversy regarding the date and builder of the Itafort. Scholars usually ascribed the fort to one Ramchandra of Jitari dynasty, who constructed it in between 1350 and 1450 A.D. however recently, Lila Gogoi, an authority on the Buranjis of Assam, reveals the fact that Itafort was built by the Ahom King Chakradhvaj Simha in 1688 A.D. on the basis of Assam Buranji, a history of Assam from 1648-1681 A.D., published from the Department of Historical and Antiquarian Studies.

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