Taking Flight…

Picture of the Week #90

SubscribeFiled Under: Picture of the Week,by Neeraj

Blue skies and mountains – what more could an adventure seeker ask for? This highest hill-fort in the western Indian state of Maharashtra offers views that will captivate the imagination. It also allows trekkers a chance to imagine one of the fiercest battles in Indian history that was fought here in the 17th century.

Salher, standing tall at 5,141 feet, is the highest fort in the Sahyadri mountains of Maharashtra and the second highest peak after Mt. Kalsubai.

Salher is mentioned in the epic Mahabharata (review). According to a mythological legend, it was Salher where Lord Parashuram did his penance. Lord Parshuram donated the fruit of his penance – Earth – and created this land for himself to live in. He did so by pushing the sea back with his arrows, right from this place. Thus, the Konkan region was born.

Thanks to a friend knowledgeable in Indian history, it was a rare treat for me to listen to the history of Salher fort at its highest point (seen above). The bloody battle of Salher was the biggest battle won by the Marathas. This was a battle in which the Marathas fought face-to-face, rather than their trademark guerrilla warfare.

Historic writings describe the battle as follows: “There was a fierce battle throughout the day and night, Mughals, Pathans, and Rajputs, Cannons, Elephants, Horses and Camel troops fought alongside each other … the battle was so fierce that the dust which was raised by the troops rose up in an area of 3 kms and the troops could not recognize who was fighting on which side. The Elephant troops arrived and both sides saw 10,000 troops perish and blood flow like rivers.”

The spectacular view above is from the Lord Parshuram temple located at the highest point of Salher.

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