Ancient Indian literature is singularly negativè in evidence about the construction of forts in post-Kautilya India. Works on polity and architecture seem to be more áãstric in character, than being based on experience (i. e. trial and error method) and matter of fact. It is not strange that by the time of the author of the Amarkosa1 the real meaning of the term "Pratoli" had become obsolete.

In ancient India, the term "Pratoli" was used at least in two contexts: as a member of temple architecture and as a member of fort architecture. In trying to unfold the mystery of the meaning of the term, we shall confine our discussion to the fort architecture aspect of Pratoli and shall try to arrive at some positive conclusion.

Agreeing with Wilson, Monier Willams gives his opinion that the term "Pratoli" would mean "a broad way, principal road through a town or village". Acharya thinks that it could mean "a gateway sometimes provided with a flight of steps, a small turret, the main road of a town". Providing a new dimension to the problem, D. N. Shukla interprets the term "Pratoli " as the North Indian architectural tradition of the great gateways.

  • 1. Amarkosa II. 11.3