Location: Banda, Uttar Pradesh
Built In: 10th Century
Built By: Chandela king
Kalinjar Fort was built atop a holy hill, by a Chandela king in the Bundelkhand region of northern India. Situated in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh, it is very close to the Khajuraho sites. The site lies in the agricultural countryside just at the end of the rocky Vindhya Range. Many dynasties have ruled from this fort including, the Chandela dynasty of Rajputs and the Solankis of Rewa. Kalinjar is a famous village of Tarahti under the Naraini Tahsil. The word, Kalinjar symbolizes Lord Shiva’s victory over Kal or time who came to this holy land after consuming the deadly poison and achieved victory over death. The land also holds a lot of other historical importance and is mentioned in the great Indian Epic Mahabharata. Here are some interesting details about the fort’s history and its architectural layout. Scroll further and learn all about the fort.
Kalinjar Fort Bundelkhand Banda
History Of The Fort
This historical fort was built to protect the land from any attacks from the north. Even though, there is no evidence regarding the origin of this fort, it is estimated that it was built in around 10th century, when the land was under the rule of Chandel dynasty. There is also a very old temple of Neelkanth Mahadev (Shiva), built by Bargujar Kings somewhere between 150 to 250 CE. The fort witnessed many attacks from many Hindu as well as Mughal rulers. But, according to historical evidence the only rulers who could rule over the fort for a long time were the Chandelas who are part of Bargujars called, Chandela Rajputs.
Architecture/ Layout Of The Fort
Due to the enormity of the fort, the artisans built two entrances to the fort. The first big entrance which is the main gate of the fort faces the north and the second gate faces the south-east towards the town of Panna. To reach the main entrance one has to cross seven smaller gates and a short flight of stone steps. The first square gate is called Alam Darwaza. Then you take the steps to the second gate called Ganesha Darwaza. After a little more elevated land, there is the third double gate called Chandi Darwaza or chauburji darwaza. The fourth gate is Budhabhadra followed by the fifth gate called Hanuman Darwaza, named after the image of the god Hanuman on the slab and the reservoir called Hanumankund. Then you reach the sixth door or gate named, Lal Darwaza and after a short walk you reach the last and seventh gate which will lead you inside the fort. It is called Bara Darwaza.
Major Battles or Events Associated With The Fort
The first invasion was from Mahmud Ghazni in 1019, who tried in vain to siege the fortress but was unsuccessful against the strong Kalinjar garrison. Then a few years later, in 1022 he attacked again and the Chandella ruler compromised with the invading ruler in exchange for a few gifts. Then Sher Shah Suri invaded the land in 1545 and took control of the fort. The battle ended badly as the invading ruler was killed in an explosion. In 1569, the Mughals occupied Kalinjar and it became part of the jagir of Birbal. The Bundela hero Chhatrasal eventually lost the fort to the British.
Much of this magnificent fort is in ruins today but still many tourists visit the majestic architectural landmark every year. You can also visit the Neelkanth Temple and Venkat Behari Temple here.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Banda Fort is the period between October and February, when the climate is quite pleasant.
How To Reach
- By Road: The city of Banda is well-connected to all the important cities in Uttar Pradesh like Allahabad, Kanpur, and Lucknow.
- Nearest Railway Station: There is a railway junction in Banda which is connected to other important cities in the region.
- Nearest Airport: The nearest airport is Khajuraho 95 km from the fort.
Around The Fort
Kalinjar is not the only fort to visit in Banda. Also make time to visit and experience Bhuragarh Fort and Rangarh Fort here. The beautiful Khatri Pahar hosts a small temple devoted to Angleshwari Devi. The Bamdeo Temple and the Maheshwari Devi Temple right in the heart of Banda city are two other important pilgrimage sites here.
The Kalinjar Fort stands atop a hill in the Vindhya mountain ranges c. To reach this splendid fort one has to pass through 7 gates. Built by the Chandela ruler in the 10th Century, the fort houses many temples like the Neelkanth and Vankhandeshwar temple, palaces the Raja Mahal and The Rani Mahal.