Not far from Khajuraho, is a World Heritage Site located in the Vindhya Mountains. This sightseeing attraction is that of the Kalinjar fort, one of the oldest forts in the country. Dating back to 150 – 250 BC, the Kalinjar Fort stands on an isolated 1203 feet high rocky hill overlooking and shadowing the plains of Bundelkhand. The Kalinjar Fort finds mention in the great Indian epic Mahabharata and has seen the rise and fall of many dynasties and kingdoms.
Kalinjar which means ‘the destroyer of time’, has been the citadel for different dynasties ruling this place. Although the exact origin of the fortress is unknown, rock edicts mention that the fort was built under the Bargujar Kings. This magnificent citadel has been witness to many of India’s major historical events-- ranging from the failed attempt by Ghazni to conquer this fort to its takeover by Babar; from the seath of Sher Shah Suri to the Great Sepoy Mutiny against the British!
A visit to the fort is like going back in time. The quality of craftsmanship during the time of the Bargujar Kings can be seen in the massive sculptures, cut out of the rockface, the temples and the fort itself. An ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, stands on the western fringes of the fort. With an entrance that feels like a cave opening, the temple discloses its majestic design. A huge Shivalingam stands in the center of the inner sanctum and is placed just beneath a natural water source, that constantly drips water on the Shivalingam. Another wonder is the Shiva statue in the temple. The neck of Lord Shiva constantly remains moist to the touch, although there is no visible source of this moisture.
The detailing in design and the quality of architecture can be witnessed in the palace of Aman Singh. Legends associated with this place speak volumes of the history and times of the Chandela Kings. Although a large number of the sandstone statues and carvings have been destroyed with the passing of time, they still retain the details that speak of the finesse and high quality in workmanship of that time. The fort has many life sized and larger than life statues and carvings of the holy trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Numerous ponds are built within the fort and it is one of them ‘The Pond of a Million Tirthas,’ that is said to have the power to cure different types of skin ailments.
Taking a walk on the rocky terrain to enter the fort will take you past the seven gates that were built to provide the fort with its near invincible status.
|Visit Duration||Around 3 to 4 hours|