Bandhavgarh Fort

Location: Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh Fort

Description

Introduction

There are about 32 hills and  hillocks of Vindhyachal ranges in   Bandhavgarh. Among them highest one is about  811mtr. high. At this safe   height, on a plateau of 4 sq. km. you find the fort,  made in 10th   century, on the top, called Bandhavgarh. Once it was a  formidable   stronghold of Bahela Rajputs and known by the name of Moti Mahal. At    present only remains of fort are their to see. It is another important   part of  wildlife safari in this Tiger Reserve. At this height, one can   have tantalizing  view of Bandhavgarh   National Park. Legends  say that   this fort was made by Lord Rama for his younger brother Laxman to keep    eye over Lanka. As it was the fort of Brother Laxman, it was known by   the name  of Bandhavgarh, where Bandhav means Brother & Garh means   Fort.

The Fort is visible from almost  any point in core   & buffer zone of Tala Range.  There is fabulous sighting of hills of   Bandhavgarh from fort. In current  scenario, Bandhavgarh fort and Tiger   Reserve are seems interwoven and seems as  fort of real king of Forest.   As if now, no  human being lives in fort and often tigress visit the   fort plateau as at this  height, male tigers are often reluctant to come   so it is a safe place for  litter cubs.

To visit Bandhavgarh fort, prior permission  is   required to seek from authority. As fort is at the height of 811 meters   of  height, approaching road is steep with sharp turning points. As the   safari jeep  enters a narrow ancient gate called Karn Pol and takes left   turn, we will  notice that the old structures and forest have been   meshed into each other.  Here we can find man-made caves that were used   as a horse stable, guard room,  justice court etc. Dark areas of such   caves become abode of bats. These caves  are made by cutting sand-stone   rocks are they are cool from inside. As we  proceed further we will find   two way, if we take left turn, we will reach the  bird-sighting point   and by taking right side, we will come across statue of  wild boar   called Varah means one of the nine reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. On    proceeding further, we can notice other incarnations like “Matsya”, the   fish  statue of size 9ft.2in. x 11ft.2in, “Kachchap” the turtle statue   largest one in  India.  On half way down, there is a large statue of   Lord Vishnu reclining on the body  of seven hooded serpent called   “Sheshnag”. It is popular by the name of  Sheshshaiya. Head of lord   Vishnu is towards east direction and legs are on west  direction from   which a gush of natural water comes known as Bandhavgarh’s life  line   river “Charan-ganga”. On occasion of Janmashtami festival (birthday of    lord Krishna), thousands of devotees visits Sheshshaiya &   Bandhavgarhdheesh Temple. Kabir Chabutra at the top of the  hill is   another very serene place. Kabir Chabutra have 5 tomb structure, all of    them in different sizes. Inside the structure, we can see small statue   of saint  Kabir. It is believed that saint Kabir visited Bandhavgarh and   spent some time  here. There are other structures also at the plateau   like Treasury, Seth Dhani  ka Temple, Bandhavdheesh Temple  (still   active), 12 ponds etc. Bandhavdheesh   Temple have statues of  Lord   Rama, Sita with Laxman. It is a active temple and a preist remain their.    Devotees visits Temple  during birthday of Lord Krishna i.e. on   Janmashtami festival. 18 ft high  Narsimha (body of man with head of   lion) is another attraction of Bandhavgarh  fort visit.

Bandhavgarh is ruled by different  dynasties since 2nd   century like Magh, Maurya, Vakataka, Sengar,  Kalchuri and Baghels. In   2nd & 3rd century,  Bandhavgarh was under Magh dynasty and later in   5th century it was  rulled by Sengar Dynasty followed by Kalchuri. The   rule of Haihay Kalchuri  during 9th century can be called the golden   period of this region.  Baghels finally took over the fort in 13th   century. Baghel King  Vikramaditya Singh abandoned Bandhavgarh fort in   1617 when Rewa, at a distance  of 130 km from Bandhavgarh, was   established as a capital. Abandonment leaves  room for wildlife   development in this region. When Baghel Kings became aware of  it, the   declared Bandhavgarh as their hunting preserve and strictly prohibited    tree cutting, wildlife hunting etc.

Throughout the tour of  Bandhavgarh fort we will never   feel going away from wildlife as tigers, cubs,  deer can be seen   anytime. In addition to them many rare species of birds like  Malabar   pied hornbill, falcons, 4 species of vultures, tortoises swim can also    be seen. At some point one can also see nests of vultures from top. Hill   top is  considered best for photography of flying birds due to the   advantage of being  positioned at the top. There is irrefutable evidence of human activity and architechural   techinques used in the fort. There are several man mande caves with   inscription and rock paintings.The archelogical surveys states that   bandhavgarh dates back to before chirst period.

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