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Tourist Places To Visit In Chanderi
Chanderi is a small town in Madhya Pradesh close to Lalitpur (37km) and Shivpuri (127km). It is a historically relevant city that finds mention in Mahabharata as well. In the 11th century it was a town through which passed the trade route to the various ports of Gujarat. Today it is known as a town which has forts and lakes besides temples and mosques. It is a place with natural beauty one will find very energizing. There are several tourist places to visit in Chanderi. These are discussed below.
The Historic Chanderi Fort
The Chanderi Fort in Chanderi is located on a hilltop of height of about 71m. The fort goes back to the time of the Mughals. The rulers of those days painstakingly constructed the fortified walls of the fort while the palaces or mahals that are inside the fort were built by the Bundela chieftains. The fort has three gates, one of these being known as Khooni Darwaza. Another gate to the south west is called Kati Ghati. The size of this gate is 59m (l), 12m (w) and 24.6m (h). There is a Johar Memorial just outside the fort. The Samadhi of Baiju Bawra is located near the Johar Memorial. There is a 3-storied palace inside the fort. The palace has a tank and a fountain besides bastions and watchtowers. There is a masjid too at the entrance of the fort. Altogether, a visit to the fort is worth the time you need to spend.
According to a visitor, your visit to Chanderi is incomplete unless you have visited the Chanderi Museum which was opened for the public on 03 April 1999. The museum is open every day other than Friday, from 0900 till 1700. While photography is not permitted, you can keep your mobile phone with you. The museum is an excellent place for those who would like to know of articles that go back to thousands of years in time. There are statues pertaining to Buddhism and Jainism. There are ornaments and tools from prehistoric days. There are more than three thousand books here too. Visit the museum with some time in your hands.
Shehzadi ka Roza
Shehzadi ka Roza has a sad story to tell. It tells the story of Princess Mehrunissa who fell in love with a commoner. When her father did not accept her suitor and had him killed, the princess committed suicide. The king in remorse built this memorial for his daughter and his beau. The two have been entombed together as well.
The Ramnagar Palace has a museum which is maintained by the Archaeology Department of the Government of Madhya Pradesh. Known as a palace, the place is actually a hunting lodge and a retreat which was built in 1698 AD by the then Bundela King Durjan Singh. It is understood that Babar had camped here on the night prior to his attack on Chanderi Fort on 28 January 1528. You will find several artefacts here from various Hindu temples. The adjoining lake is very beautiful.
Chanderi Fort is really a hill-fort which overlooks the town. It is said that Kirtipala who was a Pratihara King, built the nucleus of the fort in the 11th century when the name given was Kirtidurga, probably after the name of the builder. Today, there are only ruins in and around the fort such as the ruins of the Hawa Mahal built by one of the Bundela Kings and an old mosque. The Jauhar Monument was erected for the commemoration of Johar which used to be performed by the ladies of Rajput warriors. One such Johar was performed just before Babar’s conquest in the year 1528 AD.
The Bhimsen caves are located around 25km from Chanderi town in the village called Gadelna which is on the banks of River Urr. These caves are popular with both the Jain and Hindu pilgrims. The site consists of ancient caves which are cut out from rocks inside which are rock-cut images of both the Jain Tirthankaras and Hindu gods. There is an inscription which dates back to AD 942 which says that the king of the region then was Vinayakpal. You will find a rare image of Brahma inside a cavity on the face of the rock inside one of the caves.
The Jama Masjid is today in a poor state of maintenance. It is located near Dhobia Pond south of Chanderi town. There is an inscription which says that the masjid was built by one Mohammad bin Zain in 1462 when Mahmud Khilji I was on the throne. Visitors admire the geometric and floral motifs that are carved beautifully on the arches of the mosque.
The Khandargiri Temple complex is located some 2km to the south of Chanderi on the road to Ramnagar. The temple is revered by the Jains who consider this a destination for their pilgrimage. A towering statue of Tirthankara Rishabhnath who was the first Jain Tirthankara, known also as Adinath, is at the centre and is the most impressive part of the temple. The statue is 45’ in height and it has a very dignified presence carved as it is on the hillock surface. You will find other images too in the caves which are carved into the rocks. These images are all of the Tirthankaras.