कालिंजर किला

Kalinjar (Kalanjar), a historical fort situated in Banda district (Uttar Pradesh) , is one of the most precious gift of India to the World hertige. This is one of the eight famous forts built by Chandela-kings during the end od 1st and beginning of 2nd millennium. Situated at the interface of U.P. and M.P. states of India this has been serving as the great barrier for ambitious kings/invaders aiming towards south. The celebrated hill fort of Kalinjar is situated in the village of Tarahti under the Naraini Tahsil on the 56 km. south of Banda. It stands on an isolated flat-topped hill of the Vindhya range, which here rises to a height of 244m. above the plain. The main body of the fort lies from east to west, oblong in form, being nearly a mile in length by half a mile in breadth.

The fort was built on strong 25-30 meter wide foundation, having height of 30-35 meter with 8 meter wide summit spread all around with length of 7.5 km over the hillock. The material used was big sand stone/granite pieces put over each other or using lime mortor occasionally. Alongwith strategic importance of Kalinjar fort, this has equally been appreciated as the great monument of the art and science of fortification and a gem of archeology. Much before fortification this place was considered to be one of the most revered places of devotional and meditational penance and has been cited in Vedas, Epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana, Buddha and Jain literatures. Kalinjar is the most respected and popular also in the folk songs of Bundelkhand.

Kalanjar word was coined to represent lord Shiva who after consuming the deadly poison churned out of sea by Devas and Daityas together rested here and destroyed (Jaran) the time barrier (kala). People have a belief that Lord Shiva always remains here. A temple of NEELKANTHA Mahadeo built over thousand years ago still exist with its magnificent beauty and greatness.The stone –dug ponds/lakes created here are marvelous. The rare stone images related to Lord Shiva, Godess Shakti, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesha, Bhairava and Bhairavi and others are of great importance from the science of image-making. The stone-carvings of animals, birds apsaras, mithuna, and such others are worth investigating

There are two entrances to the fort, of which the principal is on the north side towards the town and the other at the south-east angle leading towards Panna. The first entrance used to be guarded by seven different gates and they are approached by a short flight of stone steps. The first gateway, which is named Alam Darwaza is square, lofty and plain in construction and was probably rebuilt at the date of the inscription above it. Above this there is a steep ascent, chiefly by steps, to the second gate called Ganesha Darwaza. At a short distance higher up in the bend of the road stands the third gate, named the Chandi Darwaza. There is a double gate with four towers on which account it is also known as chauburji darwaza, or the ‘gate of the four towers.’ At this gate there are several pilgrim records and inscriptions of various dates.

The fourth gate named Budhabhadra possesses only one inscription. The fifthgate, or Hanuman Darwaza is so named after a figure of the monkey-god carved on a slab resting against the rock. There is also reservoir called Hanumankund; there are, besides, numerous rock sculptures and figures carved on the rocks representing Kali, Chandika, Siva and Parvati, Ganesha, the bull Nandi, and the lingam. The sixth gate, called the Lal Darwaza, stands near the top of the ascent. To the west of this gate, there is a colossal figure of Bhairava cut in the rock. There are also two figures of pilgrims represented carrying water in two vessels fixed at the end of a banghi pole. A short distance leads to the seventh gate, called Bara Darwaza, or the main gate and it undoubtedly modern.

The great lingam temple of Nilakantha, which is situated in the middle of the west face of the fort is a masterpiece of architecture. The façade of the cave once had been very rich , but is now much broken. On the jambs of the door there are figures of Siva and Parvati, with the Ganga and Yamuna rivers, which are of Gupta period. The lingam is made of a darke-blue stone, about 1.15m high and has three eyes. Just outside the mandapa of Nilakantha there is a deep rock-cut reservoir, called svargarohana and to the right of the reservoir in a rock niche there is a colossal figure of Kala-Bhairava, about 6m. in height, standing in about 0.5m. of water. Besides this status there is a figure of the goddess Kali, about 1m. in height.