Chuanr is famous for its sandstone, which has been used for centuries
in all the Ashoka's inscriptions and pillars scattered throughout India.
Ashoka pillars is the best example, which is built with chunar sandstone.
Previously known as Charanadri (Chunar is the corrupt of Sanskrit Charanadri)
as per hindy mythology, Lord Vishnu had taken his first step here in his
Vaman incarnation. The place was also well known as Nainagarh.
The place is also famous for its Chunar Fort which was
established by the king of Ujjain, Maharaja Vikrmaditya to commemorate
the stay of his brother Raja Bhartihari who had taken his Samadhi in alive
stage. The fort is located in the Vindhya Range of Mirzapur district around
45kms from Varanasi.
Chunar Fort, overlooking the Ganges, has had a succession
of owners representing most of India's rulers over the last 500 years.
Built and rebuilt several times, the fort was under the possession of
Mughal Dynasty Babar in 1525 AD and later under the emperor Sher Shah.
It was after Sher Shah’s marriage with the widow of Taj Khan Sarang-Khani,
the Governer of Ibrahim Lodi that Sher Shah owned the Fort. He built the
Turkish bath and a pavilion here. And in 1531 AD, Humayun, the Mughal
king done an unsuccessful effort to capture this fort. In 1575 Akbar recaptured
it for the Mughals and then it passed to the nawabs of Avadh in the 18th
century. In 1772 AD, the British took over the Fort and used it as a warehouse
of weapons and missiles. The tombstones of the British can be seen at
this place. One can also find a stone umbrella inside the fort, which
was built by King Sahadeo to commemorate his victory on 52 rulers.
Chunar fort is protected by massive ramparts which overlooks
a beautiful beach. A walk along the fort's walls at sunset is very gorgeous
to watch. The major attraction insde the fort is the Sonwa Mandap an open
pavilion. Inside the Fort one can also find the Sun Dial. There is a massive
and huge well which was most likely the source of water. The fort also
houses a Jail and an execution room.