Saturday, July 20, 2024

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Chunar Fort

Place : Mirzapur district, Uttar Pradesh
Best Season : July to March
Significance : One of the famous forts in Uttar Pradesh
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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.