This day last year, I was at Kalinjar fort in Banda district of UP, which is 3 hrs from Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh) 🙂
The road to this fort passes through some incredibly lovely scenery and many idyllic and picture perfect villages. There were beautiful green fields in the shadow of the Panna hills, rows of colorful huts and bullock carts. The rural scenes were so enchanting that we wanted to stop and wander about, but couldn’t because we had to reach the fort before it closed.
This historic fort was used by the Chandelas and many other dynasties. Sher Shah Suri met his death here in 1545. It’s very rich in history, but there’re hardly any tourists because of it’s isolation and the absence of hotels nearby. Also, no tourist guides to take you around or explain things. Nevertheless, the place had a lot of charm because it was desolate, calm and mysterious, and we wished we had reached there earlier to explore more of it. It was also remarkably clean and well kept, probably because not many people visit and litter the place.
We saw some locals going to visit the Neelkanth temple inside the fort. We followed them but almost decided to skip it because it seemed like a steep climb and it was getting dark. However, luckily we went ahead and it was an out of the world experience! This temple had some of the most impressive carvings I’ve seen. There was a huge and impressive sculpture of Shiva on a rock adjacent to the temple. In front of the temple there was a one storeyed yagna mandap, but apparently, it used to be seven storeys high, before an earthquake destroyed it!
There’s a freshwater pool in the rocks right above the temple and water is said to drip continuously onto the Shiv Ling. The whole place was utterly mesmerizing and spiritual. Here are some photographs of the fort, will post pics of Neelkanth temple in a later post..