Forts of Bihar
Forts of Bihar
The Indian state Bihar holds a significant place in the cultural history of India for being the birthplace of Buddhism and Jainism. Pilgrims often visit this land for religious purposes. But, there is much more than visiting religious sites that a visitor can expect and experience on a Bihar trip. This destination is definitely not famous for forts and palaces but still one can expect a chance to witness the beauty of several spectacular ancient forts and palaces of India when visiting Bihar. So, I thought I should write a post about the must see forts of Bihar. I hope people find this post useful when preparing the itinerary for Bihar trip. Although there are some more forts and palaces that can be added in the itinerary, but this time I am focusing on only 6 forts…I will definitely include the remaining ones in my next post.
Fort of King Vishal: Fort Vishal is named after the King Vishal. You will get a chance to see this excavated site in the district Vaishali of Bihar. A number of tourists flock here to witness the magnificent sight of this excavated fort. You rarely find a ruined fort that look so captivating, and you may also like to visit this one for its historical importance and exceptionally good architecture. Well... I definitely did not measure its dimensions but as I read some reliable articles that provide information about this fort, now I know that its height is 2 meter and width is 43 meter. Also, it is surrounded by a large mound that makes its circumference 1 kilometer. Vaishali is known to be the oldest democracy of the world and this fort was an indispensable part of this democracy. This ruined fort is believed to be the remains of the ancient parliament house of Lichhavi republic. It is also said that in good olden days, around seven thousand representatives from the federal assembly used to gather here for holding important meetings to discuss political issues. Do not forget to visit the nearby Vaishali Archaeological Museum…….people who love antique will find it worth visiting. You can see here all the artifacts that archaeologists found during the excavation of the fort.
Munger Fort: Munger fort is the most famous and talked about monument of Munger town. It has been built in a really smart way and is a fully protected from all sides. It is built on a rocky hillock on the southern bank of the Ganges River, which protects it from west and partly from the north direction; a deep moat provides defense for the other sides of the fort. This splendid fort encloses a region of about 222 acres and has a route of 4 kms. The highest point in this fort is two prominent rocky hillocks and those are known as Karanchura, Karanchaura or karan chabutara. Another famous rocky hillock in this fort is a rectangular mound about which I already mentioned above. This fort was constructed during the time of the early Muslim rulers of India and over time this fort witnessed the succession of Khaljis, Tughlaqs, Lodis, and Nawabs of Bengal, followed by Mughal rulers till the time it was finally captured by the British. Today this fort is a monument under the control of the Indian Government. You can find a number of important historical and religious monuments like the Tomb of Pir Shah Nufa, the Palace of Shah Suja, Tomb of Mulla Mohammad Said, the Kashtaharini Ghat on the bank of River Gangaes, and Chandisthana (an old temple), an 18th century British Cemetery inside this fort. You will also find the Bihar school of yoga which is operated in the inside area of fort and was established by Swami SatyaNanda Saraswati in the year 1964 to impart traditional yoga teaching to the world.
Rohtas Fort: Located in a small town of Rohtas district in Bihar, Rohtasgarh( Rohtas Fort) is one of the most ancient forts of India. This magnificent fort is situated at the top of the Kaimur hills near Akbarpur. This fort is 45 kilometers and 39 kilometers from Dehri on Sone and Sasaram respectively.
Rohtas Garh is often visited by tourists because of its architectural brilliance. There was a time when it was the largest and strongest fort in India. This is a strongly built fort and despite being quite old, this fort is still in better condition compared to most of the other old forts of India. It was captured by Sher Shah in 1538 A.D. The fort served as the safest shelter for the royal families during the time of war.
Major attractions inside the fort are Rang Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Aaina Mahal, Khuta Mahal, Janana Mahal, Eunuch quarter, Rani ka Jahrokha, Mansingh ki baradari, Churashin, Fasi Gar etc. The fort is believed to be built by and named after king Rohitashava, son of King Harishchandra.
During recent times, due to the naxalite activities in the Rohtas region, it became difficult for people to visit this fort easily. As a tradition, every year a fair is organized at the Rohtas fort, and this is the best time to visit this fort. It may be a tiring experience to visit Rohtas fort and you may spend your entire day to completely explore this fort.
Aurangabad Fort: These are two magnificent forts of bricks and rocks, located deep in the high hills and dense jungle of Aurangab on the Sher Shah Suri road. These forts were built by the Vanvasi Kings of the Chero empire. It had defenses in three directions and three prime gates. The secured walls are about 5 feet in thickness. There are marks of canon balls and bullets in many places on the walls of this old fort. The interesting sections to visit around and inside the old fort include the prime gate leading to the fort, the court room, a temple inside the fort, zanana section (the rooms and other areas for females), and also two bottomless wells filled with silt. The most alluring of all is the splendid and astutely carved stone gate in the new fort, which is called the Nagpuri Gate. Also, a round room, in which a well had been sunk to provide a supply of drinking water in case of a siege, is worth seeing.The Auranga river flows close to the fort. The architecture of the fort is mainly Islamic and very impressive. This is a live proof of Daud Khan's victory and decline of Chero dynasty; Daud Khan was a governor of Bihar under Aurangzeb, he defeated the Chero emperor in year 1660 and captured this fort.
Maner Fort: Located on the confluence of River Ganges and River Saryu, Maner fort is an excellent example of fine architecture of ancient times. The remains of the ancient fort on the old channel of River Son’s shore reminds us about the glorious past of Maner. Maner holds an important position on the list of tourist sites of historical importance in Bihar. The tomb of Sufi saint Hazrat Makdoom Yahya Maneri of 13th century is also a major attraction for the tourists.
Jalalgarh Fort: This is a 300 years old fort which was built by Syed Muhammed Jalaluddin Khan, though some people claim that the fort was built in the year 1722 by the then ruling nawab of Purnia, Saif Khan. The architecture of the fort is a nice blend of Hindu and Islamic building architecture. It is quadrangular building with high walls which proved a solid defence against attacks. The fort is currently not in a proper condition and can be considered as a ruined fort.