ATULYA BHARAT KALINJAR FORT MP
The fort of Kalanjar is one of the most famous places in India. In A.D. 1023 it withstood the army of Mahmud of Ghazni, but was shortly surrendered, and the Raja was received into favour on presenting some highly complimentary verses to the great conqueror.1 In 1545 it held out against the redoubtable Sher Shah, and was not captured until the besiegers had been roused to fury when their king had been
mortally wounded by the bursting of a shell in the trenches. In 181 2 it repulsed the assault of a British force under Colonel Martindell, but the fort was surrendered on the following morning, as the Raja doubted whether he would be able to withstand a second assault. The terms were very favourable, as he received an estate of equal value in the plain.
Kalanjar is situated 90 miles to the west-south-west of Allahabad, and 60 miles to the north-west of Rewa. The fort stands on an isolated flat-topped hill of the Vindhya range, which here rises to a height of 800 feet above the plain. The lower part of the ascent is tolerably easy, but the middle portion is very steep, while the upper part is nearly perpendicular and quite inaccessible. The main body of the fort, which lies from east to west, is oblong in form, being nearly a mile in length by half a mile in breadth. At the north angle there is a large projecting spur nearly a quarter of a
mile square, which overhangs the town ; and on the middle of the southern face there is another projection of about the same size, but triangular in shape. The distance between the extreme points of these two projections is nearly 1 mile. The whole area is therefore considerably less than 1 square mile, while the parapet walls are nearly 4 miles in length.
Kalanjar is often compared with Gwalior, under the belief that the two forts are about the same size. But Gwalior is if mile in length by half a mile in breadth, with a parapet
of rather more than 5 miles in extent. Kalanjar, however, has the advantage of Gwalior in height, being upwards of 800 feet above the plain, while Gwalior is under 400 feet. But the water-supply of Gwalior is permanent and good, while that of Kalanjar is uncertain, and has failed on several important occasions.
Kalanjar has been occupied from the most remote times. According to Wilson, it is mentioned in the Vedas as one of the tapasyasthanas, or ( spots adopted to practices ofaustere devotion.” In the Mahabharata it is stated that whoever bathes in the lake of the gods in Kalanjar acquires the same merit as if he had made a gift of 1,000 cows. In the Padma Purana it is named as one of the nine holy places in Northern India. ” Renuka, Sukara, Kasi, Kali, Kala, Bateswarah, Kalanjara, Mahakala, Ukhala nava Kirttnah,”—that is, ” Renuka (near Agra), Sukara (Soron on the Ganges), Kasi (Benares), Kali, Kala (or Karra on the Ganges), Bateswara (two of the name), Kalanjara, Mahakala (or Ujain), are the nine famous Ukhalas”
But all these notices refer solely to the sanctity of the hill as the resort of tapaswts, or holy ascetics. The overhanging rocks afforded shelter to the Rishis, and the rain