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Garh Kundar Fort

Madhya Pradesh Forts
INTRODUCTION
Garh Kundar fort is located on a high hill-top situated on a small village, located in Tikamgarh district at north of Madhya Pradesh state in Central India. It is just 70kms from Orchha. It can be traveled by reaching Jhansi railway station. It is in south-west of Jhansi. It is one of the heritage fort in Madhya Pradesh and have a great history of love, affair, greediness and dreadful sabotage. Prominent personalities in Garh Kundar history are Nagdeo and Roopkunwar. Their love affair stories are still said in folk songs of Bundelkhand. by local It current scenario, it is less visited by tourists but well known among local person. It is located in such a way that from 12kms, it remains visible from naked eye but one you get closer to it, it gets dis-appeared and become difficult to locate. It was used a kingdom capital till year 1539 AD. Later capital was shifted to Orchha, on the bank of Betwa river.

NAME DERIVATION
Garh Kundar fort can easily be understood by its name. Its simple meaning is "Fort in Kundar region". Garh means Fort where as Kundar is combination of two words "Kund" & "Arka". Due to presence of a pond with medicinal quality to cure skin disease, this region gained publicity in past. In Hindi language, "Kund" means water reservoir and "Arka" means shining sun.

HISTORY
Garh Kundar fort remained under influence Bundelkhand rulers like Chandela, Bundela and Khangars. It came into light when in year 1180, chief of king Prithvi Raj Chauhan, Khet Singh Khangar planned to make his capital here. Khet Singh is not only the chief of Prithvi Raj Chauhan but also a close friend. He was originally from Gujarat. He defeated Parmal ruler Shiva in war and captured the fort and laid the foundation of Khangar dynasty. Till that time, it was known by the name of palace of Jinagarh. It was Khet Singh Khangar who laid the foundation and strengthen the rule of Khangar's rule in Jijak Bhukti region. He died in year 1212 AD. After his death, five generation of Khangar's ruled here. Later Khet Singh's grandson Maharaja Khub Singh Khangar fortified the Jinagarh Palace and renamed it as Garh Kundar fort. Kundar rulers, ruled from this fort till year 1347 A.D., when it was captured by Mohammed Tuglaq who handover the charge to Bundela rulers. Nagdeo was the last Khangar ruler who was murdered with many other Khangar army generals in a conspiracy in which Bundela rulers also took part. In that time Bundela rulers were feudatory of Mughals. Bundela King Bir Singh Deo go the necessary renovation work on it and provided its present look.

HOW TO REACH
Garh Kundar fort can be reached from Orchha, Jhansi, . It lies in Nivad tehsil of Tikamgarh district in Madhya Pradesh. Fort is about 55kms from Orchha and 75kms from Jhansi.
DISTANCE CHART
LOCATION MAP
From
Distance
(in Kms)
Tikamgarh 22kms
Orchha 70
Jhansi 90
Khajuraho 150
Gwalior; 200
Panna National Park 170


Reaching Tikamgarh by Train/ Railways :-
The nearest railhead to Tikamgarh is Lalitpur railway station(85kms) and Jhansi railway stations (Railway code: JHS) at a distance of 75 km from city. Jhansi station is more suitable for visiting Garh Kundar fort in Tikamgarh. It has direct train connectivity from places like Delhi, Agra, Mumbai, Jaipur, Bhopal, Indore, Varanasi etc. Further journey can be done by taxi or bus service. Their is passenger train via Lalitpur but frequency is very less.

Reaching Tikamgarh by Bus / Roadways :-
Tikamgarh is well connected by road network. Important routes like NH-12A, SH-37, SH-10 are passing through Tikamgarh town. You can have direct bus service from Gwalior, Jhansi, Orchha, Chatarpur etc. If can avail, car rental service, then journey will be more convenient for you. You can easily hire taxi cab from Jhansi, Orchha, Khajuraho, Bhopal, Gwalior etc. to visit Garh Kundar fort.

ABOUT FORT
Fort is located on Nivad tehsil of Tikamgarh district in Madhya Pradesh state. Its reference comes in Madhya Pradesh Tourism documents. Fort is located about 22kms from Tikamgarh town in Nivad Tarichar Sandhri Route, close to Kudar village. Garh Kundar fort has overall height of 150 ft. and width of 400 ft. Fort has entrance gate having height of 20 feet. Outer wall have number of gazebo/towers to ensure security to fort complex. Britisher Bilochman describes about this fort in famous book Akbarnama. He says that fort is spread over an area of 01 hectare sq.km. area. Its outer wall have 21 gazebos. Fort complex is divided in to 5 blocks. It is designed in such a way that it remain a puzzle for new visitors. Fort is built around a open spacious courtyard. Fort is made up of sand stone which is easily available in local region. In addition to this, bricks, sand, lime-stones were also used as construction material. It is designed in such a way that people from inside rooms can easily see outsider but outsider can't see insiders. You can find inscriptions on few rocks and pillars in fort. Once you enter inside Garh Kundar fort, on left side, their is a small soldiers barrack. It is in southern rampart. Main watch tower of fort is located on south-east of complex. Overall fort stands on pillars and is multi-floor fort complex. Special consideration has been paid for natural light, water supply, grossery storage, toilets etc. in each floor of building.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
In archeological places list, maintained by Government of India, Garh Kundar fort has been considered as important building complex of 12th century. Important tourist attractions of Garh Kundar fort are: Murli Manohar Temple, Rani Ka Mahal, Andhkoop, Storage House, Raj Mahal, Narsingh Temple, Siddh Baba place, Risala, Diwan-e-am, Diwan-e-khas, horse stables, Prison house, Moti Sagar, Rao Siya House etc. Similarly we can also visit nearby tourist points like remains of Nima city, Garhi Handiya fort etc. Their is one important temple of local goddess Maha Maya Gridh Vasani, which is highly regarded among local people. Here a water tank is also present named Singh Sagar tank, close to temple. In addition to this, tourists can visit Shakti Bahirav temple located on south-west of fort, near Chingna-nala. In north-west of fort, Betwa river flows at a distance of 3 miles. Every Monday is a local market day on which local people gathers to do shopping, which is a good day to understand their customs, rituals, tastes etc.

CLIMATE & WEATHER
Garh Kundar fort lies in Tikamgarh district which is in North of Madhya Pradesh. This region was more rocky and semi-arid. Here you will experience extreme temperatures in summers and winters. Rainfall is average. In summer season, you can expect temperature of 42°C or more. In winter you can expect temperature between 15°C to 03°C. Due to rocky area, you will experience more difference between day and night temperatures.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Garh Kundar fort can be visited in all seasons of a years. It is easily reachable in all seasons. Still its best time to visit is between October to March which a popular tourist season of this region. During this time, traveling is more convenient so tourists prefers to visit Garh Kundar fort in this time. Otherwise, as per convenience, one can visit any time.
ACCOMMODATION
Fort is located close to Kundar village. Here you will not find any good accommodation facility, close to fort complex. So either you may stay at budget hotel in Tikamgarh or you can stay at Orchha hotels and visit Garh Kundar fort as excursion tour. You will have all category hotels & lodges in Orchha which is easy to reach and a tourist destination.
NEXT TO
Their are number of places to visit next to Garh Kundar fort. You may visit Orchha cenotaphs, fort, palace, temples. Similarly you may visit Khajuraho temples which are also easy to reach and are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Similarly if you have Bhopal visit in plan, you can further drive to Chanderi destination. It is also a great heritage tourism destination with fort, palace, tombs, temples and many other monuments with beautiful handicraft & handloom work in nearby villages. Further, if you have interest in wildlife, you may visit Panna national park, close to Khajuraho, known for wildlife, gharials, birding.
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