Inscriptions of the Kalinjar Fort

District Banda, Uttar Pradesh

By: Shri Vijay Kumar
Chief Editor: Indian Journal of Archaeology,

& Shri Alok Ranjan
Epigraphist, Epigraphy Branch, Lucknow

Photo Credits: © Vijay Kumar

Introduction: The first author has already written three articles1 earlier singly and fourth article with second author2 about Kalinjar fort. The material for the present article was gathered in 2015. The first author is thankful to Dr. Rakesh Tewari, then Director Archaeology who kindly gave permission for this study and documentation. I was assisted in the task of taking estampage by Arvind Chhirauliya of Kalinjar, Kallu Yadav of village Ganiva farm, Karwi district Chitrakoot and the team of enthusiastic villagers of Kalinjar which consisted of Babloo Arjariya, Bhagwandeen Kushwaha, Chhunnu Kushwaha and Chhotelal Kushwaha, all residents of Kalinjar district Banda U.P. Late Shri. B. D. Gupta of Banda, Uma-Shankar Pandey of Banda, Gudda Sharma of Banda & Ajit Singh of Banda continuously accompanied the first author and his team.

Fort of Kalinjar is situated in the south-western corner of district Banda U.P. on the border of Madhya Pradesh on the latitude 24059’56” N and longitude 80028’55” E, at the top of the hill of same name. Kalinjar was always an important place of pilgrimage. The most important sacred shrines is of Nilkantha. The other important shrines are Kotitirth, Mrigdhara, Mandukya Bhairava, Siddha ki Gupha, Bhagwan Sej, Pani ka Aman, Panch Pandav @ Pandu Kund, Patal Ganga, Sitakund, Sitasej and Khambhaur. All these places bear a large number of inscriptions of pilgrims. A few Islamic shrines & mosques like Patthar Mahala mosque of Islam Shah, Sanichari Taal mosque, Shah Bahu’s tomb/ Khankhah, Shah Rashid’s tomb and Rathore Mahal mosque also bear Persian & Arabic inscriptions. These inscriptions provide very rich information about the rising and falling fortunes of Hindu & Muslim shrines.

The fort is located on the plateau which has a vertical scarp of about 40 feet all around. From the point of view of defense, the wall of about 30 feet has been raised at the edge of scarp or over-hanging rocks. The great height of the hill and the vertical scarp, sometimes with over-hanging rocks combined with the high rampart makes it impregnable. It can be approached from north along the existing stepped ascent of the fort. The other route is from southern side. It has a much steeper ascent from village Saraiyan to Panna @ Bansakhar gate. Another route goes from Panna gate to Badi Bakhari overlooking Sukhana Nala. This route went towards village Kauhari. Badi Bakhari is an abandoned settlement at some height above the Sukhana Nala just below Rani Tunga. The bullock-carts used to come to Panna gate from Kauhari side and up to Balkhandeshwar from Tarahati Kalinjar side. For giving the general topographical information about the fort and surroundings, an old revenue map dated 1877-78 (Fig. 01) and another labelled satellite map (Fig. 02) of Kalinjar fort is being given below. This is just for giving the reader a broad view of the fort and its surroundings. The detailed topographical maps will be given when we are describing different part of the fort.


  1. Introduction

  2. Seven Gates on the ascent of the Kalinjar Fort

    • 2.1 First Gate @ Alam Darwaza

    • 2.2 Second Gate @ Ganesh Darwaza

    • 2.3 Third Gate @ Chandi Darwaza

    • 2.4 Chhatanki Patthar

    • 2.5 Balkhandehswar

    • 2.6 Fourth Gate @ Buddha Bhadra Darwaza

    • 2.7 Khambhaur Taal

    • 2.8 Goruhai Gail

    • 2.9 Fifth Gate @ Hanuman Darwaza

    • 2.10 Sixth Gate @ Lal Darwaza

    • 2.11 Seventh Gate @ Bada Darwaza

  3. Northern Rampart & Ari

    • 3.1 Northern side Ari, outside Patal Ganga

    • 3.2 North Ari from Patal Ganga to north-eastern corner of the fort

    • 3.3 Panch Pandav @ Pandu Kund

    • 3.4 Patal Ganga

    • 3.5 Sitakund

    • 3.6 Sitasej

    • 3.7 Madrar Taal

  4. Eastern Rampart & Ari

    • 4.1 Meendhara

    • 4.2 Pani ka Aman

    • 4.3 Siddha ki Gupha

    • 4.4 Bhagwan Sej

    • 4.5 Mandukya Bhairava

  5. Southern Rampart & Ari

    • 5.1 Southern Ari from Patal Ganga to South

    • 5.2 Panna Gate

    • 5.3 Mrigdhara

  6. Western Rampart & Ari

    • 6.1 Nilkantha Temple

    • 6.2 Swargarohan

    • 6.2 ARI from south-western corner of Kalinjar Fort to Nilkantha temple

  7. Interior of the Fort

    • 7.1 Khankah Tomb

    • 7.2 Jakhira Mahal

    • 7.3 Kotitirtha

    • 7.4 Mandap North of the Kotitirtha

    • 7.5 Patthar Mahal

    • 7.6 Ramjanki Temple

    • 7.7 Museum

    • 7.8 Shah Rashid Grave

    • 7.9 Shanichari Taal Mosque

    • 7.10 Wauchope’s Memorial, Kalinjar

  8. Tarahati Kalinjar

    • 8.1 Rathore Mahal

    • 8.2 Jahangir Mahal

  9. References