Rain kept pounding that day, when we thought we would like to make a quick visit to the fort which had been spoken about with pride in the Ghara Kingdom. A kingdom that may not be well known in the Indian dynasty but has produced legends that are well imprinted in the local legends in and around Jabalpur.
In an era where we are talking of women empowerment and women power, this small kingdom had a queen, Rani Durgavati who revolutionized the way she ruled the kingdom after her husband died at a young age while her son being too young to rule.
She took over the reigns and ruled for 14 years. She is known for bringing in a lot of prosperity to her state which got into the sight of the Mughals. In 1564, at the age of 39 she was martyred in the last battle.
For her, “The pride to live respectfully was more important that living a disgraceful life”.
She lead her army to a battle and seems to have mounted an elephant for the battle. In a battle of unequal, when she realized that she had lost all her army, and there was no other go, she preferred to kill herself. Her martyrdom on 24 June 1564 is commemorated as “Balidan Diwas” even today. This shows us how a revered and powerful lioness she was.
In her territory at Jabalpur, Madan Mahal is one of the small forts that was built. It has been built at such a height and so small compared to the forts that one imagines, that it could have doubled up as a watching post.
This mahal is situated on a hill top and one has to take close to 100+ steps to reach the fort base. The steps give you a mesmerizing feel of the Jabalpur city as you keep moving us. As you reach at the base, one could be surprised by the remains. On the right had side, there is the horse stable and on the left is the small fort.
There seems to be many more places underground but as it had been raining heavy, these places were submerged in water. The distinctive thing is the huge smooth oval shaped rock that will make you look at the fort with awe.
We walked up a short flight of stairs, that tell you the signs of presence of bats. The stairs opens up onto a small landing base area and a few rooms at the end. Should have been used by the solders to keep an eye on the kingdom down below. The place is quite breezy.
There are many tunnels that had been built which opens up at various places that could have been used for safe movements. Today they have been closed down by the ASI and understandably why. It seems that people have found pots of gold while digging the grounds to construct their houses in the new Jabalpur city.
We walked around the space and enjoyed shooting ourselves with selfies with this “Chota Kila” (Small Fort) and as we left the fort, it reminded me of the glory that this place would have seen during the reign of a wonderful administrator Lioness.
The slight drizzle that started as we made our way down made the place even more mesmerizing for us.
A must place to be when you are at Jabalpur.
Things to check:
- There is a lot of walk in and around the place, so make sure you have your comfortable shoes on.
- There is no ASI fees to enter the place and no one asks money.
- If you are travelling during summer time, carry your own caps and shades. It is quite a rocky place so heat may through you off guard.
- The place is very peaceful and soak the beauty, especially during rainy season.
- Carry your own food & water bottles. You do not have shops to buy what you may like.
- Finally, ensure “Swatch Bharat”