Friday, 30 March 2018

Part V-Motorcycling to Shergarh Fort in Sasaram

Hi There
   After spending a beautiful evening in  Varanasi ,it was time to move ahead to Sasaram.I left my hotel at 0700am for Sasaram.The route is pretty simple and Sasaram is located on AH1/GT road.Till Mohania the route is great but after that it becomes almost one way due to large amount of extension work which is going on,by next year this will be one of the best roads.
  I reached Sasaram at 1000am and after putting my luggage I moved to my destination Shergarh Fort.

Old GT Road

Community Hall in Sasaram

Shergarh Fort

  Shergarh fort is located in Kaimur hills of Bihar.It came into prominence as it was used by Sher Shah Suri as a residency for his  family    The origin of fort is not credited to Sher Shah Suri but expansion and strengthening is credited.

  Route                       - Sasaram-Shivsagar-Chenari-Malahipur-Base of Fort.An excellent                                            road.

  Roadside Assistance-Limited only upto Malahipur,thereafter very less population.

  Eating Joints             -I did not eat at all.

  The fort of Shergarh ( ‘fort of the lion’) was specifically picked by Sher Shah Suri  to keep  his family and his treasure in the initial years of his career and when he clashed with Humayun before the battle of Chausa. Since the fort was a better bet than Rohtasgarh, when it came to taking ‘refuge’, Sher Shah had begun the work on fortification earlier. 

   The river Durgawati encircles the hill of Shergarh on two sides in the west and the south, with the plains in the north.
  Initially, Sher Shah had planned to build the capital here, but he discarded the idea as the rocky hill-fortress of Shergarh is barren in every aspect and is intolerable during summer.
  Build in 1540-45 by Sher Saha Suri it has got a mysterious past.As per locals,Humayun attacked this fort,at that time there were many soldiers inside this fort as well as family of Sher Shah Suri.The family was thrown in the Durgawati river and almost all soldiers killed,due which till date no one goes to the fort in the evening.
  I reached around 1230 noon at the base and saw a flight of stairs going up,when I started climbing that the time I realized my mistake of not drinking enough water,as the heat set in the body and I suffered dehydration,but some how pushed myself to complete the visit.
  One unique thing I noted about Sher Shah Suri is that ,there is at least one km gap between the living quarters and main entrance main reason early warning to residents in living quarters.
   The climb to the fort is not easy at many places there are no steps and only rocks.Nothing much is on the fort,accept for some parts of main entrance,a water tank which still has water and few walls of the main living quarters.

First glimpses of the fort

Climb to the fort

Main Entrance

Inside main entrance guard resident complex

Ruined guard post

   The main Palace had an  entrance through a small gate at the north west. The palace buildings were arranged around two courtyards: Bada Angana (larger courtyard) and Chhota Angana (smaller courtyard). While the former was used for residential purposes the latter was used as a kitchen and servant quarters.
  However now everything is in ruins.By the time I reached the main palace I was very tired ,just wanted water so halted in between and  after some rest I continued.

Entrance of main Palace


Ruined Palace

Durgawati River. There is another beauty, for those who want to do off roading,there is dirt road which is almost 30 km encircling the base of the hill,pure bliss for off roading you can see dirt track in above photo on left.

Beautiful rock carving on Bada Angana pillars

Pillars with beautiful carvings

Entrance to water tank in Chhota Angana

Inside Chhota Angana water tank

   Several aspects of this fort including the date of its first construction and the builder still remain mysterious. Adding to the mystery are the several underground chambers that the Fort possesses, the remnants of which indicate very superior engineering skill. The mystery is deepened by the remains which lie buried under the debris and the jungle, which has the potential to spring major surprises upon proper excavation. 

  Again the apathy of state govt there is  not even simple marking to indicate way to the fort,nor is there any board to mention about history.If some effort is made this will be a great destination for both riders and trekkers.If you are in Sasaram don't miss this fort.

 As my health was getting worse it was time to head back home.Adios


Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Part IV- Motorcycling to Vijaygarh Fort

Hi There
    Started at 0600 am ,weather was beautiful and took the state 5A highway to Robertsganj and 30 km ahead of it, lies the Vijaygarh Fort.

    Route                                        - Varanasi-Robertsganj-Narayanpur-SH5A-Robertsganj                                                               Churk Factor-  Mau Kalan-  Vijaygarh Base.

    Most recommended Route        - Robertsganj-Kusha-Shonari-Tekar-Karmanu-Vijaygarh 

    Food                                           - Did not have any food en route,and carried own water.

    Roadside assistance                  - Limited,however people are very friendly.

     Vijaygarh Fort
   There are two ways to reach the fort,one is to reach the fort by trekking i.e. from village Mau Kalan.It will take you to the main entrance of the fort and another is to ride up to the base of the fort.Good road through forest,thereafter climb the stairs which are very steep and you reach the rear entrance of the fort.I took the second option.

Clicked with help of passerby 

First glimpses of the fort

Start of climb to the top

      Vijaygarh Fort was built by king Banasur, in the time of Mahabharat and was later on  renovated by Maharaja Vijay Pal1040. Last ruler of Vijargarh Fort was Raja Chait Singh,later on it came under the british .
    The fort is considered to be mesmeric and another fort is said to be hidden under it,this is the fort of Princess Chandrakanta. Near the main gateway of the fort there is a tomb, which is said to be that of Saiyyed Jain-ul-Abdin Meer Sahib popularly known as Hazrat Meeran Shah. There are two  water tanks known as Mira Sagar and Ram Sagar on two sides of Rang Mahal, which  never dry.
      The fort also contains certain rock paintings,inscription,caves and Rang Mahal of princess Chandrakanta.But most of the buildings are in ruins,however both the tanks are full of good potable water,still used by people.


Rear Entrance

First Tank


Second Tank

Pictures of Rang Mahal of Chandrakanta 

Main Entrance from Village Mau Kalan side 

Below are age old beautiful inscriptions and pictures but now distorted by graffiti

   Due to its brilliant location one can observe over very long distance,and thus maintain control over neighboring areas.

    As it was getting warmer it was time to head back to Varanasi.The people around this area are extremely cooperative and smiling,in fact one boy accompanied  me on his motorcycle to get me out of maize of villages. A must visit fort.Adios

Part III- An evening in Varanasi

Hi There
    After coming back from the ride of Chunar Fort,it was time to attain evening Aarti at Assi Ghat.I had never attained the evening Aarti .I reached Assi Ghat at 1800,since they had changed to summer timings,I had to wait for an hour for the Aarti to began.
   Sitting on the ghat looking at the activities,it gave such a peace to the mind,at sharp 1900h the Aarti began.

    The Aarti is a magnificent event and one should not miss it.Before attending the Aarti,we were having tea at Pizzeria,suddenly I saw a beautiful carved temple next to it.The Pancharatna Temple.I immediately walked into it and what a beautiful temple.
     It is being used for training of new priests,it has beautiful paintings inside it,dont miss it if you are at Assi Ghat.

   Had a dinner at a beautiful place called Vegan & Raw a really good place to eat organic food,must try.We also had Lassi at this excellent joint ,the owner is a great person and makes fabulous Lassi.

   On way to Assi Ghat dont miss this Chat,makes excellent Tamatar ki Chat.

     I also visited this place,Lolark kund it is said that a meteor had fallen at this place and created a deep well.The water in the well is suppose to cure skin disease.

Steep steps going towards the Kund

  As it was getting darker it was time to call it a day and prepare for the next day ride.Adios