Sunday, 13 May 2018

Motorcycling to Deogarh Fort ,Lalitpur

Hi There
  Its another beautiful warm Sunday for a ride to a very famous Fort of Deogarh,famous for its temples,Ghats and ruined fort.

  Route                               Jhansi-Lalitpur-Jakhlon-Deogarh.

  Road Condition                Excellent for all types of bikes.

  Weather                            Pleasant in morning to very warm to hot.

  Road Side Assistance      Limited.

  Food                                 I did not have food due to weather condition.

   I had planned to start the ride at 0530am ,basically to beat the heat,since the distance is not much and to come back by lunch time.However I started at 0545h,the weather was perfect, a cool air was blowing and spirit was high.After a refueling stop,it was time to hit the AH43.

   Since the traffic not much I wanted to  twist the throttle ,but I controlled my self ,to settle for a  pleasant cruising speed,enjoying the surrounding beauty.As I was crossing the mighty Betwa river I came across this stunning view of the Sun,halted for few minutes to soak in the beautiful sun rays.


    By the time I reached Lalitpur,the cool weather was changing into warm weather.The road inside Lalitpur are very congested ,not in good shape,however once you cross the town you come across a freshly laid beautiful road to Deogarh.

Inside road Lalitpur town

     Beautiful road from Lalitpur to Deogarh

    As one settles down on the saddle after driving through Lalitpur town, in next 35 Kms one will hit the Deogarh village,the route passes through reserve forest and a Vulture Century.

    Before reaching the village just 500m ,on right side you will see a nicely maintained temple complex of Dasavatara temple.

Dasavatara Temple

The Dasavatara temple complex

   Its is one the best maintained heritage site I have seen,after parking the bike I just walked across to the temple complex,and was greeted by a smiling caretaker,I thought that he will trouble me with asking for money,but surprisingly he started voluntarily guiding me and explaining the history ,since I also had some previous knowledge it pleasantly surprised him and now his explanation changed to giving some depth knowledge.

  The temple is a perfect example of rich and magnificent,Gupta art build in red sand stone it is almost square shape.The main entrance has a richly decorated pillars and the three sides of the temples have beautiful panels .There is also a rock cut water tank near the temple complex.
The main entrance

   The welcoming idols on the base of main entrance

   The main idol is missing likely destroyed by the mughals,as they have destroyed many other parts of the temple.

The missing main Idol

   The most beautiful part of the temple is the three panels.Depiction of mythological scene is the main subject of these panels.The Gajendra Moksha panel is on the north side depicts the scene of elephant standing in the lotus pond,firmly bonded by naga couple, Lord Vishnu seated on Garuda.

  One has to see to believe it the way the artist has even  depicted the emotions too.The second panel on the East side depicts the great penance of Nara Narayan seated under tree in which deer and lions are shown.

  The third panel on southern side depicts Vishnu resting on the seven headed cosmic serpent ,with Laxmi at his feet,Bramha on the lotus,Indra on Airavat ,Karttikeya on peacock,at the base are figures of 5 males and one female these are the Pandavas.

The Pandavas

Some other beautiful Carvings 

      The water tank in temple complex

   After seeing this wonderful  temple it was time to move ahead,even though I was inside a reserve forest but the heat had started troubling.I moved about 500mts inside the Deogarh village for the road going to Deogarh fort and Jain complex.

   Its a small climb,road is ok.As you reach the top you see the entrance to the Jain temple complex.Even though the structure is of ASI,but now handed over to private trust,who are maintaining the complex.The main temple is beautiful,and the whole area is strewn with neatly kept Idols.

The forest road to Deogarh Fort

Main entrance of Jain temple complex

Inside Jain temple Complex

  As you come out of temple complex on the left side there is a forest path going to the Deogarh Fort and other attractions.Another better option to go to the fort is, if you are not visiting the temple Jain complex ,than as you are climbing up from Deogarh village,you will come across a prominent structure on the left side of the road just next to it there is a dirt road going inside the forest ,take that you will reach the Ghats and the fort.

       The dirt road on the left side of the structure

Deogarh fort

    The fort, when originally built, was known as 'Karnali'. Subsequently, it was renamed "Kirtidurga" since it was built in 1057  during the reign of  Chandeka king Kirttivarman.          However, some believe that fort was built earlier by the Pratihara rulers of  Kannuj in the 9th century.
    It changed hands from the builders to the Chandelas to  Bundelas to Mughals to Marathas and remained with Scindias till Independence.
  There is not much left of the fort only one Hathi gate,for the first time I saw Jain idols on the main entrance pillars  ,clearly shows that the parts of destroyed Jain temple were used to rebuild the entrance pillars ,most likely by Mughals  .

The approach road through Mahavir reserve forest      

Only door frame remains of the once magnificent entrance

The remains of destroyed Jain temple used in construction of entrance door frame 

Three Ghats and Varaha Temple

    There are three ghats and Varaha Temple which provide approach to the Betwa river, these are the Nahar Ghat, the Rajghat and the Ghat, with the Siddi ki Ghufa.
   The Nahar Ghat contains Sapta Matrika panel and sanskirt inscription written in Bramhi script of Gupta period.

The lovely Betwa-Nile of Bundelkhand

Inscriptions and carvings

The climb up from the base

   The Raj Ghat contains inscriptions from 1064AD,1492AD and a inscription 1097 AD engraved by Vatsaraja a minister of Chandella king Kirtivarman.

Painting inside a small chamber

   The Siddha -Ki -Gufa again contains many inscriptions and was used for meditation.One of the inscription speaks about Suryavanshi Swami Bhatt.

The main Guffa used for meditation

  The Varaha temple build in  7th century is situated in the southeast corner of the fort absolutely in  ruins except for a few fragments such as a door frame and a pillar of an entrance porch. 

   By 1030 am I was able to see all the places and as the Sun god was on his most aggressive form it was time to head back home.Again the roads were almost empty a hot wind was blowing,the road surface was extremely warm but my Thunderbird was fine I think she loves hot weather,she was now moving pretty fast on the hot asphalt ,the ride back home was pleasant and  reached just 30mins after noon .
  This place would be a bliss to visit in monsoon ,the roads are good one must Visit this epic place of Deogarh.
  Until my next ride,Ride Safe Firm Saddle,Adios.