|Part of Bandhavgarh National Park|
|Umaria district, Madhya Pradesh|
|Height||811 metres (2,661 ft)|
|Owner||Government of India|
|Controlled by||Bahela Rajputs|
The Bandhavgarh Fort is situated in Bandhavgarh in Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is located on the Bandhavgarh hill, rising 811 meters above sea level at the centre of the Bandhavgarh National Park. It is a surrounded by a large number of smaller hills separated by gently sloping valleys. These valleys end in small, swampy meadows, locally known as 'bohera'. The fort is also home to many of the endangered species of Vulture in India
No records are available to show when Bandhavgarh fort was constructed. It is thought, however, to be some 2000 years old, and there are references to it in the ancient books, the "Narad-Panch Ratra" and the "Shiva Purana". Regional folklore suggests that Bandhavgarh Fort was constructed by rulers of the Gond Empire. Gond Kings of Pandro cast are the original builders of this fort and descendants of Gond Kings still inhabit the vicinity of this fort. Gond Kings had constructed 12 talab ponds, of which only few remain. This fort's construction and architecture are similar to other forts built by Gond Kings.
From Bandhavgarh Fort's hill Vanganga stream originated in Gondi language van means surname and ganga loosely translates to a pure stream. That may suggest Pandro the surname of Gond King may have originated from "Vanganga" .The Bandhavgarh fort derives its name from the most prominent hillock of the area, which is said to be given by Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana to keep a watch on Lanka. Hence the name Bandhavgarh (bandhav as brother, garh as fort).
Bandhavgarh Fort was the business centre for the traders traveling between Kaushambi and Bharhut, at that time known as Bardawati (Bhaudhya root). In the rein of kalchuri’s it was called “Haihay Kshetra”. The Vakataka dynasty used this place and various stone Writings are found written by them. They made the place to live by cutting stones. There are some ruins found of the Fort in the Bamania Hill near Bandhavgarh and there are many sculptures and coins found in the nearby villages near Bandhavgarh, Bijhariya, Mala which prove the economical and artistic situation of the kingdom. In the reign on Karan Deo (Vikram Samvat 1245-1260), Bandhavgarh was the capital of the southern part of the Gahora kingdom.
There are a few statues depicting the reincarnations of Vishnu (avatar) - like one of the Fish and another of the Turtle. There are some remaining ponds on the hill e.g. Rani Talab(Queen's Pond). There is a view point on the hill named as Suicide point form which if one is lucky one can see the vultures in flight. One the way back from the fort one can see the gigantic idol of Vishnu lying down, it is also known as Sesh Shai. The word Bandhavgarh means the Fort of Laxman and the stone carved Shesh Shai also provides further evidence for the origin of this name.
from Bandhavgarh Fort's hill "vanganga" river was originated in "gondi" language "van"="goutr" means"surname", "ganga"="dhara"means =stream that means "pandro" the surname of gond king was originate from "vanganga" that means "gond" king was the first ruler of Bandhavgarh Fort
Various dynasties have ruled the fort: for example, The Mauryans from 3rd century BC, Vakataka rulers from 3rd century to 5th century the Sengars from 5th century and the Kalachuris from 10th century. In the 13th century, the Baghels took over, ruling from Bandhavgarh until 1617, when Maharaja Vikramaditya Singh moved his capital to Rewa. The last inhabitants deserted the fort in 1935.
Throughout the tour of Bandhavgarh fort we will never feel going away from wildlife as tigers, cubs, deer can be seen anytime. In addition to them many rare species of birds like Malabar pied hornbill, falcons, 4 species of vultures, tortoises swim can also be seen. At some point one can also see nests of vultures from top. Hill top is considered best for photography of flying birds due to the advantage of being positioned at the top. So we may conclude that Bandhavgarh wildlife tour is incomplete without Bandhavgarh fort tour.
Bandhavgarh National Park The closest rail head is Umaria (37 km) however Katni (100 km., 2 hrs) and Khajuraho & Jabalpur(230 km) are more connected/well known. You Have to get Private Taxi to Reach Bandhavgarh Because except Umaria there is no regular Bus services to reach here. At Bandhavgarh National Park, there are so many lodges to stay, White Tiger Forest Lodge(MPT Lodge), Golbro Resort, Cell No. 9424973602. Some budget Lodges are also there like: Kum Kum Home, Pawan Lodge, GTV Resort. You can also opt DHABA'S for food. There are 2 Park visit i.e. morning and evening, the timings varies as per season. Now there is 3 Zones to visit:- 1. Tala, 2. Khitoli, 3. Maghadhi. If you wish to visit Bandhavgarh Fort then you should opt for Tala Zone.MORE DETAILS
- L.K.Chaudhari & Safi Akhtar Khan: Bandhavgarh-Fort of the Tiger, Wild Atlas Books, Bhopal, 2003
- Shahbaz Ahmad: Charger the long living Tiger, Print World, Allahabad, 2001
- W.A.Rodgers, H.S.Panwar and V.B.Mathur: Wildlife Protected Area Network in India: A review, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, 2000
- Captain J.Forsyth: The Highlands of Central India, Natraj Publishers, Dehradun, 1994
- gulzar singh markam: gondwana ke garh darshan, bhopal, 2005
- "Bandhavgarh Fort". Retrieved 8 May 2012.