Monday, November 12, 2012

What is Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh famous for?


As we drove into Chanderi, we encountered the Chanderi Museum of the Archaelogical Survey of India and


 it merited a visit. So in we went and spent close to an hour admiring all the artefacts on display. The 


collection in there was amazing! We spent close to an hour there taking a walk through history. No photography allowed in the museum.
We checked into the lovely MPTDC cottage called Tana Bana. Lovely, clean, luxurious accommodation at affordable prices!


Post lunch we set out on a tour of the Chanderi fort which is being restored by ASI.
Then we drove to see the fascinating Kati Ghati Gate. The story of the gate is both interesting and tragic. In 


1495 A.D. when Sher Khan was the Governor of Chanderi, he received notice that King Gyasuddin Khilji the Sultan of Malwa wished to visit Chanderi and Jimman Khan was advised that the Sultan wished to be welcomed to Chanderi by the sight of a grand gateway at the top of the hill range. But this information was received very late and there was just a day left for his arrival hence a huge reward was announced for the person who could create such a gate in a day. One stonemason agreed to the challenge and with his crew started to work on it. The next morning Jimman Khan got the news that the work was completed and he reached the site to inspect it. He was amazed to see that the gateway had indeed been cut out the rock. On further inspection Jimman Khan saw that the craftsman had not made arrangements to fit the door to close the gateway. He told the craftsman that since this gateway formed the first line of security of the fort it should have a door. To fit the door they would need to put in extra stone, and then the uniqueness of the gateway would be lost. Jimman Khan refused to pay for the work and the craftsman in shame walked away empty handed. Later the craftsman committed suicide and his tomb can be found to the side of the gate.
Now it was time to visit the ruins of Koshak Mahal. This simple yet imposing building was built in 1445 as a 


victory monument by the Sultan of Malwa, Mehmood Shah Khilji, to commemorate his victory over Sultan Mehmood Sharki in the battle at Kalpi.
One legend has it that the real reason the Sultan ordered the monument’s construction was to provide employment to the people of Chanderi. At that time, the people of the town were facing a severe shortage of work and using the pretext of the victory at Kalpi, the project was initiated to provide the people with work and pay.
It is believed that once the first storey was completed, the builders were faced with the problem of raising the heavy stone blocks to the second level. This was resolved by burying the first storey under dirt to create a slope on which the blocks could be carried uphill. Each storey was similarly constructed and finally the dirt was cleared away to uncover the entire structure.


It was evening by the time we visited the Jama masjid and Badal Mahal. Of Badal Mahal the palace is almost 


non existent and only the Darwaza(door) remains inside the fort. The importance of this Darwaza can be guaged by the fact that it is the stamp which Madhya Pradesh Handloom Department puts on the hand-woven sarees which Chanderi is famous for and also as a seal which is put on the letters which are posted in Chanderi.
Our last stop in Chanderi was the Parameshwar talab and the Laxman temple. The legend of the Laxman 


Temple is that once there was a group of devotees who reached the pond and stayed overnight there to rest. 


They were carrying an idol of Lord Laxman which they placed under a peepal tree. In the morning the devotees tried to pick up the idol but it would not budge. They then believed that the reason for this was that Lord Laxman wanted to stay at that spot, and so they performed the rituals to erect a temple there.

And you thought Chanderi was famous only for its sarees!

How to get there :
By Air: The nearest airports are at Bhopal (258 km) and Gwalior (259 km).

By Rail: Lalitpur (36 km) and Jhansi (124 km) on the Delhi-Chennai and Delhi-Mumbai main line are the closest railheads. Ashok Nagar (46 km) and Mungaoli (38 km) also serve Chanderi.

By Road: Chanderi is connected by regular bus services with Gwalior, Indore, Guna, Shivpuri, Ashok Nagar, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Tikamgarh, Vidisha, Sanchi and Bhopal


42 comments:

  1. Nice to read your post.Great description and photos. Thank you.

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  2. Lovely place with all those architecture. Thanks for sharing this info.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

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  3. I never knew about this place, thanks for such amazing shots!

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    1. Thank you Meenakshi. Pleasure to share!

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  4. Indeed, all I had known about Chanderi were the saris! Thanks for this great post. The story of the mason committing suicide and the amazing feat of carrying the stone slabs to upper storeys is indeed wonderful. The 'darwaza; is also very beautiful. I didn't know that people worshipped Lakshman either! How little we know of the local legends and the interpretations of our myths!

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  5. thanks for this info and the lovely pictures I too had known this place for the sarees which are fabulous and my favourites

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  6. True I thought all Chanderi had was those gorgeous diaphanous saris... this after six years in nearby Bhopal! Love the legends you've written about.. you could be Raju Guide :-). I thought laksman was special only to Lucknow. Great post.

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    1. Thank you Tulika. Travel is always a revelation!

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  7. You have given very good info n pics. I try next time for that place...All the best.

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  8. beautiful pic.wish u & ur family happy diwali

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    1. Thank you and Shubh Deepavali to you and yours too!!

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  9. Nice to know information. Good Pictures as well.

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  10. I knew about only Chanderi sarees...This is magnificent

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  11. You have given such interesting anecdotes to go with the beautiful pictures.The ingenuity of builders of those days in building the multistoried monument is truly amazing.

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  12. You've been going places, Deepak! And you bring back so many interesting stories that I feel I haven't travelled at all.

    Keep sharing and we keep envying. :)

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    1. I travel in India while you travel the world Nisha!

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  13. Very informative post with beautiful pictures. I had visited Chanderi long ago when the fort remained inacessibe as a President of Sri Lanka (probably Jayawardane) had sought asylum In India and he was placed in that Fort (to escape from LTTE).The museum was also nonexistant. Incidentally the second picture given by you is of an important sculpture named Rudra Shiva at Tala (Bilaspur) Kindly go through my post on that here:http://goo.gl/qSEFb

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    1. Thank you Subramanian. Will surely go through your post. That sculpture was at the door of the museum.

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  14. I'd read this about chanderi but never got the opporty to visit...interesting stuff.
    Here's the link to my chanderi diary....and yes it is all about the sarees :)
    http://non-tot-thoughts.blogspot.in/

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    1. Thank you Aparna. Going across to your post!

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  15. चँदेरी की इन ऐतिहासिक इमारतों के साथ उनसे जुड़ी कहानियों को पढ़ना अच्छा लगा।

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  16. Historical Places of Madhya Pradesh... Great Information and Pictures too

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  17. Beautiful Pictures with very informative write up...

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  18. Hi,

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  19. Hi

    I didn't know that you write too. So far I have seen only your photos. Enjoyed your Chanderi log. The pictures are good, as always.

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  20. So you write too. Enjoyed the Chanderi story and your photos

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  21. Thanks for taking me along to Chanderi. Nice photo and interesting text.

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  22. great blog with beautiful picss

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