Chunar is about 35 km east of Mirzapur, 40 km from Varanasi, 130 km from Allahabad in Mirzapur District of U.P., India,
Entry 10am-2pm, Visiting Time-10am-4pm, opens on all days
Historical & Archaeological
Throughout the yearHow to reach
Road- Well connected by road from Varanasi, Mirzapur & Allahabad Rail– Connected to Mirzapur, Varanasi & Allahabad by rail via Mughal Sarai in the east & via Vindhyachal to Allahabad in the west Air– Babatpur Airport (Varanasi), about 60 km from Chunar
Chunar Fort situated on the bank of River Ganges at a height of 80-175 feet from the ground level & is spread over 34000 sq.feet, is the prime attraction of Chunar town. Chunar owes its importance from the time immemorial as tradition assigns a high antiquity to the fort of Chunar. It has witnessed glorious historical past. In ancient literature this place was also known as Charanadri, Nainagarh. This fort was built by King Vikramaditya for his brother Bharthari. During Muslim Period, it was regarded as the defence key, over the eastern part of Ganga Valley. The fort was an important post during the battle between Sher Shah & Humayan and remained under Afghan control until Mughal Emperor Akbar recovered it in 1537. It was under Mughal control till 1750, when the Nawab of Awadh took its possession. After the fierce battle of Buxur in 1764, the fort came into the hands of British. From the tables of the fort it is found that most of the rulers of India such as Vikramaditya of Ujjan(56 BC), Prithviraj Chauhan (1114-1119 AD), Shahabuddin Gauri (1194), Sikandar Lodhi (1512), Babar (1529), Humayun (1536), Sher Shah (1538), Akbar (1576), Jahangir, Aurangzeb, Nawab Wazir, Nawab of Awadh (1750), East India Company (1772), visited this fort and left their vestige at this strategic point. It was garrisoned by Britishers until 1890, when the troops were finally withdrawn & the fort was handed over to civilian authorities. Presently it is being used as a training centre for PAC (Provincial Armed Constabulary) of state government & restrictions have been imposed to visit certain parts of the fort. In the legal tangle between Govt. & Archaeological Department, the later emerged victorious and fort will be vacated by the PAC soon. The fort contains the following buildings of historical & Archaeological importance :- 1. Bharthari Samadhi – In the back portion of the fort there is the Samadhi of Bharthari, the brother of King Vikramaditya. It has four gates. At present various religious ceremonies are held here. There is a tunnel in front of this building which leads down from the fort and was used by princess Sonwa to take bath in the River Ganges. 2. Sonwa Mandap – This building has 28 pillars reflecting purely the Hindu style of architecture. There is engraving on the mehrab (arch), which is said to have been filled with gold earlier. There is about 7 mts. wide (diameter) and 200 mts. deep Bawali (water storage tank) in the fort which still has the water and is said to be connected with Ganges which supplies water to it. Princess Sonwa used to bathe here. 3. Bawan Khambo Ki Chhatari (Open Pavilion of 52 pillars) – The fort has the canopy resting on 52 pillars to commemorate the memory of 50 Kings/Princes, who lost in a duel to princess Sonwa, daughter of king Mahadeo, the King of Kannauj and were imprisoned here. Finally she was married to Alha, the brother of King of Mahoba. 4. Residence of Warren Hastings which has now been converted into a museum. It also has a Sun dial built in 1784 near the bungalow. 5. View of River Ganges from the fort. One Guest House, belonging to PWD is built inside the Fort and can be booked by contacting the PWD Department of Mirzapur.