About 88km southwest of Chitrakut, the abandoned star-shaped fortress of KALINJAR looks down on the Gangetic valley from the final escarpments of the craggy Vindhya hills, above the town of the same name. Much of the fort has been reclaimed by dry shrubby forest, populated by monkeys; once-grand avenues are now rocky footpaths that wind through the few crumbling yet ornately carved buildings that remain. Kalinjar has no tourist facilities to speak of – most of those who do come are either on day-trips from Chitrakut or Allahabad, or stay in Banda, which is on major train and bus routes and is connected to Kalinjar by local buses.

Steep steps lead straight up for 3km from Kalinjar village to the fort’s main gate, Alam Darwaza, but the southern Panna Gate has rock carvings depicting seven deer (like the fort’s seven gates, these represent the then-known planets). Beneath Bara Darwaza, the “Large Gate”, in the artificial cave of Sita Sej, a stone couch dating from the fourth century holds some of Kalinjar’s earliest inscriptions. The fort’s colossal rambling battlements provide sweeping views of the Gangetic plain and the Vindhya hills.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Indian trains: a traveller's survival guide

Indian trains: a traveller's survival guide

The Himalayan Queen, the Grand Trunk Express, the Deccan Odyssey… the very names of India’s trains are evocative of timeless style and old-school adventure…

09 Feb 2017 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Quiz: can you name these famous places in India?

Quiz: can you name these famous places in India?

India is an addictive destination. Go once and something will draw you back time and again. Perhaps it's the food, maybe it's the people, or it could well be th…

24 Jan 2017 • Rough Guides Editors help Quiz
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month