CHANDERI

Chanderi is a town of historical importance in Ashoknagar District of the state of Madhya Pradesh in India. It is situated at a distance of 127 km from Shivpuri, 37 km from Lalitpur, 55 km from Ashok Nagar and about 45 km from Isagarh. It is surrounded by hills southwest of the Betwa River. Chanderi is surrounded by hills, lakes and forests and is spotted with several monuments of the Bundela Rajputs and Malwa sultans.Chanderi is located strategically on the borders of Malwa and Bundelkhand.

History of Chanderi goes back to the 11th century, when it was dominated by the trade routes of Central India and was proximate to


the arterial route to the ancient ports of Gujarat as well as to Malwa, Mewar, Central India and the Deccan. Consequently, Chanderi became an important military outpost. The town also finds mention in Mahabharata. Shishupal was the king of Chanderi during the Mahabharata period.


Places of Interest

Jageshwari Temple

The founding of this temple is interlinked with the lore of founding of modern Chanderi, when the Pratihara king Kirtipal is said to have witnessed the Miracle of Water. Although no inscription has been found to corroborate the date of its foundation, certain elements of the temple appear to belong to the 11th and possibly earlier centuries.


Behti Math

Located 3 kilometres away from the village of Behti, which in turn is 20 kilometres south-east of Chanderi,  is the 5th century Behti Math temple that has escaped the attention of tourists and authorities alike. However, being a well-preserved Gupta period construction, examples of which are extremely rare, its importance is undeniable.


Khandargiri Temple

About 2 kilometres south of town, on the Ramnagar road is the Khandargiri temple complex which is a popular pilgrimage site for the Jains. The most impressive part of the centre is the towering statue of the first Jain Tirthankara Rishabhnath, also known as Adinath. Carved on the surface of the hillock, the statue is a striking 45 feet in height and has a powerful presence.


Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid, with a capacity of holding over 2000 persons at the time of prayer, is the largest and the oldest mosque in Chanderi and possibly all of Bundelkhand. The foundations of this impressive monument were laid when Chanderi came under the control of the Delhi Sultanate following the taking of the city by Ghyasuddin Balban.


Delhi Darwaza

One of the main gateways in the city fortifications, the Delhi Darwaza was probably given this name as it faced north towards Delhi. Today it forms the main entrance to the buzy Sadar Bazaar, Chanderi’s main shopping area.


Koshak Mahal

This simple yet imposing building, located on the Isagarh road at a distance of 4 kilometres from Chanderi proper, was built in 1445 as a victory monument. Chronicler Mohammad Kasim ‘Farishta’ in his Tarikh-e-Farishta mentions that the palace was built by the Sultan of Malwa, Mehmood Shah Khilji, to commemorate his victory over Sultan Mehmood Sharki in the battle at Kalpi.


Kati Ghati Gateway

This heraldic structure, cut entirely out of living rock, is situated on the southern edge of Chanderi, forming a link between Bundelkhand on the north and Malwa on the south. Standing tall at 230 ft above ground level, the gate itself is 80 ft high and 39 ft wide. An inscription both in Devnagari and Nask scripts, on the eastern wall of the gate states that its construction was commissioned in AD 1495 by Jiman Khan, the son of the then Governor of Chanderi, Sher Khan.


Badal Mahal Darwaza

This structure, the most eminent among all monuments in Chanderi, is situated at the southern end of the inner city. Located within one of the seven interlocking walls which enclosed specific areas of the town, the darwaza was built in the 15th century, during the reign of Sultan Mahmood Shah Khilji I. It is said that this gateway stood at the entrance of a palace, Badal Mahal, but this palace no longer survives.


Singhpur Palace

Set in the midst of the the Vindhyachal hill ranges, the Singhpur Palace is located at a distance of 4 kilometres from Chanderi. This three-storeyed structure was built under the orders of Devi Singh Bundela in the year 1656 and served as a hunting rest house. Near the palace is a pond which was built by Malik Haiwat Nizam in 1433 during the reign of Hoshung Shah Ghori.  Thick forest and the nearby lake make it an ideal place of retreat.


Kirti Durg

The Kirti Durg was first constructed by the 11th century Pratihara king Kirti Pal and is named after him. The structure we see today is not the original fort, it has been rebuilt several times and added to by subsequent rulers like the Mahmood Khilji, Durjan Singh Bundela and others. Built on the highest point of the Chandragiri Hill, the fort is a characteristic sight in Chanderi and is visible from virtually every point in the town and beyond.


Chandraprabh Jain Temple

This Jain temple is situated in the Hath ka Pura neighbourhood, within the Bahar Shehar. Hath ka Pura which was earlier called Manganj used to be the area where most of the prosperous Jain businessmen had their houses in the past. The exact date of foundation and construction of the temple is not found inscribed but some of the statues installed within the temple have dates which correspond to AD 967 which is the oldest, 10th century and AD 1204.


Battisi Bawdi

This stepwell is located to the north-west of the city and is the largest of all stepwells in Chanderi. It is square in shape, each side being 60 ft in length and 4 storeys deep. Steps descend from one storey down to the next and at each storey there are eight ghats. The number of ghats total to 32 which has given this Bawdi its name. The main stairs are on the southern end which proceed through two doorways. Beside the stairs are two inscriptions in Arabic and Persian, written in the Nask script.


Raja Rani Mahal

Renowned earlier for its palaces and havelis, Chanderi is once said to have had as many as 260 mahals. Today, however, only about 43 of these remain. Situated in the Andar Shehar, the Raja Rani Mahal or the Rajmahal is actually composed of two separate palaces. The imposing Raja Mahal is a seven storied structure which has now been attached to the smaller Rani Mahal.


Jauhar Memorial

Situated at south on Chandragiri hills, near fort. The Mughal Emperor Babur captured the city from Medini Rai and witnessed the macabre Rajput rite of jauhar, in which, faced with certain defeat and in an attempt to escape dishonor in the hands of the enemy, women with children in their arms jumped in a fire pit to commit suicide,which was made for this specific purpose,against the background of vedic hymns recited by the priests.Jauhar was performed during the night and in the morning the men would rub the ashes of their dead women folk on their forehead,don a saffron garment known as kesariya,chew tulsi leaves (in India tulsi leaves are placed in the mouth of a dead body),symbolizing their awareness about impending death and resolve to fight and die with honour.This method of fighting & dying for the cause of retaining honour was called "SAKA".


Getting there

40 km from Lalitpur, 65 km from Ashok Nagar.


Best time to Visit

July to March.