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Ramnagar Garha

History of Ramnagar Fort

Chouragarh and Garha were the capitals of the King Prem Shah/Prem Narayan. It was necessary to learn state-craft skills at Royal court according to Mughal Sultanate. Therefore, the King Premshah took his eldest son Hirdeshah to Royal Mughal court Delhi for his state-craft education. The King Premshah left his son to Royal court and returned. And, the king forgot the invitation of the King Bir Singh Deo of Orchha. This incidence made the king Bir Singh Deo upset and he felt insulted. The king Bir Singh Deo took pledge from his son Jujhar Singh to win the Garha State and avenge his insult.

Jujhar Singh invaded Garha State and seized the Garha Capital. King Premshah put a front at his second capital, Chouragarh and a fierce battle took place. Jujhar Singh camped little far from Chouragarh and sent message to the King Premshah regarding the reconciliation and leaving the Garha state. The King Prem Shah arrived with his Gond sentry in the camp of Jujhar Singh. Jujhar Singh ordered his soldiers to behead the king Prem Shah and they attacked and killed the king. But, this happiness of Jujhar Singh didn’t last too long.

The messengers reached Delhi and informed Hirdeshah about this treachery of Jujhar Singh. Hirdeshah reached Bhopal to his own people and gathered army with their help. Hirdeshah attacked on Jujhar Singh to avenge his father’s death. Jujhar Singh got killed in this battle. Hirdeshah gave Opadgarh district to the ruler of Bhopal in return of the received help in this war. Pahad Singh, brother of late Jujhar Singh was seated at a higher post in Mughal sultanate. He attacked on Garha kingdom for avenging his brother’s death. King Hirdeshah couldn’t defeat Pahad Singh as the Royal Army was with him in this war. Thus, Hirdeshah had to take shelter in Rewa state. This incidence damaged him both economically and emotionally. Pahad Singh returned back but Hirdeshah started a Teerth Yatra from Garha to the hermitage of Sage Jamdagni, due to his emotional trauma. King Hrideshah found a suitable place in the terrifically forest nearby the Narmada river. He started construction work of Motimahal at this place. The king Hrideshah shifted the capitals from Chouragarh and Garha to Ramnagar when the construction work of Motimahal completed.

King Hrideshah was a musician too. During the state-craft education at Royal court, Hirdeshah fall in love with the daughter of the Emperor. The princess had deep knowledge of music too. The King Hirdeshah married the Mughal princess and brought her to capital Ramnagar. The Begum Mahal currently located in Chougan village was built for the Mughal Princess. The architecture of Begum Mahal is similar to the buildings built during the reign of the Mughals.

Motimahal and Vishnum Temple were built in Ramnagar by the King Hrideshah and Dal-badal (the sporting palace) and Begum Mahal are located about 2 Kilometers far at Chougan village. There are so many unknown ruins of buildings built during the Gondwana reign. King Hrideshah is known for his generosity. Ganga Sagar Lake near Garha and so many wells were built by the king. It is said that the king waived tax for 12 years during the drought. The public was happy during the reign of the king Hrideshah. He ruled for 44 years.

How to reach Ramnagar fort

Ramnagar is situated nearby the Narmada River and it is about 18 Kilometers in the East of Mandla District Headquarter. After driving about 14 Kilometers on Mandla-Dindori State-Highway, a road diverts which leads to Ramnagar. Ramnagar is about 4 Kilometers far from this diversion. There are many other routes to reach Ramnagar. Ramnagar is 10 Kilometer from Padmi village located at National-Highway-30 and 19 Kilometers from Anjaniya village located at same National Highway-30.

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Mandla Fort

History of Mandla Garha.

King Keshari Shah of Ramnagar was assasinated in a conspiracy by Hari Singh of his own dynasty. But, Hari Singh couldn’t become the king. A battle was fought against Hari Singh according to the order issued by the minister of late king Keshari Shah. Hari Singh got killed in this battle. Pahad Singh, the son of Hari Singh continued his efforts to get the crown. Narendra Shah was 7 years old when the King Keshari Shah died. Minister Ramkishan Bajpai sent Gangadhar Bajpai to the Royal Court of Mughal Badshah Aurangzeb to get the accreditation letter and crown the prince Narendra Shah. After the essential formalities the prince Narendra Shah was declared as the king of Garha Kingdom. Dhamoni, Hata, Shah Garh, Garhakota and Madiyado of Dewas district were given to the Badshah Aurangzeb for this agreement.

There were many attacks and revolutions in the states during the reign of the king Narendra Shah. The Ramnagar fort was not safe as no safety walls were made. The bank of Narmada River was securing the fort from just one side. This fort was not built upon any hilltop like other forts and was on a flat earthen surface. Due to all these concerns, the capital was shifted from Ramnagar to Mandla by the king Narendra Shah. Mandla fort was built at confluence of the Narmada and Banjar River which provide safety from 3 sides and a gulf was dug at the South of this fort. The river stream divided through the gulf which made the fort fully secure. Mandla fort was built by the King Narendra Shah around 1698 CE.

After the death of Pahad Singh, his two sons united with Mughal Sultanate and adopted Islam. Their names were Abdul Rahman and Abdul Haji. They got Mughal Army and invaded the Garha Mandla kingdom. The king Narendra Shah had to seek help from Bakht Buland Shah and King Chhatrasal Bundela to get the invasion failed. Bakht Buland Shah defeated Abdul Rahman and Abdul Haji before the military help came from the King Chhatrasal. Abdul Rahman and Abdul Haji, both were killed in this war. Three districts to Bakht Buland Shah and 5 districts to the King Chhatrasal Bundela were given in return of this military help.

King Narhari Shah was the last Gond king of Mandla. The Garha Mandla kingdom became subject to the Maratha rulers after the end the Gond Empire by 1781 CE. Shankar Shah and his son Raghunath were born in the Mandla fort too. On 24 March 1818, the British government seized the Mandla fort from the Maratha rulers and remained till the freedom of India (1947 CE).

How to reach Mandla Fort.

Mandla fort is located 1 Kilometer South from the district head quarter. The ruins are the only things available at present. The Raj-Rajeshwari temple of Durga Devi with 18 arms is still available inside the fort campus which was built by the king Narendra Shah.

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Lanji Garha

History of Lanji Garha.

Lanjigarh could be considered the origination of the Maravi Dynasty of the Garha Kingdom. Lanji State was under the rule of the Kalchuri Kings. Lanjigarh fall under the Gond Rulers after the Kalchuri Rulers and they established their capital at Ratanpur. The area of the Lanjigarh state was expanded up to the present Jabalpur district. Yadavrai was a mighty warrior and thus he got a chance to give his services to Lanjigarh State. Yadavrai was deployed at the Garha area where he got sufficient opportunities to learn state-craft skills. The time passed and Yadavrai became skilled in state-crafts. The king was impressed by the qualities of Yadavrai. The king married his daughter with Yadavrai and gifted the Garha area. Yadavrai appointed Surve Pathak as a minister and founded capital at Garha. This is how the King Yadavrai founded the Garha state and his dynasty originated.

There are other legends about the foundation of Garha State by the King Yadavrai. One of those legends tell about the marriage of Yadavrai with the daughter of Nagvanshi king Dhanu Shah/Priest Dhanu and inherited the kingdom and another one is regarding a dream in which Goddess Narmada tells him during the Amarkantak Teerth Yatra about founding the Garha kingdom with the help of Surve Pathak.

There is a ruin of large fort in Lanji. It is enclosed to the main city and expanded in nearly 16 acres of land. The fort was protected by digging gulf or pond surrounded to it. The Kalchuris, Yadav, Rajpoot and Gond Kings ruled this state. A splendid temple of Goddess Mahamaya is located inside the fort campus. Bricks and stones were used to build this fort. Some walls of this fort contain idols of God and Goddess engraved at stones. There is a very old tree of pterospermum acerifolium inside the fort campus.

How to reach Lanji Garh.

Lanji is a Tahsil of Balaghat district. It is located near Madhyapradesh-Chhattisgarh state boundaries and about 61 Kilometer far from Balaghat district head quarter. Lanji Tahsil is connected to Chhattisgarh through Lanji-Khairagarh road and Maharashtra through Lanji-Sogalpur-Amgaon road.

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