Fort of Kotkahpur
Located near the Ganguwal Hydro Electric Station, the Fort of Kotkahpur is situated in the Naina Devi Hill. It is believed that Raja Bir Chand, who was the ancestor of Raja Kahal Chand had constructed a fort-cum-palace, which was termed as 'Kot Kahlur'. However, presently, one will come across only the ruins of Kot Kahlur. The state itself was known by the name of Kahlur till Bilaspur attained her own government. The fort measures about 30 metres in height and is made of stones. The walls of this beautiful fort measures about two metres in thickness. High pillars serve as strong foundations for the floor of the second storey. Small holes were created at a height of nearly 12 metres above the floor, from which the besiegers were fired at. There is a temple dedicated to Naina Devi inside the premises of the Fort of Kotkahpur, which contains an idol made of stone. Swarghat, Bahadurpur, Fatehpur, Tiun, Sarium, Bacchretu and Basseh are the seven old fortresses which are also a part of this district.
Fort of Bahadurpur
The Bahadurpur Fort is based on the highest point of a hill (1,980 metre), which is locally known as Bahadurpur, near the village of Tepra in Paragana Bahadurpur tehsil Sadar at a distance of nearly 40 km from Bilaspur. Since it is located at such a great height, this fort enjoys winter snowfall, at times. A group of ban and deodar trees surround this historical fort. Historical records bear testimony to the fact that the fort was built in about 1620 AD by Raja Keshab Chand at a distance of 6 km from the area of Namhol. Visitors will be able to enjoy the picturesque views of the mountains of Shimla, Ratanpur Fort, the hill of Naina Devi, Swarghat, plains which are near Ropar and the Fatehpur Fort. Unfortunately, a major portion of this fort today stands in ruins.
Fort of Sarium
The Fort of Sarium is situated at an altitude of nearly 1,500 metres above mean sea level and it is 58 km away from the district of Bilaspur. During the regime of Mohan Chand, the Fort of Sarium played a crucial role in the war between Kangra and the state of Bilaspur. Like the other forts of Bilaspur, a large portion of the fort is now destroyed. The height of this fort measures 12 metres and the walls possess a thickness of about one metre. The walls of this fort bear some traces of what could have probably been some living rooms which amount upto fifteen. This fort consists of walls which have signs of holes, which might have been used previously to aim lead upon its invaders. As per the local traditions, this ancient fort was created by the Raja of the state of Suket. It was believed to have later wrested by the ruler of the district of Bilaspur.
Fort of Tiun
The Fort of Tiun is situated on the summit of the Tiun mountain range which has a length of 17 lm and is about 45 km away from Bilaspur district. It is present on the crossing of Ali Khad, on the road called Ghumarwin-Ladraur. It is said to have been made by Raja Kahn Chand and occupies an area of nearly 14 hectares. It boasts of a height of two to 10 metres. It has a length of about 400 meters and a breadth of nearly 200 meters. The granary inside this fort is capable of holding about 3000 kg of grain. Besides, the granary, there are also two water tanks in the Fort of Tiun. The main gate of the fort measures about five and a half meters in breadth and three meters in height. Historical accounts assert that this fort used to be a prison to a certain uncle who was related to Raja Kharak Chand.
Fort of Bachhretu
The Fort of Bacchretu is placed at an altitude of nearly 3000 feet above the mean sea level, on the western side of the mountain slope of Kotdhar, which is three kilometres away from Shahtalai. Visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the nearby hills as well as that of Gobind Sagar. This fort is considered to have been built by Raja Ratan Chand who ruled Bilaspur from about 1355 to 1406. Hammer-dressed stone have been utilized in the construction of this fort. The main structure of the fort was rectangular and its relics are quite ancient, dating back to 600 hundred years. The area enclosed by the walls, might have been several rooms, from which the signs of 15 rooms can be clearly noticed even now. The walls are quite thick and taper towards the top. Some of these walls are exceedingly high, measuring about 10 to 12 meters are existent in the fort. A temple also exists is the campus of this fort which possess busts of Goddess Asht Bhuja or eight armed Goddess and other deities. Nowadays, one can notice a peepul tree which has started growing inside the fort.
Thakurdwara of Sunhani
Located on the banks of Seer Khad, Thakurdwara of Sunhani is about three kilometres away from Barthin, on the Bhager-Barthi and Ghumarwin Road. It is situated at a distance of nearly eight kilometres from Ghumarwin. King Vikram Chand, who ruled this place from 1555 to 1593 A.D had declared Sunhani as its capital. Sunhani is known to have been the capital of Kehloor for above 100 years. According to the traditions and customs of the Chandel kings, they constructed temple dedicated to Nahar Singh Ji or Nar Singh Devta and offered prayers to this deity. Inspired by this very tradition, the Chandel kings built the Thakurdwara of Sunhani, which was the site where the temple of Narsingh Devta or Istdev temple. The temple displays architecture and drawings which date to the age of the Guptas. There are numerous windows or 'jarokhas' in this temple on the rear portion of the thakurdwara which possess sculptures of several Hindu Gods and Goddesses. 'Nasrawan' is the name of the local festival which marks to the special occasion of a new harvest. Located near this temple is the temple of Shitla Mata.
Thakurdwara of Auhar
Rani Naggar Dei had constructed the Thakurdwara of Auhar right in the centre of Bilaspur district, keeping in mind the significance of this region. A water tank, referred to as 'chhatwain' and an inn, meant for providing accommodation to the travellers and devotees have also been created by Rani Naggar Dei. Idols of 'Narsingha' and 'Shaligram' are also present in this Thakurdwara. Colourful mural paintings adorn the walls of the Thakurdwara of Auhar. The maintenance of this famous temple is being conducted by the Language and Culture department.
All these historical sites are quite popular in this Indian district and they are important centres of tourism.
(Last Updated on : 18-09-2013)
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