The fort of Chunargarh, or the Chunar Fort, is one of the most famous and eminent chapters of ‘Chandrakanta’, the archetypal novel by author Babu Devakinandan Khatri. This fort lays 40 kms away from the Varanasi city of Uttar Pradesh. The place, today, is popular as Chunar. Along one amble of the River Ganges the imposing Chunar Fort is built, just where the Hills of Kaimur take a facing towards the north.
It is a rich area in terms of sand stone which has been used for over centuries to bring to existence numerous enchanting edifices, one of which is the Chunar fort itself. There is the highly polished pillar of Ashokan built from the sand stone of Chunar. According to history, the place existed during the three days of Vikramaditya, when he had occupied the entire place way back in the year 56 BC.
This fort is a feature and tribute to the celebrated Sher Shah Suri. The time of youth of this fort had been witness to the live ceremony of Samadhi taking by Bhartrihari within the grounds of the fort. The Chunar Fort is secluded by enormous barricades that look down to the graceful river. Often the river turns off the shore and it is then that the fortress looks over a striking beach land. There is an awesome view of the sunset that can be taken from the ramparts, and is really a very stunning sight to watch.
The history of the fort defines that it had been once captured by Emperor Akbar, but the fortress was under the rule of the Nawabs of Awadh until the arrival of the British men, in 1764. The chief attractions within the Chunar fort are still the Sonwa Mandap, the Huge Well and the Sun Dial.