History of Utgirh  (Utgarh,orAvantgarh ) Fort of Jadon Kshatriya’s of Karauli and Utgarh Town–

Old History of Utgarh Taluka-

Untgarh occupeis the south -west corner of the Karauli State ,but the villages belonging to it are within 3 miles of the city of Karauli.Its two normal divisions are ,as in Mandrail ,the tract above the “ground scarp “, and the tract below it upon the banks of the Chambal .The country was anciently held by Lodhis , who probably paid tribute to the Imperial officials at Mandrail and Utgirh .”Bands “and tanks still exist which are attributed to them though they have ceased to hold the land for four hundred years .It is rumoured that treasure has often been dug up in their old haunts , though special search for it has produced nothing but disappoint.

The extensive fort of Utgirh is the most remarkable and very old place in the district , established on a tunnel shaped high mountain range of Kalyanpur village in Karnpur .The fort is spread in the area of 4 KM .This Fort  is distant about 35miles in a south-Westerly direction from the capital city of Karauli.The Untgar fort ,is considered the second in this state in the strength and importance is situated on the Summit of an isolated ,conical hill of considerable attitude , which rises abruptly from the valley of Chambal -a river flowing within 3miles of its base. The country around the foot of the hill is exceedingly wild and rugged ,without roads or paths ,closed with almost impractical wood and Underwood and intersected by ravines. A wall built many centuries ago ,encloses the small level space on the summit of the hill , the sides of which sloping abruptly from the foot of the wall from an inaccessible scarp.On the Chambal side a double gate gives admission to an encloser formed by an inner wall subtending the angle of the outer wall in which the gate stands.Through a double gate in that inner wall the main fort is entered.within are a village ,temples, store houses,the habitations of the men of the garrison ,two reservoirs of water (which is very unwholesome ), &c., and an inner fort.It has a 100 feet high waterfall which directly drops water over a Shivlinga .

Old Histry of Untgirh Fort —

This fort was founded by Lodhis .Raja Arjun Pal , about 1340 A.D. Is said to have brought the Dang under his authority and to extracted land revenue from the Lodhis  who expulsion he commenced. He attacked and captured the fort from him and The land of this area was at this period contended for by Minas , Gujars , Lodhis and Dhangars .Of these the two last were for the most part in possession :the Dhangars with whom were associated Ahirs and Bagris in the north of the State ,and the Lodhis , who were the most important of the two , in the centre and south.It seems to have been the policy of Maharaja Arjun Pal and his successors to support Minas and Gujars , who , not being in possession of so much as the Lodhis , would accept his assistance on term which the latter would reject.
Maharaja Chandrasen (Chandrapal  , fifteenth in the line ) was a religious -minded ruler , he could not withstand the attack of Mahmud Khalji of Malwa , who penetrated into his kingdom and stormed his capital in 1454 A.D.The victorious Sultan retired to his capital after handing over Karauli to his son Fidvi Khan .After being ousted from Tahngarh , Raja Chandrasen led the retired life of a devotee resided in Untgarh.It seems the he and his successors retained their authority over a narrow strip of land around the place of their refuge till one of his successors ,Gopal Das.

Raja Gopal Das , got back a portion of his territory during Akbar’s time.This fort has been important strategically in 1506 -07 A.D. Sikandar Lodi  in A.D.1507 also attacked this region and captured the fort of Untgirh . At Sikandar Lodhi’s time this Untgarh fort was called as Key to Gwalior fort .He destroyed many of the temples and founded many masjids in place of temples.Sultan Sikandar Lodhi give this fort to Mujahid Khan and return to Agra.

Emperor Akbar arrived Untgarh —

The Emperor Akbar having failed in two expeditions to the Dakhan was ,it is said , recommend to solicit the powerful prayers of Chand Sen ,and the bards say that the Emperor marched Dakhan-wards with his army ,via Untgarh ,an expedition of the greatest difficulty owing to the nature of the country.When he arrived at Untgarh he found the raja so deep in meditation that he was unconscious of his presence , until some one drew his attention to the ruler of India.Akbar then besought his prayers for the success of his arms and also should accompany him on his expedition .Laying his hand on the emperor’s head the raja blessed him ,and commanded his grandson ,Gopal Das ,who was a gallant soldier , to go with his majesty.

Maharaja Jagoman bestowed Untgarh on his son Amar Man ,who founded Amargarh ;but hisdescendants were rebellions .

Amolak Pal (eldest son of Manak Pal ) had to attack Utgarh in A.D. 1798 .He was a gallant ,vigorous solider .He kept his troops separate from the other darbar forces and introduced a  system of drill and discipline in which he was assisted by a European spoken of as “Karkwan Sahib “, whose garden and cannon foundry were within the city wall.The rebellious thakurs were all punished by Amolak Pal and the forts of Naroli ,Utgarh ,&c ., were taken from them and made over to more reliable custodians . Amolak Pal , rather than contend with his father (Manak Pal ) retired to the fort of Uthate ,where he shortly after died. and it has remained in the hands of the Darbar ever since.Besides Untgarh there are 12 other villages in the taluka.

Maharaja Harbakhsh Pal second son of Manak Pal built the Untgarh inner fort .It is a strong square with bastioned corners and would , if properly defended , offer very considerable resistance to infantry in the first instance , but might be escaladed speedily.Within is a reservoir of water.

Untgarh Fort in English Period —
The fort was reconnoitered  by Captain Dennys , commandant of the late Kotah Contingent in October 1852 , on which occasion the adjutant of the force . Lieutenant Boynon , took mathematical observation of the structure , and the full particulars and measurements ,together with a sketch ,were submitted to the governor general’s agent ,Colonel Low ,C.B.The fort is completely commanded from the high landson this side of it ,from which it is distant about 527 yards.if necessary infantry alone could easily reduce it , from the fact that the only footpath leading up to it is scarcely at any one point exposed to the fire of the fort until you come under it’s very walls.
This fort forms a striking object in the view of the travellers many milles lower down the Chambal and it has been looked upon as a safe retreat to which the Karauli chiefs might securely send his treasure and his family in times of peril.There is not a single place deserving of being called a town throughout the whole tract , and no village have three hundred houses while in the Dang  they often do not contain more than three or four.Where the sandstone is abundant  ,it of course forms the entire material for the houses.There are five Ghats over the Chambal , within the limits of the Author Tehsil ,Gota ,Gusai ,Toda , Siwara and  Kaseru .

References—
1-A Gazetted of Eastern Rajputana : comprising the Native States of Bharatpur , Dholpur and Karauli by H.E .Drake-Bockman ,1905.
2-Gazetteer of the Karauli State by Percy Powlett ,1874.
3-Karauli Khyat .
4-Karauli Pothi.
5-Akbarnama ,III ,157 ,434 ,598 .
6-Ain -i-Akbari ,Vol .I,564-583.
7-History of Rajputana by Jagdish Singh Gahlot.
8-Rajasthan district gazetteers Sawaimadhopur by Miss Savitri Gupta .
9-Shyamal Das :Vir Vinod (Karauli ) .

Author -Dr Dhirendra Singh Jadaun
Village –Larhota near Sasni
District-Hatharas ,Uttar Pradesh
Associate Professor in Agriculture Science.
Shahid Captain Ripudaman Singh Govt.College , Sawaimadhopur ,Rajasthan ,322001.

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