This Sunday Bulleteers had a short ride to Ater Fort, Bhind. It is a 600 year old fort, distinctly recognizable by its massive walls made out of small stones and mortar. The fort has aged and the stone walls have wrinkled and cracked. ASI seems to be working on restoring the fort and if its properly done, this can turn into a gem of a destination.
Ater fort, is similar in architecture to the Gohad Fort, which we had recently visited. Although it is larger, taller and more isolated but design elements like pillars, minars and other things which I don’t know the names of, are awkwardly similar. The route for the fort from Gwalior is a great all through. The road from Gwalior to Bhind is good two laner, the road from Bhind to Ater is a narrower but still good two laner.
Ater turns out to be a village with narrow stone paved paths which can turn into streams in rains. Although there is no commercial accommodation here, MP tourism is building a guest house, which is a good sign, as points to their long term strategy of restoring this fort. So, the restoration work is probably not just a patch work, but a proper repair job.
The route from Agra to Ater can either be via Bhind, which is an all year round route. But there is also a route via Bah, which is dependent on a panton bridge which gets broken in the rainy season. You can find a picture of the idle pantons lying on the road leading to Chambal bank. Those pantons are used to support the bridge across the river, but when the flow of the Chambal gets too strong, the links of the bridge, snap.
Overall, the Ater Fort is a good visit for someone covering the forts of Madhya Pradesh. Its architecture is a typical to the old style in the Bhind-Gwalior area. Although its in ruins, but still has enough content to make the visit worth.
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