A fort in Rajasthan which stands majestically at the confluence of two rivers, a large crater bejeweled with ancient temples and the most enjoyable road in Gwalior’s vicinity. All this made up our previous weekend ride, towards a direction which we frequent within the curtailed radius of one day rides, but this time going through the edges.
The ride started off from Gwalior on a friday evening, heading towards Shivpuri, which is a couple of hours away. Surwaya, the ancient Hindu Monastery, which was later fortified was the beauty we treated ourselves to in the evening. Hidden behind tall walls connection towers on each corner of a square periphery, the monastery contained temples ornate with beautiful sculptures. The site is very well maintained, with a very welcoming caretaker.
The sun set as we left Surwaya and head towards the tourist village in Shivpuri. The Tourist Village is a lake side resort operated by MP Tourism and like most MP Tourism properties, is reasonably priced, conveniently located, well built and comfortable. A night halt here in Shipuri gave us the whole of saturday to cover NH27 towards Baran and onwards to Jhalawar.
Next Morning, we hit the road at around 8am, which was a bit late, as we looked around the resort for a while. NH27 is a beautiful 4 lane highway with scarce traffic. The road went through several kilometers of fields, most of which were golden, saturated with ripe crop. Farmers with their machines were scattered across the landscape, busy in harvest.
At Baran, we left NH27, onwards towards the road to Jhalawar. We didn’t intend to reach Jhalawar exactly, but to a fort in its outskirts, the Gagron Fort. The fort, a majestic structure standing honorably tall atop a rocky hill midst the confluence of two rivers. Quite a sight.
But it was not only the exterior grandeur, which was stunning, but also the campus of the fort was very well maintained, offering brilliant view of the landscape. The motorcycle probably enjoyed rolling inside the fort, which is not usually allowed, but due to some ongoing repair work we found the gates open.
Once done with Gagron, we head towards Jhalawar in search of food, oddly finding nothing, only to head back on the highway towards Baran. A dhaba on the highway was were we ate as the sun disappeared below the horizon. We reached Baran early slightly into the night, found a good hotel named The Surya, which had a really good parking for our motorcycles.
Next morning saw us heading towards the Ramgarh Crater via Mangrol. The huge tomb of a star fallen somewhere deep in history. The crater started to be visible when we were maybe 15 km from it. The narrow rural roads took us through various villages, valley of small rivers, fields, herds of cattle until we reached Ramgarh.
Ramgarh is a village on the outer edges of the crater. Inside the crater is a lake, a village and the Bhandevra Temples. The Bhandevra Temples are around 1100 years old Shiva temples. Only temples are reasonably intact as of now and 5 other are in ruins. The caretaker told us the a big budget has just been sanctioned for their renovation and work should start soon.
The upper rim of the crater is crowned by a fort in its ruins and a Mata Temple, both on opposite sides of the circular crater. After spending some time in the crater, we started our journey towards Gwalior. We took the road via Sheopur, Shyampur, Sabalgarh, Morena.
The part right from the crater till Shyampur was extraordinarily beautiful. Roads from Ramgarh to Sheopur were narrow rural type going through fields and from Sheopur the roads went through our local favorite, Kuno Sanctuary.
The roads through Kuno have always made for amazing experiences and the stretch from Sheopur to Shyampur was perhaps the best part. Straight stretches of spotless tarmac tearing through the jungle, no traffic, huge cattle herds, villages, small river valleys and everything else which makes up for a full throttle ride.
Reached home by evening, comfortably ending an amazing short ride which took us through a wide variety of places, roads, weather.