Places of Historical Interest
Fort of Kotkahlur
The fort is situated at a distance of few Kms. from Ganguwal Hydro Electric Station. Its lies in Naina Devi Hill. Amongst the places of historical interest, the fort of Kotkahlur occupies the first position. Raja Bir Chand, an ancestor of Raja Kahal Chand, built a palace-cum-fort called Kot Kahlur. It is in ruin now. The state was called Kahlur till such time the seat of Government was shifted to Bilaspur. Among the local population the district is still known as Kahlur.
The fort is a square structure built of stones, each side about thirty meters long and as much high. Its walls are about two metres thick. It has two storeys each about fifteen metres high. The floor of the second storey, supported on numerous high stone pillars. About twelve meters above the floor of the second storey there were certain window shaped places with small peeping holes for the garrison to reconnoitre and, if need be to shoot at besiegers. Most of these hollows have now been closed with cement or iron-mesh. Within the fort, in the upper storey, is a small temple to Naina Devi with a stone idol. There are seven small ancient fortresses in the district at Bacchretu, Bahadurpur, Basseh, Fatehpur, Sariyun, Swarghat and Tiun. Sunhani is small village on the bank of Seer Khad is yet another place which claims the distinction of being a state headquarters for some period.
Bachhretu is a peaceful, nice place located on western slope of Kotdhar just 3 kms southward to Shahtalai. It is 3000 ft above sea level. There is small ancient fort in the district Bilaspur at Bacchretu. The well Known fort of Bacchretu lies in Kot Hill. Kot Hill is 30 Kms in length. The site commands a magnificent and sweeping view of Gobind Sagar and the surrounding hills. The fort was constructed by Raja Ratan Chand of Bilaspur who ruled from 1355 to 1406. Obviously the relics are as old as about six hundred years and indicate that the stronghold was of a rectangular shape, the longer arms about 100 metres and shorter about 50 meters, built of hammer-dressed stones. From the portions of the enclosing walls, still existing here and there, it can be assumed to have been about 20 meters in height. The thickness of its walls must have been one metre tapering towards the top. The space inside was, perhaps, divided into numerous room-shaped compartments out of which about fifteen can be traced even now. Walls of one of the room are exceedingly high, measuring about ten to twelve metres. A water tank is also said to have existed. A very interesting small temple, housing two busts of the goddess Asht Bhuja (eight armed) and some other deities is still extant. A pipal tree has now grown within the fort.
Relics of this fort is situated on the top of a hill known as the Tiun range,17 Kms. in length, at distance of about 45-Kms.from Bilaspur, on the Ali Khad crossing Ghumarwin-Ladraur motorable road. It is about 10-km from Ghumarwin proper still serves to remind of the ancient turbulent times when wars in this area were perhaps a routine feature. Raja Kahn Chand got it constructed in 1142 Vikrami. The area of the fort around 14 hectare. It is rectangle in shape. The length of the fort was 400 meters with a breadth 200 meters. The height of the wall is varies from 2 meters to 10 meters. The main gate of the fort is 3 meters height and 5 and a 1/2 meters breadth. There were two water tanks inside the fort. Also there were two granary which contains 3000 kg grain. The fort is said to have once served as a prison to an uncle of Raja Kharak Chand.
Auhar is a town situated in the middle of the district Bilaspur. It was an important town of the princely state Bilaspur. Due to its importance Rani Naggar Dei built the famous Thakurdwara of Auhar. She also constructed on water tank with roof known as chhatwain and an inn for the stay of the travelers. In the Thakurdwara idols of ‘Shaligram’ and ‘Narsingha’ were installed. The walls of the temple have beautiful mural paintings. The Language and Culture department has given financial assistance for the repair of the Thakurdwara.