Breakfast was quite tasty and we had time today to linger over it.
We checked out and took some pictures. Jagdish and Kailash arrived on time and we were on our way to the Kalinjar Fort.
A narrative on Kalinjar Fort as it appears in the book The Forts of India by Virginia Pass:
"Kalinjar: lost in the mist of time, most ancient fort in all Hindustan, unparalleled for its strength and invincibility. It stands on its famous hill, 800 feet up on the last spur of the Vindhya Mountains, an awesome embodiment of Hindu power reaching back beyond recorded history to Vedic times. The crenellations of its grey serpentine walls seem to grow out of the very rock, belying in their grim visage the splendor and beauty of sculpture to be found within."
It took us almost 3 hours to get there. Even in its crumbling condition the walls looked majestic and invincible.
We spent about two hours and left only because the rains started up again. The fort is being repaired but sure looks like not much thought has been given to matching with the existing stones.
Very few tourists come to this immense fort steeped in history, not surprising since it is not tourist friendly, the signs are all in Hindi and no effort has been made to train some local villagers to be guides who could explain the fascinating history. Hope it will happen soon, at least some restoration efforts are taking place at the majestic gates.
We drove back and came to the Ken River Lodge at around 2:45 PM, this lodge will be our home for the next two nights. It is of course located on the Ken River, one of the cleanest rivers in India.
The original and local name of the river is Karunabati (one with blessing). The British couldn't pronounce it and hacked it to "Ken" - Darn it!
Ajit, the manager of the property met us, helped with our luggage and showed us around. They had saved lunch for us, a nice touch.
The property is unique and interesting. It is made up of village style huts with all required modern amenities. The bedroom and bathroom are huge and there is a good size dressing room between them, a very nice setup.
The entire property belongs to The King of Nagod (a township next to Panna) - Shaminder Singh aka Vinny.
The weather was getting bad, it was windy and drizzly and we decided against taking a night safari.
We had dinner around 8:00, the dishes were simple and tasty just like lunch. We discussed some plans and hoped it wouldn't rain enough to spoil our safari tomorrow. We then retired to bed early since we need to be up at 4:30 am.
Location:Ken River Lodge