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Chanderi Tourism



INTRODUCTION

Chanderi Tourism In existence since the 11th century, Chanderi is blessed with scenic beauty in and around it. While picturesque hills, lakes and forts sit surrounding it, the exquisite hand-woven Chanderi saris adorn this historic town. Chanderi is located in Ashoknagar District of Madhya Pradesh state in India is situated at a distance of 127 km from Shivpuri and 37 km from Lalitpur and about 45 km from Esagarh It is located on a hill southwest of the Betwa River. Chanderi is surrounded by hills, lakes and forests and there are several monuments of the Bundela Rajputs and Malwa sultans. Chanderi finds mention in Mahabharata. Shishupal was the king of Mahabharata period. The Chanderi saris are adored around the globe for the artistry behind their creation. The elegance of this matchless intricate art of embellishing silk and cotton fabric with zari weaving resides in harmony with the towering forts and palaces. It is a beautiful contrast rare to be found anywhere else. It is a renowned centre for traditional weavers of saree. Chanderi saree is a common name in middle & rich societies and is in high demand everywhere.

HISTORY

Chanderi is a town of historic importance right from the time of Malwa Sultans and Bundela Rajputs, who ruled the region in 15th and 16th century. At a distance of 19 km from present Chanderi town is situated the Buddhi (old) Chanderi. Buddhi Chanderi is situated on the banks of Urvashi River. It is believed that the Chaidnagar mentioned in Puranas is same as Buddhi Chanderi. First reference of Chanderi is found, probably, in Mahabharata where it is mentioned as Chedi country ruled by Shishupala. There is a myth that when Raja Nala left Damayanti asleep in the forests of Narwar she moved through dense forests and reached Chaidnagar protecting herself from wild animals. The route through forests from Narwar to Chanderi is very short. A number of 9th and 10th century Jain temples are there in Buddhi Chanderi attracting thousands of Jain pilgrims from all over the country. Inscriptions found at Budhi Chanderi mention a Pratihara branch ruling over this region during the eleventh century CE. Budhi Chanderi is mentioned as Chandrapur in these inscriptions. The present town of Chanderi, little far from Budhi Chanderi, was first settled Kirtipal, a king of the Pratihara lineage. After the Pratiharas, Chanderi was ruled by the Kachchwa Rajputs who ruled from their capital at Narwar. Ghiyasuddin Balban, a minister of the Sultan Naseeruddin in Delhi, captured Chanderi from the Rajputs in 1251-52 CE, however as soon as Balban left the town, the Rajputs again took control over it. Chanderi was annexed to the Delhi throne in the time of Allauddin Khilji who conquered it after sitting on Delhi throne in 1294 CE.

According to Ibn Batuta in his travelogues of 1342 CE, Chanderi was a big town of India. He described it as a city full of big bazaars filled with peoples and goods.Chanderi acquired this reputation due to its proximity to the trade routes of Central India, to the ancient ports of Gujarat as well as to Malwa, Mewar, and the Deccan. Chanderi also gained this prosperity due to its strategic position as a sort of base camp for armies moving south from the time of the Sultans of Delhi. In 1392, Malwa Sultanate was founded by Dilawar Khan Ghori, After his death, his younger son, Qadr Shah, established a rival empire at Chanderi but it was incorporated into the Malwa Sultanate in 1424 CE, by his elder brother, Hoshang Shah. In 1520, Chanderi came into the dominion of Rana Sanga who in turn bestowed it to Medini Rai, his trusted ally. Medini Rai ruled over it till 1528 CE before losing it to Babur. Akbar took over Chanderi in 1569 CE. Abul Fazl describes Chanderi as a flourishing town with 14,000 stone built houses, 61 palaces, 384 bazaars, 350 camel caravanserai, 1200 mosques, 1200 step-wells, 6659 cavalry, 5970 horse infantry and 90 elephants. Jahangir in 1605 CE handed over Chanderi to Ram Shah, a Bundela Rajput. Bundelas ruled for next 253 years over Chanderi. In 1811, the Chanderi fort was taken over by Colonel John Baptise Filose for Daulat Rao Scindia and Chanderi was given to the Scindias of Gwalior.

CHANDERI TEXTILE

Evolution of Chanderi began in 1890’s when the weavers changed from handspun yarn to mill made yarn. In the year 1910, the royal family of Scindia brought the Chanderi saree under their patronage and during that period gold thread motif made its presence in the main body of the cotton muslin saree for the first time. It further led to the introduction of the silk yarn and over the years dobby and jacquard use came into existence. Keeping in view the changing demand scenario, in 1970’s, the cluster went forward to weave yet another variety of fabric which combined a silk warp with a cotton weft. Some of the various beautifully striking motifs include ‘Nalferma, ‘Dandidar, ‘Chatai’, ‘Jangla’, Mehndi wale haath’ etc. With around 3,500 looms in working condition, 18,000 people are directly or indirectly dependent on the industry for their living.

The Chanderi fabrics are known for their sheer texture, light weight and a glossy transparency that sets them apart from textiles produced en masse in factories. Traditionally, the fabric was woven using very fine hand spun yarn, which accounted for its delicate texture. So its quality, designs colors and motifs would be appropriate to cater the demands of an elite class family. Pranpur is a village of Chanderi with Handloom weavers. Visitors are encouraged to try their hands at the loom! The experience is truly interactive…weaving, pottery, metalware…never far from the rustle of soft fabric. A visit to Pranpur is all about getting a glimpse into the everyday life of weavers, dyers, potters and metal casters. Apart from a wealth of artistic attributes, Pranpur is endowed with natural beauty as well; hills, lakes, forests, meadows, groves, streams, echoing craigs, steep rocks, dense forests and waterfalls rekindle the romance in life. The strategic location of Pranpur on the borders of Malwa and Bundelkhand gives it the sobriquet of the 'Gateway of Bundelkhand'. As far back as the 11th century, Chanderi was a focal position on the trade routes of central India.

LOCATION

Chanderi is a popular tourist destination in Madhya Pradesh state of Central India. It has important place in Central India tourism. Chanderi is located at 24.720N 78.130E. It has an average elevation of 456 meters (1496 feet). coor title dms|24|43|12|N|78|07|48|E. It is situated at a distance of 127 km from Shivpuri, 37 km from Lalitpur, 55 km from Ashok Nagar and about 45 km from Ishagarh. It is surrounded by hills southwest of the Betwa River. Chanderi is surrounded by hills, lakes.

HOW TO REACH

Chanderi lies in northern region of Madhya Pradesh state. It is in Ashok Nagar district of Madhya Pradesh and well connected by road, train options. As it is not having its own airport so dependent on nearby airports. Let us check how to reach Chanderi by different modes of transportation.
By Road: It is well connected by road option. Its surrounding cities are Shivpuri, Gwalior, Jhansi, Tikamgarh, Sagar, Vidisha, Guna, Ashok Nagar etc. All these places have direct road connectivity. Chanderi is well connected by road from neighbouring towns. Regular bus service to Chanderi is available from Gwalior, Indore, Guna, Shivpuri, Ashok Nagar, Jhansi, Lalitpur, Tikamgarh, Vidisha, Sanchi and Bhopal.
By Train: Chanderi nearest railway station is Lalitpur station on Bina-Bhopal track. All major trains have stoppage on this railway station. By Flight: Chanderi nearest airport is Gwalior airport (230kms) and Bhopal airport (260kms). Although Gwalior airport is close by due to poor flight connectivity, Bhopal airport is considered as the best option for reaching Chanderi by flight option.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best season to visit Chanderi is the winter season. The temperature remains comfortable and is apt for visiting the places of interest in Chanderi. The best months to visit are October, November, December, January and March. Summers of Chanderi are extremely hot and exhausting. The temperature ranges from 30°C to 45°C in the months of March to June. A visit to Chanderi is generally avoided during these months.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Chanderi is a small historical town in Madhya Pradesh. It is always under-rated Madhya Pradesh tourist attraction and deserves much more well planned promotion. It is gradually making a very important place for itself in the Indian tourism map. There are several Tourist Attractions in Chanderi that are all well worth a visit and attract a large number of tourists each year. Legend has it that at one point of time Chanderi was so thickly forested that Babur; the Mughal Emperor could trace the fort after searching the depths of the jungle for six months. An annual fair is held each year in honor of Jaageshwari Devi and this is one of the major Tourist Attractions in Chanderi. The place is well known for the beautiful Chanderi saris that come in light colors and beautiful golden borders. Make sure that you pick up one when you visit the place. There are many places to visit in Chanderi Due to their historical base it has many Chanderi Monuments to see. Chanderi Places to see are as follows- Shri Choubeesee Bara Mandir, Shri Khandargiri Jain temple, Shri thobonji Jain temple, Shri Chandraprabha digambar Jain temple, Bawari masjid, Jami Masjid, Chanderi, Kati ghati, Battesi bawri, Kushak Mahal, Shahzadi ka Rauza, Jageswari devi Temple, Chanderi Museum, Khandar Giri Atishay Khetra, Malan Kho, Baiju Bawra's Samadhi(Cenotaph) and Janki Nath Temple etc.

Chanderi Fort: Chanderi fort is a prominent Chanderi tourist attraction. It is located on top of a hill, at a level of 71 meters above the town and was built during the Mughal period. The fort has 5 km fortification walls that were built to protect it from outsiders. The original Chanderi fort was constructed by 11th century king Kirti Pal. Chanderi fort has face many attacks and has been rebuilt multiple times.
Pranpur Village: Pranpur village is popular Chanderi tourist attractions. It is known for household handloom industry. Those who are interested in local village tour, witness handloom work, local artist's work, handicraft world, should must visit this village. It is approx. 3kms from Chanderi town and very popular among tourists to do local village photography, see local culture, traditions, meeting villagers etc. At Pranpur village, accommodation facility is also available in the name of Amraee Guest House. It is a budget category accommodation option for tourists, surrounded by many mango trees from which its name is derived. It is simple lodge, managed by local villagers, artists.

CHANDERI SHOPPING

There are many shopping centers in Chanderi that sells incredible Chanderi silk sarees, salwar kurtis, brocades and muslin clothes. A lot of traders, designers, and Chanderi silk lovers visit this fascinating destination to buy their favorite fabric, which is found nowhere else in India. Some of the shops that you can visit during your exploration in Chanderi include, Anupam Collection Store, Nirupam Gift Centre, Metheran Market etc. While visiting Chanderi, we recommend visit to Pranpur village which is also called tourist village to get accustomed to local culture. It is a popular village for shopping and rural photography.

ACCOMMODATION

Chanderi has a limited hotels spread out at different regions. There is absolutely no problem of accommodation in Chanderi, in fact one can have good accommodation facility throughout the city. There are many lodges, guest houses, and hotels in Chanderi to give tourists a comfortable and relaxing stay.

NEXT TO CHANDERI

After visiting Chanderi, tourists have option to proceed to many other Central India tourist attractions like in North, we have option to visit to Shivpuri, Gwalior, Orchha and Jhansi. They are well known for heritage tourism. In South-East, we have option to visit Khajuraho and Panna National Park. Similarly if we more forward in South-West direction, we will reach Sanchi, Udaigiri, Bhopal city. All these destinations can be reached in half-day road journey. They all are popular tourist destinations.

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