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Badhwari Fort, also known as Fort Ater, is located in Madhya Pradesh.

Built by Bhadauria King Badan Singh, Maha Singh, and Bakhat Singh in the era 1664-1668, this fort is a masterpiece . However, don’t expect to find it in pristine condition, as it’s now in a dilapidated state.

To reach the fort, you can take a bus or jeep from the bus stand or Ater Road, but be warned that transportation is only available from 6 AM to 4 PM. You can also cross the Chambal River via a public ferry, but beware of the crammed conditions with passengers and motorbikes. Once on the Madhya Pradesh side, it’s an easy 2-3 km stroll along a road, flanked by sandy mounds and ravines dotted with acacia scrub where you can spot birds and mammals. If you’re feeling fancy, you can even get a camel ride!

As you approach the fort, it dominates the skyline with its towering walls and bare flat area to the fore. The road winds around it, past the remains of a gated archway, and finally to the entrance. Once there, a man at the gate will give you entry – and the best part? There’s no ticket facility, no charge, and no literature concerning the fort available. It’s like finding hidden treasure!

Inside the fort, you’ll find a marvel of architectural delight with terraced residences, elevated courtyards, labyrinthine walkways, and secretive seraglios. The open apadanas and pretty belvederes, ornate cupolas and cornices will leave you in wonder. It ought to be right up there with the forts of Gwalior and Jaipur, but for some reason, it doesn’t occupy reams in tourist glossies, nor is it adequately promoted by tourism bodies. Perhaps the lack of original references to design, or an issue of right competence, the ASI has limited its role in conservation to keeping a tab on visitor numbers. So, come visit the Badhwari Fort before the secret gets out and it becomes the next big tourist attraction!

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