Datia Fort

Between Gwalior and Khajuraho is a small rural village with a huge hulking Fort, at Datia. The entrance leads to a series of big dark caverns and wide stairways and arches, more felt than seen in the darkness. Two floors up it opens to a large square with connecting walkways, in various stages of charming disrepair. The central tower rises up to seven floors. Balconies with stone grilles look out far over the countryside. Some rooms still have the original paintwork. One large hall, the painting gallery, is behind heavy wooden doors locked with a massive chain and padlock. I know the door is heavy because the guard picked it up and heaved it to the side so I could enter, without paying any attention to the lock. This place was very beautiful before it was abandoned.

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