Darbhanga Fort Entrance

The fort of Darbhanga

It was slightly past 8 in the evening, an odd time for a small city like Darbhanga. We were looking for something for the night as we were driving since morning. There were a couple of hotels where the highway touches the city. But they were charging too high for what they are offering. So we decided to go inside the city. With the recent corona outbreak and the odd hours, the roads were almost empty. We found a good hotel, “Ganga Residency”, which was about 3 kilometres inside. The owner made it clear that it was just for lodging. We needed to arrange for dinner by ourselves, which was okay for us. We decided to #swiggyit on the way to save time and started for the hotel. The idea was to get some rest and leave as early as possible.

In my experience, google map is not convenient all the time. Especially on a long journey, google does not tell you about the quality of the road. Many times, I followed google maps and ended up pretty bad. It works only in the cities to avoid traffic and gives a general idea of a long drive. Now I always keep an eye for the directions on signboards. I even prefer asking locals for directions when I get confused.

But that day, we were in luck. Google took us through the fort of Darbhanga. While we were closing to our hotel, we saw this brick made at least 30 feet tall, humongous wall. First, I thought it must be some old building. But we realised it was not just a wall. It was a circular structure covering something like a fort. Such a humungous wall was unusual on the plains of Bihar. And even in the dark, I could see a striking resemblance of its architectural style with the Red Fort of Delhi. But how come I never heard of this fort?

Inner wall, Darbhanga Fort

My curiosity did not let me rest before I get into the history behind this killa. The fort is called Darbhanga fort or Rambagh Fort. Rambagh is a palace inside this fort. Among the newer forts in India, the Darbhanga fort was built in the 20th century by Maharaja Kameshwar Singh. Due to Its similarity with the Red Fort, the fort is less popularly called the 2nd Red fort of India. The construction was still going on when India got independence and the court put a ban on construction and stopped the princely state and zamindari system. After Maharaja Kameshwar Singh, the relatives started selling plots inside the fort and within 70 years the fort is in a state of despair.