The Kirti Durg was first constructed by the 11th century Pratihara king Kirti Pal and is named after him. The structure we see today is not the original fort, it has been rebuilt several times and added to by subsequent rulers like the Mahmood Khilji, Durjan Singh Bundela and others. Built on the highest point of the Chandragiri Hill, the fort is a characteristic sight in Chanderi and is visible from virtually every point in the town and beyond.
Its 5 kilometre long perimeter encloses several monuments which are worth a visit. On one end is the Khilji mosque whose arches and pillars are carved with graceful floral ornaments and verses from the Holy Quran. Hawa Paur, Naukhanda Palace and the tomb of Hazrat Abdul Rahman Narnuli are all points of interest. The Baradari is a vantage point which not only gives a commanding view of the city but also of the ruined Kirat Sagar, the Kati Ghati gateway, and Babur Katan. The sight of the setting sun from this point is especially picturesque.
The importance of Chanderi in the times past is clear from the many attacks that were mounted on this fort by successive campaigners. The most famous of these was the attack by Babur in 1528 which had led to the mass ritual suicide or jauhar by over 600 Rajput women. The memorial of this tragic event can also be seen within the fort premises. Also present are the Baiju Bawra memorial, the Gilaua Taal and an English soldier’s gravestone.
There are three different ways to approach the fort. The first is the originally planned route which passes through the Khooni Darwaza and Hawa Paur. The fort can also be reached by first climbing up to the Jageshwari Temple and then ascending another steep staircase. The main approach used these days is a modern motorable road.
The erstwhile Maharaja of Gwalior Jivajirao Scindia had constructed a bungalow on the northern verge of the fort which is now a PWD guest house and is commonly referred to as Kothi.