Sharing borders with four states, namely Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand, Sonbhadra in Uttar Pradesh is a place that needs to be explored. Located in the southeastern part of the Vindhya Range, Sonbhadra offers immense historic and cultural insight into the bygone era, courtesy the several ancient monuments, forts and buildings that dot the city.

The 5th-century Vijaygarh Fort is among the most important attraction here. Built by the Kol kings, it is widely known for its exquisite rock carvings, inscriptions and cave paintings. Other forts worth a visit are the Naugarh Fort, which was built by the Kashi king but now serves as a small guest house for government dignitaries, and the iconic Agori Fort, surrounded by three rivers on all sides.

Home also to the Salkhan Fossils Park, officially known as Sonbhadra Fossils Park, the gorgeous park is located about 12km from Robertsganj, the headquarters of Sonbhadra. The fossils here are said to date back to the Proterozoic Period, which means that they are more than 1,400 million years old.

Interestingly, there’s a natural waterfall in the region too, known as the Mukkha Falls. It’s quite magnificent, especially in the monsoons, when the water gushes with full force. The region also has two dams: Rihand Dam and Barkandhara Dam that are a must visit too. Also, don’t miss the Veer Lorik Stone, a symbol of love and bravery in their local folklore.

There are some rather prominent religious sites in Sonbhadra as well: Shiv Dwar is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The highlight is its 11th-century black stone statue of the two gods in Srijan posture.

Most importantly, the most distinctive attraction in Sonbhadra are its several cave painting sites tucked in the Vindhya and Kaimur region. The Lakhania Caves, located in the Kaimur Range are known for their beautiful pre-historic rock paintings. These historic paintings are about 4,000 years old and bring to life the culture of an era gone by. Khodwa Pahar or Ghoramangar is another well-known ancient cave painting site. Other noteworthy paintings sites are located in the cave shelters of Panchmukhi, Kauva Khoh and Lakhma. These paintings throw light on the periods ranging from Mesolithic to Heliolithic Age.