Manikgad in Rajura tahsil is a railway station on the Wardha-Madras section lying about two miles south of Candrapur. It is important, because of an ancient fort which stands overlooking the Wardha about 27 miles south of Canda, on a plateau in the Manikgad hill range. To-day the fort lies in complete ruins deserted in the wilderness of the jungle inhabited by wild beasts and animals. It is said to have been built by the last of the Mana Naga Kings, Gahilu, who had established themselves at Wairagad about the 9th century A.D. [Settlement Report of Chanda District, 1869, Major Lucie Smith.] The fort derives its name from the presiding deity of the Mana Nagas, Manikadevi, who was also the presiding deity of the Bastar Nagas. In an inscription found in the ex-Bastar State the goddess is termed as Dantesvari. Be that as it may, Gahilu under the impression that the extent of his empire in that part of the country was due to the blessings of the goddess named the fort as Manikagad which later came to be called simply as Manikgad. There is also a tradition which tells that the fort was built by one of the Gond Kings by name Mankyal and hence the name Manikgad. But evidence to support this assertion is singularly lacking. On the contrary, the absence of the Gond emblem, lion mounted on the elephant back, on the lintel of the entrance gate which is usually found on Gond constructions, goes to prove that the fort was built by some one other than the Gonds. Manikgad entrance gate lintel bears a naga image carved in relief and this may be taken as a fair testimony that the fort was built by some one of the Naga Kings. By the end of the 12th century A.D. the Nagas became the feudatories of Jajalladeva of Ratanpur. Huge black cut stones have been employed in the construction of the fort which appears to have been a place of great strength. The gateway is solid and imposing and is of good height. Rampart walls have been built along; the hills which enclose a sort of a valley containing ruins of what appear to be old buildings and store-houses. Against the rampart walls outlines of some apartments are also visible. A part of the southern rampart wall along with the bastion fortifying it has collapsed and in the valley below lies a cannon which perhaps was mounted on that bastion. Unlike a cast cannon of one piece, it is built of iron straps welded together very strongly. The fort is overgrown with shrubbery and wild trees. It has become a sanctuary for the animals inhabiting the surrounding dense forests. Animals like tiger, panther, blue bull, sambhar, chital, barking deer, sloth deer, wild dogs, wild goat, boars and numerous other dangerous beasts and birds are very often met with in these forests. There is also a temple of Visnu which, like the fort, lies in a neglected state and may yield before long to the ravages of time. A number of historical and archaeological monuments are found scattered in the vicinity of the fort.

On way to Manikgad, passing via Rajura one comes across a small settlement called Candanvai, two miles south of which is an old silted talav by the side of which are images of Ganapati and other deities. On a stone slab of about four feet high are carved the representations of sun and the moon with an ass mating with a woman below. Such stones are called as Gadhegaj. This part is strewn with old broken idols, silted tanks and small Siva shrines indicating that this tract was once a populous one. Remains of some old buildings are also seen. At Thutre, a village one has to pass through on way to Manikgad, is a compound wall of black cut stone enclosing a spacious courtyard. Though no remnants or even outlines of any construction are seen inside to-day, there is an antique, out of use well.

From Thutre, the next village on way to Manikgad is Candur from where the fort is approximately three to four miles off. In the vicinity of this village are seen the remains of a large vada wherein is a stone bearing the images of a man and a woman, with the woman in a sitting posture. In the forests around are nearly six to seven ruined temples which seem to be frequented by wild animals. In many of them were seen the bones of the prey killed by wild animals.