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BITHOOR

FACTS & FIGURES

Population 8,000
Best time to visitOctober to April
LanguagesHindi and English

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INTRODUCTION

Tour to Bithoor Many towns in India can boast of deep cultural and historical significance. But how many can claim to be the place where Brahma chose to create life?

Bithoor, a quiet little township of about 8,000 people in Uttar Pradesh is the common denominator for all the above-mentioned events. There is no historical or scientific evidence of these happenings but this is what the legends say. Situated on the banks of the Ganges, Bithoor is steeped in mythology, folklore, and history.

LOCATION

Bithoor or Brahmavart, as it was originally known, lies 22 km from Kanpur, on the road to Kannauj in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

LEGENDS

The place was known as Brahmavart due to its connection with Brahma the Creator. Brahmavart literally means Lord Brahma's yagna (sacred fire rite) area. It is said that Brahma performed a vast yagna at this place. Designating it as the center of the Universe, he started the creation of humankind from this point. On the Brahmavart Ghat, one of Bithoor's 42 surviving ghats, is a place called Brahmavart Ki Khoonti. It is widely believed that the khoonti is the nail that was once a part of Lord Brahma's wooden slippers (kharaun).

Tour to Bithoor There are many views as to how it came to be known as Bithoor. The most plausible one relates to Bajirao Peshwa of Maharashtra who had made Bithoor his home after being expelled from Satara by the British. The Peshwa was a devotee of Lord Bithoba. He built a temple dedicated to the Lord and renamed Brahmavart as Bithoba Nagar. Over a period, Bithoba Nagar came to be called Bithoor.

Bithoor has been closely associated with the Indian independence movement, especially the war of 1857. It was home to many of its heroes and the singular heroine the Rani of Jhansi, Lakshmi Bai.

Bithoor is also very closely associated with the legends of Rama, Valmiki, Lav and Kush, and Dhruv, the legendry prince.

THE PAST

The rich past of Badami is closely linked with the ancient Kingdom of Chalukyas. It was founded in the 6th century ad by Pulekeshin I, the great Chalukya ruler, and was the capital city of the Chalukyas from A.D. 540 until A.D. 757. A number of temples and monuments belonging to the Chalukya period can be found in and around Badami. The Rashtrakutas overthrew Badami, and, after its fall, it witnessed anarchy and strife and was successively overrun by a number of rulers. It was also ruled by the Chalukyas of Kalyan (a separate branch of Chalukyas), the Kalachuryas, Yadavas of Devangiri and the Vijaynagar Empire. In the latter medieval period, Adil Shahi rulers of Bijapur and the Marathas ruled it. Badami was finally taken over by the British, who made it a part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency.

PLACES OF INTEREST

Bithoor is an ideal getaway from the humdrum of city life. It is worth a visit if only for the extremely enchanting and relaxing boat ride on the Ganges. The vast waters and the rugged topography are unforgettable. And yes, if one wants to wash away some of his worldly sins in the holy Ganges but have shied away from the "dirty" water at more famous ghats elsewhere, this is the perfect place to take a clean dip. Take a boat ride across the river to the sandy banks. The water is clean and the banks are almost like beaches.

The places of tourist interest are Valmiki's Ashram, Brahmavart Ghat, Patthar Ghat (constructed of red stones with a large Shiva Ling made of Kasauti stone), Dhruv Teela, Shahi Masjid, etc. The arrowheads purported to have been used by Lav and Kush during their war with Lord Ram can be seen at a temple situated at the Brahmavart Ghat.

ACCOMMODATION

Bithoor can be a one-day trip. However, for those who want to stay for some time, accommodation is available at some ashrams. Nominal charges are to be paid and routine of the ashrams has to be followed. It is advisable to book accommodation at least 15 days in advance.

HOW TO GET THERE

By Air

The nearest airport is Charkhari Airport, Kanpur (UP Air, Archana Airways) and Amausi Airport, Lucknow.

Rail

Kanpur Junction is the nearest railway station. There are meter-gauge passenger trains from Brahmavart station to Kanpur Central.

Road

City buses and tempos are available from Rawatpur, Kanpur to Bithoor. Taxis are also available.

Major road distances are Kanpur, 22 km; Lucknow, 109 km; Kannauj, 103 km; Allahabad, 224 km; Ayodhya, 252 km; and Delhi, 430 km.

PLACES TO STAY

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