Tuesday 5 February 2013

The place where Brahma commenced the process of creation

It is a very small village, 24 kilometers from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Located on the banks of the Ganga, it has a hoary past and it is associated with the story of creation.
Our Puranas and even Shastras pinpoint this small town as the very place that Brahma performed a yagna and commenced the exercise of creation of humankind.
The locals also lay claim to Valmiki having written the Ramayana at this very spot. As evidence, they show several spots in and round the holy town associated with Rama, Sita and the Ramayana.
This place is also associated with the legend of Dhruva and his Dhruva Nakshatra. It is here that Dhruva stood on one leg and meditated on God.
One of the most unique things in this place is a small ancient metal shaft, which is supposed to date back to the times of human creation. The shaft, our Puranas say, goes all the way to the core of the Earth.  
This is Bithoor, also known as Bithur, a small town of  many holy Ghats.
Bithoor is ringed by several ghats. In fact, there are 30 of them.  It is one of the most holy pilgrim centres of the Hindus. Some of the structures here date back to  several centuries and they play a vital role in Hindu religion and mythology.
The Brahmaghat is the main Ghat here As the name goes, it is named after Brahma. The small temple here is dedicated to Brahma who commenced the process of creation at this very spot.
There is a piece of a horse shoe sticking put of the earth. The horse shoe is said to belong to the horse of Brahma which he rode while performing Ashwamedha Yagna here.
The horse shoe is supposed to be the axis on which the Earth is rotating.   
When the Ashwamedha Yagna was completed, the forests of Utpalarnya came to be known as Brahmavarta or Brahma Theertha.
Another legend is that the iron shaft was a nail in the wooden slippers or Paduke of  Brahma.  It came away here and, hence, it is known as  Brahmavart Ki Khoonti.
The Patthar Ghat is built  of red stone and it has a unique architecture. There is an old temple of Shiva here and the linga is made of Kasauti or philosopher’s stone. The Linga is believed to be consecrated by Brahma and it is, therefore, also known as Brahmeshwara.
The Lakshman Ghat has a mosque built by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Some of the other ghats are Tuta Ghat, Patkapur Ghat, Khanderao Ghat, Ganesh Ghat, Kalvari Ghat, Hanuman Ghat, Dhruv Ghat, Jhansi Rani Ghat, Pandava Ghat, Haridhan Ghat and  Kapileshwar Ghat 
The Valmiki Ashrama atop a small hill is another landmark. The steps leading to the ashrama are called Swarg Dwar or gateway to heaven. There is a small pool inside the ashram called  as Sita Kund. Nearby is the Sita Rasoi  or Sita's kitchen which is still preserved.
The small temple of Valmiki was built by the last Peshwa, Baji Rao.
The Swarga Naseinee or Deepa Malika Stambha (tower) has several  niches for lighting lamps. This tower has about 48 steps leading to the top. Climb up this tower and get an exhilarating view of the beautiful surroundings.
You cannot miss the Dhruva Teel. It is here that Dhruva stood on one leg and prayed to god. It is at this Teel that God came to him and made him a shining star.
Other places of interest in and around Bithoor include temples of Ram-Janaki, Luva and Kush,  the Haridam Ashrama-the abode of Hari- and a monument dedicated to Nana Saheb, the Maratha warrior.
Bithoor is also the place where Rani Lakshmi Bai and Nana spent their childhood. It is at this place that the last Peshwa was exiled. It is closely associated with the 1857 war of Indian Independence.
Since Kanpur is the nearest city, you can make it your headquarters. Kanpur is well-connected by all forms of transport-road, rail and air. There are a variety of hotels in Kanpur depending on your budget.
Apart from Kanpur, Bithoor is 109 kilometres from Lucknow, 103 kms from Kanauj, 224 kms from Allahabad and 252 kms from Ayodhya. Delhi is 430 kms away.
If you are taking  a train then Kalyanpur is the nearest station but it is  serviced only by passenger trains. Therefore, Kanpur junction is ideal to alight. There are plenty of taxis, autos and other forms of transport available from Kanpur to Bithoor.

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