Bithoor, in North India, is considered to be a center of the earth by many, a place of religious values, place where Sita had spent her days during her exile, had given birth to Luv and Kush, and where Valmiki had written the epic Ramayan. If Mythology and History excite your curiosity (like it does to me ) grab yourself a cup of hot coffee and engross in the reading.
Bithoor situated on the banks of Holy Ganga is a serene and tranquil place that has religious values and importance. It is an ideal getaway if you are looking for some pleasant experiences, peace, and solace. Bithoor is known to be a major pilgrimage center for the Hindus and also has a great historical significance.
It is located on the Kannauj road, about 22 km from Kanpur city in North India, and is easily approachable by road. A half-day trip from Kanpur is advisable to this place for the divine experience. The moment we got off from our car, all we saw was colorful and vibrant doors and windows that made a striking view. It was totally eye-catching and I could not stop but pose for a while.
Attractions and places to see in Bithoor:
Bithoor is a historical town of the ancient times and finds mention in several legends and fables. It is believed that when once the universe was destroyed, Lord Vishnu and Brahma selected this place to reconstruct the universe and conducted Yagna here. So this place was named as Brahmavart ghat from which the name Bithoor was derived. It is also believed that Lord Brahma – the creator left his footprints on the banks of the river. It was here that he created the first mankind and also completed the Ashwamedhyajna.
Bithoor is also supposed to be the birthplace of Rani Lakshmi Bai who later came to be known as Jhansi ki Rani, and Saheb Peshwa who also played a key role in India’s struggle for independence. Both these figures embodied patriotism and valor and are remembered with respect to this day. It was in Bithoor they spent their early years and mastered the techniques of warfare, which they put to use in the Great Mutiny of 1857.
A Boat ride at Bithoor is highly recommended for the relaxation and peace of mind. There are many boats that are very nicely decorated and draped with colorful dupattas and are made cozy with cushions all around. In spite of being May, the weather seemed to be surprisingly pleasant once we reached near the Ghat. We selected the best and the most colorful boat for our ride.
The tour guy who was riding our boat narrated the entire history of the place and showed us all the ghats and their significance. You can have a nice view of Brahmavrat Ghat and many such ghats from the boat. Each and every Ghat has a unique story and history behind it. The river looked relatively clean except for a few initial patches. The boat ride was a very pleasant and memorable experience and lasted for 30 minutes.
Well, do not forget to take Ganga Jal back home in a bottle. We had forgotten while taking the boat ride, but our guide was kind enough to go back into the boat in the middle of the river to collect clean water.
This place flourished under the emperor Uttanpad whose son Dhruv performed penance to appease Lord Brahma under the emperor Uttanpad whose son Dhruv performed penance to appease Lord Brahma. This marks the place where the child Dhruva meditated single-mindedly as he stood on one leg. As a reward, God granted Dhruva the divine boon to shine for all time as a star.
Performing Pooja at the Ghat:
At the ghat, I saw a very small temple where the pandit was making the announcement of the name of the person offering pooja. o be honest I am a believer and was totally inclined to offer my prayers. The Pandit asked my name and a number of offerings for the prayers. He later announced my name and the amount I had given for pooja that sounded so amusing but worth the experience.
The place is so small that only Pandit, the footsteps of Brahma Jee, and the donation chest are seen inside the temple. The devotees have to make offering standing outside and perform a pooja. But just beware of the people around you who may offer an untrained guide and may claim to be Pandits, please do not fall into their trap.
If someone wants to wash away their sins, they need to take the pure dip in the Holy Ganges. This is the myth that is associated with this place and this place is for believers.
This is supposed to be one of the Holiest places in Hindu religion where Sage Valmiki had written Epic Ramayana.
Goddess Sita resided here during the exile period. She had given birth to Luv and Kush in this ashram and here they spent their childhood under the guidance of saint Valmiki. The twins were in fact initiated to the techniques of wars and politics. Finally, it was here that they were reunited with their father. It is because of all these reasons that Bithoor is also known as Ramale.
This place was amazing with every wall and doors screaming History. We also got an opportunity to see Sita Rasoi where she used to cook food. It was an enthralling experience to see this ashram and it’s a must-visit.
On your way to the Ghar, you can find these small vendors selling hot savories and sweets. There are many options to select from like mathris, samosas, bhajiyas, and wadas.
You can also find a few small shops selling trinkets and souvenirs and all religious baubles.
There are few more attraction around Bithoor that is worth seeing. If you have time do visit these places as well:
1) Patthar Ghat – Tikait Rai.an Awadh minister laid the foundation of this.
2) Sai Dham mandir- a beautiful Sai temple. We were lucky enough to attend aarti os Sai.
3) Nana Saheb Smarak
4) Ram Janki temple
5) Jahangir Mosque
To sum it up, Bithoor was a spellbound experience and a half-day trip is recommended if you are visiting Kanpur next time.