Bithoor Fort in KanpurBithoor is a small town situated on the left bank of the holy river Ganges in the district of Kanpur. It’s a serene, quiet and a beautiful place located 23 km away from Kanpur.
The fort of Bithoor has a lot of historical significance. Nana Sahib, the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II had made Bithoor his headquarters during his rule over this region. During the First War of Independence in 1857, Sepoys revolted against the British. At that time Bithoor was a part of Cawnpore district in the United Provinces.
As a part of the rebellion, Nana Sahib along with his colleagues Rani Laxmi Bai and Tantya Tope worked out plans to face the British from this fort. He gathered his forces and attacked the British garrison in Kanpur from here. In response to his action British reacted violently and tried to blast this place. General Havelock captured the fort of Bithoor on July 19, 1857. The blasts devastated the town including the palace of Nana Sahib and the temples. This fierce attack was due to the brutal killing of many British men, women and children during the siege of Cawnpore. In these attacks the fort was also ruined partially. But even today, we can find the remains of Bithoor fort which remind us of those ghastly incidents during freedom struggle.
This place also has got lot of religious significance. It is believed that the great epic ‘Ramayana’ was written at this place by the sage ‘Valmiki.’ Infact this was the place where Maa Sita lived when Lord Rama left her in the forest. ‘Luv’ and ‘Kush’ were born to Maa Sita here in the ashram of sage Valmiki. We can find 'Sita Kund and Sita Rasoi’ in this ashram.
This place came to be known as ‘Brahmavarta’ which means ‘the seat of Lord Brahma’. It is believed that Lord Brahma sat here and created the whole world. This place is popularly known as Brahmavarta Ghat which is considered to be the holiest ghats of Bithoor.
The five-year-old prince Dhruva, the son of king Uttanpada came to this place to meditate and seek the blessings of Lord Narayana. After five months of great penance, the Lord appeared in front of him and gave him a boon that he would be ruling the kingdom for sixty thousand years followed by attaining a celestial abode becoming ‘Dhruv Tara or North Star’.
There is also a temple of Lord Shiva here which has a Shivlinga made out of red Kasauti stone. This temple is situated in the Patthar Ghat of Bithoor.
Temples of Luv-Kush, Ram Janaki and Sai Baba, Nana Saheb Smarak, Haridham Ashram and Jahangir Mosque are the other tourist spots that are found around the fort of Bithoor and they are worth seeing.
The best time to visit this place is from October to March. Bithoor is connected to other parts of Uttar Pradesh by bus routes. Those who want to reach here by road from Kanpur, can also take either cabs are autos. Those who prefer railways need to take meter-gauge passenger trains from Kanpur Central to Brahmavarta station in Bithoor. For those who opt airways, Chakeri Airport of Kanpur is the nearest. Those who come from Amausi airport in Lucknow need to travel about 109 km to reach Bithoor. Those who look for accommodation, have to stay at Kanpur as it has the best hotels. It’s less than an hour’s drive from Kanpur to Bithoor. Those who wish may stay at Bithoor also. It has some well maintained Dharmashalas for pilgrims.