This Indian offbeat travel destination is even older than Varanasi. Bithoor, a major Hindu religious place in Kanpur, will take you back several million years!
You don’t travel by choice; it’s your luck that takes you places. This is what happened to me when I traveled to Bithoor, near Kanpur. Though I had worked in this city more than 2 decades back, I had never cared to visit this Indian offbeat travel destination. Perhaps, this indifference was related to my work pressure.
A few days back, I got a divine inspiration to visit this unknown Indian religious city. There was simply no reason why I packed my bags and left for this ancient Indian holy place.
Here’s a lowdown of this Indian offbeat travel destination.
Bithoor- an Indian offbeat travel destination
This quaint little Indian town is at least a million years old. Hindus believe that Lord Brahma, one of the members of the Holy Trinity, sat here and created the Universe.
It was here in Bithoor that the first humans, Manu and Shatroopa took birth. So Bithoor is the cradle of the human civilization, according to Hindus.
Like many other Hindu religious cities, Bithoor too is dotted with several temples. The most famous temple is devoted to Lord Brahma. It is located on the very spot where the Creator sat and made the Universe. This temple is quite small, and I was surprised to at its size. I had half expected it to be a huge temple given its historical importance.
The child who lent his name to a star
A few hundred meters north to the Brahma temple is a steep muddy hillock. This structure is named after a child, Dhruv. He meditated here for thousands of years to have a glimpse of Lord Vishnu. The Protector ( Vishnu) was so impressed by the dedication of child Dhruv that He named the Pole Star after this child.
Son of a mighty king, Dhruv was one day insulted by his stepmother. That one insult encouraged the child to attain the unattainable- to have a glimpse of Lord Vishnu!
When I looked up at that ancient muddy hillock, I spotted some bricks protruding out. I wondered to myself- how old must those bricks would be?
Birthplace of one of the finest Indian queens
This offbeat Indian destination has a special place in Indian history. Bithoor was the birthplace of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi. She is regarded as one of the bravest queens in Indian history. This widowed queen did not bow to the East India Company and fought with the Britishers to retain her independence.
The Queen of Jhansi has a lovely statue for herself on the banks of the Ganga. You can see her waving her sword in the air while her child is tied to her back. This is how she fought the British during the fateful years of 1857.
Bithoor faced a terrible fate in 1857. Several thousand men, women, and children were murdered by the British in this town. The bodies of these murdered people were later hung up in the trees lining the Ganga.
According to historians, these people were killed by the British for their participation in the War of Independence. To read more on this subject, you may read this book: https://books.google.com/books?id=QTZAAAAAMAAJ
Center of the World?
Many Hindus believe that this Indian offbeat destination is the center of the world. I don’t know how far it is true but researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur agree with this theory. You may like to read this research paper http://www.iitk.ac.in/npsc/Papers/NPSC1998/p97.pdf
How to reach Bithoor?
The nearest airport is Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport in Lucknow. From there, you can take a taxi to Bithoor. The total drive time is 2 hours.
The nearest railway station is Kanpur Central. From here, you need to take a taxi to reach this temple town. There are no regular buses between Kanpur and Bithoor.
Other important information
There are several eating joints in Bithoor. You can also enjoy a boat ride in the Ganga, the boatman will charge you INR 30 per person.
The best time to visit this religious destination is the end of rainy season when there is water all around. You can even spot river dolphins playing around in water.