Around Lucknow

Around Lucknow :

With little over 10 sq Km in area, lying on the banks of the river Ghagra or Saryu, this ancient city is believed to be the birth place of Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The holy book of Hindus- the Ramayana- says, the city was founded by Manu. Later, it became the capital of the descendants of the Surya dynasty. Lord Rama was the most celebrated King of this dynasty. Known as 'Kosaldesa' in ancient times, the place has been
described as "a city built by gods and being as prosperous as paradise itself", in the Atharvaveda.From the time immemorial, this place has been noted for the performance of various rituals and Yajnas, including 'Asvamedha Yajna'. From the epic and puranic ages, Ayodhya rose to prominence again in the 6th century B.C,the times of Buddha. Situated just about 10 Km from the district headquarters of Faizabad, Ayodhya is a city of temples of several religions. Various faiths have grown and prospered simultaneously and that also in different periods of time in the history. Jain traditions, for example, consider that five Tirthankaras were born at Ayodhya including Rishabhadeva, the first Tirthankar. Don't miss the remnants of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Jainism, that can still be found in Ayodhya.


Chappiya :

Chhapaiya is a village in Gonda District in the state of Uttar Pradesh about 50 km from district headquarter Gonda and 40 kilometers from the major city of Ayodhya. Its singular claim to fame is as the birthplace of God Swaminarayan. Swaminarayan (1781 - 1830 CE) was incarnated here on 2 April 1781 as Ghanshyam, making this village a pilgrim place for his followers world wide. Akshardham temples in Ahmedabad & Delhi (New Delhi) are dedicated to Swaminarayan. Gujratis are the main followers of this sect and regard Chappiya as a very sacred place to visit.
There are legends associated with places like Birth Place, Gangajal well, Narayan Sarovar, Dharmadev Bhaktimata Oata, Kalidatt Oata, Three cornered filed, Min Sarovar, Bhutio (ghost) well, jira bhari Talao. Jambu tree, Moksh pipal, Khapa Jalavdi, Kalyan sagar, Gay ghat, Shravan talavdi, Makhoda ghat, Ram sagar etc. It is the sacred wish of the followers of the sect to visit these places once in life time.


Nawabganj Birds' Sanctuary :

One of the major wildlife sanctuaries attractions of Uttar Pradesh, Nawabganj Birds Sanctuary is a great weekend trip from Kanpur. The small sanctuary, spread in an area of 3 sq km, attracts hundreds of migratory birds species during winters. The sanctuary is mainly the area around a shallow lake The lake forms a perfect place for the migratory and water birds for a long stay. As a part of conservation of lake and its surroundings, Government of Uttar Pradesh declared the area as a sanctuary in 1984.
The picturesque sanctuary is an ideal for photographers and picnic lovers. To enhance the knowledge of visitors regarding birds, an Interpretation Centre is established in the Sanctuary. It has the provision of film shows related to wildlife. A motel, restaraunt and small eateries around the sanctuary makes it an ideal location for a great weekend trip.


Kanpur Bithur :

Kanpur (90 km from Lucknow) was established as a trade center on the banks of the river Ganges by the early British settlers. Even today it is purely a commercial and industrial city. Kanpur is said to have been the center of the most tragic events of the Mutiny of 1857. Today the All Souls Garrison Church that stands on the site that was the Wheelers entrenchment bears testimony to some of the most horrific events of that time. Sati Chaura Ghat is also called the Massacre Ghats (river bank) is situated on the banks of the Ganges.
Bithur is situated on the banks of the Ganges 24km upstream from Kanpur and about 114 km from Lucknow. According to Hindu mythology Bithur was known as Brahmateerth and Rishi Valmiki is supposed to have composed the Ramayana here. Life on earth is said to have begun from here by Lord Brahma. This is also the site where the Sepoys followed by the British crossed over the Ganges on their way to Lucknow in 1857. Places of interest here are the Brahmavarta Ghat, the temples of Luv-Kush Dhruv Tila and the Valmiki Ashram.


Washer Men :

This is not an ordinary dhobi ghat but with a difference as most of the clothes are chikan embroidered. Chikan is the embroidery work of Lucknow and is famous world over. The washermen collect these colourful chikan garments and dress materials from the manufacturers in the morning and wash them on the banks of river. As these chikan garments get dirty when going under the master crafts women for quite a long time (as it takes a fortnight or so to complete the work depending on the design),
these garments and dress materials are sent for a last wash, starching and ironing before being delivered to emporia. Each moment looks very beautiful – the sound of beating clothes on the boulders, sprinkling of water in the air, colourful garments being hung on the strings to dry in the Sun. The entire bank looks so colourful that the scene will leave you spellbound. Moreover, the local folk songs sung by the washer men add the beauty of the scene. We arrange chilled lassi or thandai served in earthen cups called kulhar along with charpoys (jute cots) to sit. You may talk to the washer men and know about their community or just roam around the ghats and appreciate the beauty of the infinite chikan embroidered garments on the ghat. Though the washermen stay at one end of the river but by beating and washing the clothes they try to making both their ends meet somehow. Through this programme we salute their hard work.