Apart from the popular Buddhist center Sarnath there is another half-day excursion from Varanasi and that is Ramnagar Fort. Built by a Kashi Naresh Ramanagar fort is the residence of the Royal family of Varanasi even today. The fort built in mughal style using chunar sandstone stands high above the flood levels of River Ganga. Only a part of the fortress is accessible to the public. Sarswati Bhavan which was the durbar hall those days is converted into a museum. The fort also houses a temple dedicated to Veda Vyasa.
|Ramnagar Fort inside|
From Dashashwamedha Ghat, Varanasi I took different modes of road transport to reach the other side of the river. I have mentioned the ride on the pontoon bridge in my previous post here which was like an alternative form of amusement! There is an entry fee to visit this sleepy fort. As I entered the courtyard realized that I was the only visitor there. The museum staff looked like some dozing figures but, they were nice when asked for information. Photogrphy inside the museum is not allowed.
|One of the entrances to the Museum|
Sarswati Bhavan- the museum has a huge collection of weapons like revolvers, guns, knives, swords, daggers from different countries. There are vintage cars on display. The palkis, costumes and jewelry so and much more. Most of the things are stuffed with precious jewels, gold plated, and intricate ivory carving. They look so grand even under the thick dust. No maintenance at all but grand! The arches and windows, pillars are ornate with very intricate carving.Even the royal elephant had a studded head dress and a tail dress!
|Intricate art on the pillars, carved balconies|
The riverside is great place to sit and spend time here. There is a Shiva temple too interestingly built in mughal style. The location on the riverside makes it a cool place. It seems it was a pit stop in Amazing Race and also is a popular spot for shooting movies too. Though the fort is not maintained well, tourists have done a good job in littering. As I sat there looking at the passing boats and the traffic on the distant pontoon bride the plastic covers stuck to the bushes were hissing in the passing breeze.
There is a Veda Vyasa temple in the fort complex. The legend says that Vyasa the sage who authored the great Hindu epic Mahabharatha, cursed city of Kashi because he didn't get alms. But, then after visiting Shiva and Parvati living like an ordinary household he was happy and forgot about his curse. But, still Shiva banished him from the city for his insensitivity and bad temper. To be near the city Vyasa lived in on the other side of the river which was called Vyas Kashi that is now Ramnagar.
|Veda Vyasa Mandir|
I found this place very interesting and very peaceful. The unexpecting visitor definitely gets surprised to see the unusual collection of armory and the grandeur of the chair sedans, costumes and jewel studded palkis!
More excursions from Varanasi HERE.
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Varanasi- As I Saw, A Photo tour
Seven days of my Kashi Yatra
Backpacking India III- Classic Pilgrimage!
Backpacking India Part II- A Parallel Journey
Stories from Backpacking India
If you want pictures please ask me :)
Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.