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Excursions

Bithoor (27 km)
The quiet and beautiful township of Bithoor is situated on the Kannauj Road. Situated on the banks of the Ganga, this tranquil spot is of considerable historical and religious importance. According to Hindu scriptures Lord Brahma came to Utpalaranya, as it was known then, for the creation of mankind. The place which first witnessed the creation of mankind came to be known as Brahmavarta or the seat of Brahma. Later Brahma installed a Shivalinga which is still worshipped as Brahmeshwar Mahadeva at the principal ghat of Bithoor, the Brahmavarta Ghat.

A nail of the horse shoe embedded in the steps of the Ghat is an object of special reverence for devotees, considered to be of Brahma's horse, while going for Ashwamedha Yajna. On the completion of the yajna, the forests of Utpalaranya became known as Brahmavarta, from which the popular name, Bithoor is derived. In later centuries Brahmavarta flourished as a capital of the kingdom of Utpalaranya, over which ruled the emperor Uttanpad. His son Dhruva penanced here in order to please Brahma. The place is pointed out to be Dhruva Teela.
There is a small pool inside Valmiki Ashram, famous as Sita-Kund. Sita 'Rasoi' is still preserved, near which stands `Swarga Naseinee' or Deep Malika Stambha, studded with niches all around for illumination. The tower has about 48 steps leading to its top which is surmounted by a cupola, from where one can have a panoramic view of the entire area. The existing Valmiki temple is said to have been rebuilt by Baji Roa Peshwa in the 19th century.
Later Brahmavarta fell into obscurity, only to regain prominence in the 18th century. During 1753-75 under the rule of Nawab Shuja-ud-daula, the administration of Bithoor was entrusted to Almas Ali Khan, who erected a mosque near Lakshman Ghat on the right bank of Ganga.
Bithoor was the capital of the Pargana from 1811 to 819. After the departure of the courts, the place was assigned as a residence to Baji Rao, the deposed Peshwa. The Palace of Nana Sahib was reduced to rubble by the British in 1857 and the only traces remaining of it are some large well heads and broken palace walls.



Musanagar(65 km)
The ancient site of Musanagar with innumerable mounds deserved mention on account of the ancient temple of Muktadevi, which is said to have been built in Treta-Yug by Raja Bali. A large fair is held at Muktadevi temple on occasion of Kartik Poornima. Musanagar is also a rich Archaeological site and has yielded a large number of artifacts and specimens of the post Harrapan, Shaunga, Maurya and Kushana periods. The Muktadevi temple also offers an excellent view of the surrounding landscape. One can climb the roof of the temple dharamshala, from where can be seen the meandering Sengar river meeting the Yamuna down below, in a beautiful natural setting.

Kannauj(80 km)
Situated on the banks of the river Ganga, Kannauj was the 7th century capital of Emperor Harshavardhana's empire, which encompassed the entire region between the rivers Sutlej and Narmada and eastern Bengal. While all traces of this past have vanished, Kannauj today is famous for its manufacture of essence (ittar) used in perfumes.

Bhitargaon (59 km)
Situated in Ghatampur tehsil, Bhitargaon houses a unique architectural specimen - a brick temple belonging to the Gupta era. The first Hindu temple with a shikara, it dateing back to 600 AD.



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