Arjun Kumar Profile picture
Jan 26, 2018 27 tweets 31 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
First pit-stop on my #ExploreUP journey, Bhitargaon in #Kanpurdehat. Amidst squalor, in a village seemingly over-run by a combo of buffaloes & pigs, stands what may be north India's oldest existing temple. This brick temple dedicated to Vishnu dates to Gupta period, 6th century.
#ExploreUP: Having read abt a Lodi-era tomb at #Kalpi, #Jalaun dist, I expected it to be in line with the octagonal Lodi-Sur era tombs elsewhere in India. It turned out to be quite different. Locals call it the Chaurasi (84) gumbad.
#ExploreUP: The tomb @ #Kalpi, was described as that of a 'Lodi Badshah'. Aware that of the three Lodi rulers, two buried in Delhi & third in #Panipat, was puzzled abt the Kalpi person. Turns out to be a brother of Ibrahim named Jalaluddin who propped himself as ruler for a while
#ExploreUP: The Lodi tomb @ #Kalpi proved the tip of the iceberg. The settlement just outside Kalpi town is surrounded by a karbala (in local parlance) - a vast necropolis that is now spread over 100 acres. This burial ground is larger than the settlement itself. Bizarre place!
#ExploreUP: ASI #Kanpurdehat list shows many kos minars in the vicinity. Was tough to locate them, esp when locals - on being shown pics of a typical kos minar - would point me to the nearest brick kiln. When I found them, @ Gour vil, a design diff from any I had seen earlier.
#ExploreUP: Caught sight of a small domed structure while passing through Badevna vil in #Kanpurdehat. Thought it was a tomb from a distance but it turned out to be a temple. One of four such in the place, all still worshiped. Interesting paintings on one of them.
#ExploreUP: A walk-through of Badevna vil, #Kanpurdehat dist. Everything is an effort. The menfolk work hard from dawn to dusk, but for the women it seems 24 x 7 x 365 x all their lives. If our politicos were to spend one week in such a vil every year, rural India would improve.
#ExploreUP: When it came to brick temples in #Kanpurdehat, Bhitargaon was the only one I had read about. However, this is only 1 of 7 temple sites in this region. Pics here are of the ancient brick temples at Khurtha vil. Were in a worse state before this resurrection by the ASI.
#ExploreUP: Nimbia Kheda vil, #Kanpurdehat. While Bhitargaon better known, this is more interesting. A main temple in the middle of an elevated platform with 4 smaller ones at each corner. Acc to ASI, originally a Vishnu shrine, later Shiva. 9th century. Finest in north India?
#ExploreUP: The All Souls' Cathedral, now called #Kanpur Memorial Church. Built in 1875 in honour of Brits who died in 1857. Located in the cantonment part of the city, which is an island of orderliness and sanity in chaotic Kanpur.
#ExploreUP: From the All Souls' Cathedral in #Kanpur, memorials dedicated to Brits who died in 1857. The city also has a Brit era cemetery with graves dating to the late 18th century.
#ExploreUP: Graveyard shift in #Kanpur. Pics from the Katcheri cemetery in the city in which the oldest tomb inscription - from the ones that have survived - dates to 1789.
#ExploreUP: The last temple I visited in #Kanpurdehat. The most unusually shaped Jagannath shrine at Behata Buzurg village. Lots of fascinating local traditions associated with this temple, details of which will be shared tomorrow.
#ExploreUP: Video clip of the Lodi tomb at #Kalpi, #Jalaun district. The tip of a very large necropolis. Unlike other Lodi tombs, this one is not octagonal but four sided. All four sides are punctuated by four arches. ASI conservation work ongoing.
#ExploreUP: Nadan Mahal is no. 285 in Lucknow ASI circle list. Misleading -the name is not for a palace but a tomb. Locals know Nadan Mahal Road but are clueless abt its origin. Tomb is of Abdur Rahim, region's governor during Akbar's time, predates Lucknow's nawabi monuments.
#ExploreUP: Another structure frm Nadan Mahal complex, #Lucknow - 16-pillared tomb predictably named Solah Khamba. Contains graves of Abdur Rahim's descendants. Interesting to see elephant motifs in both this & the Nadan Mahal, rare that an animal motif used in Islamic tombs.
#ExploreUP: #Lucknow needs a closer, more detailed exploration, beyond its Nawabi-Mutiny heritage. Incl places such as this, the All Saints Garrison Church in the cantonment. The structure dates back to 1860.
Taking #ExploreUP further, research currently on for #Mahoba. A host of interesting sites there, many dating back to the Chandella period. Inputs from friends who know about the region would be welcome.
Another #Hiddenheritage article as part of the #ExploreUP journey, in the pages of @TOILucknow: this one on a still-in-worship temple in Behta Bujurg village, #Kanpur dehat.
#ExploreUP: Images of the fort at #Samthar, north-east of #Jhansi. The fort is still lived in by its former 'royals'. Will be writing about it in @TOILucknow shortly.
#ExploreUP: When I visited #Samthar fort in 2008, found it slowly decaying, vegetation wild in parts & most importantly, murals in the cells alongside the battlements being ravaged by seepage. Wish the owners would turn it into a heritage hotel before it is entirely destroyed.
#ExploreUP: Another #HiddenHeritage story in @TOILucknow - this time on the massive necropolis in #Kalpi, #Jalaun district. Like in many corners of UP, you run into heritage quite unexpectedly here.
#ExploreUP: An iconic 40-plus ft #Narasimha carved into a hill. Possibly Chandella period or perhaps older. Not quite able to determine its antiquity. Nr Dudhai vil, #Lalitpur dist. Pic taken a decade ago, the Narasimha now protected by an iron grill. An all-time fav site.
#ExploreUp: Head of an animal carved in stone, a fragment from a ruined temple. Pic from Dudhai village, #Lalitpur dist. Relics such as this lie strewn all over #Bundelkhand.
#ExploreUP: Pics of shattered temples from Dudhai village, #Lalitpur. Built next to a long-dry Chandella irrigation tank. These fragile temples are a world away from the 'Heritage Arc' created by the previous state govt. Anyone interested in restoring these?
#ExploreUP: Last pic for the day from Dudhai, #Lalitpur. The ruined remains of what would once have been a circular #Yogini temple. Very similar design to the Yogini temple at Mitaoli, in #Morena, MP. Strangely, local villagers fear going to this place at night.

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