Chaurasi Gumbad, Kalpi Photo Journal
Driving to Jhansi from Lucknow or Kanpur on NH 25, this monument from the pages of history asks for attention, sitting against the backdrop of green fields, blue sky and almost vacant highway. Rukna to banta hai.
This monument is a royal tomb from Medieval times (of Lodhi Sultans), when India had many kingdoms, kings, sultans, nawabs, royalty and courtiers.
Kalpi: Then and Now
Kalpi on the banks of River Yamuna was a strategically important place. Akbar, the Mughal emperor had one of his mints here. In ancient Hindu scriptures the city was called Kalpriya Nagari, and there is said to be a grand sun temple here in Kalpi which was built by Sri Krishna’s son Sambh. On the banks of Yamuna there is a Surya ghat in a village named Gulauli, about six kilometers downstream on the banks of River Yamuna. This is where the temple may have been. The place is accessible by river route and has 7 shrines ‘Satmathiya’ dedicated to seven queens of martyred king Shreechand. The Satmathiya have ancient stones which are worshipped and may be remains of the old sun temple. Yamuna is said to be the daughter of Sun God, and wife of Sri Krishna. River Yamuna is one of the seven most revered rivers in Indian tradition.
Kalpi is said to be the birthplace of Ved Vyas, the prolific writer who organised the Vedas and wrote many Puranas including Srimad Bhagwat and the grand epic Mahabharat (which included Bhagwad Gita and Sri Vishnu Sahastranam in its pages.) It is also the birthplace of other ancient Rishis like Valmiki, Parashar, Uddalak, Vamdeo, and famed for his intelligence and wit in Emperor Akbar’s court, the gem - Birbal is also said to be born here. Kalpi was found most suitable to view the total solar eclipse on 24th October 1995 by scientists from all over India.
Kalpi Fort on the banks of River Yamuna, a magnificent reminder of Chandela kings is now a forest rest house. Kalpi has a part of a reserve forest in the Orai division of forests. The vegetation is termed Ravine Thorn Forest.
How to reach Kalpi, Uttar Pradesh, India?
By road or train:
Kanpur to Kalpi: 78 km
Lucknow to Kalpi: 158 km
Indore to Kalpi: 219 km
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(Photos by Naval Sharma)