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This historic place lies in latitude 25.7 North & Longitude 80.55 East , 32 Km.east of Mirzapur And is connected by rail and road. It is also connected by rail with Varanasi via. Mugalsarai in the east.Tradition asserts that Bawan Bhagwan disguishing himself as a Brahamana begged three steps of land from king Bali. His first foot-step rested upon the hill of Chunar impressing it with his foot-mark.Consequently, the hill came to be known as Chunar Adri or footstep hill. With the passage of time , the name became Chunar. In the course of time the religious significance of this place increased considerably. It is aid that Bhati Nath,brother of the half Mythical Vikramaditya of Ujjain, having embraced the habit and profession of a hermit ,selected the rock of Chunar as his place of retirement.
Vikramaditya is said to have discovered the hidding place of his brother by the aid of certain holy hermit named Gorakhnath, and to have visited Chunar and built for his brother a residence, he in his religious obsarption having neglected to provide any shelter for himself. And a variant of the legend,already given, states that it is the asint urf saint, not God himself,Who is invisibly seated on the black stone in the saint,ashrine on the summit of the hill. The next name connected with the fort is that of Prithiviraj, who is reported to have effected a settlement in this, part of the country and to brought under his rule a number of the surrounding villages. After his death the country is said to have been taken from his successors by one Khair-ud- din Subuktagin. It appears , however from a mutilated sanskrit inscription the gateway of the fort that the place was again recoverd by one Swami Raja, who put up the stone to commemorate the event.
The fort was finally acquired by sahab-ud-din,who appointed a ceryain sanidi, an African, and a Bahelia, with the title of hazari, as the governers of the fort , at the same time conferring on them a jagir is said to have remained with the Bahelia family through all (the British) its succeeding viciasitudesuntil its final cession to the British in 1772. Chunar did not become a fortress of first rate importance till the sixteenth century, when the struggles between the pathans and Mugals for the mastery of the east took place to which it was regarded as the key,Baber visited the place in 1529 A.D. and qwing to the number of wild beasts that infested the neighbourhood, lost many of his soldiers.
These men were subsequently venerated as martyrs and their tombs are still to be seen scattered about the neighbourhood. Serkhan sur , afterwards the emperror Sher Shah, obtained possession of the fort by marrying the wife of deceased Govern and for some time resided in it. He built the Turkish bath (haman) and armoury (silah-khana). He refused to give it up to Humayun n 1536, whereupon Humayun besieged it for six months, ultimately succeeding in capturing it by means of a floating battery built high enough to command the fortifications.But no sooner had be continued his advance into Bengal, than it fell into the hands of Sher Khan again and it was not until 1575 A.D., that it was recovered by Akbar.
The latter visited Chunar for shikar(hunting) . He also built the watergate in 1586 A.D.Which is the date engraved on the stone archway. Until 1750A.D. it remained with the Mughals. The emperor Jahangir appointed one Iftikhar Khan as its nazim, and in the regin of Aurangzeb one of itsGovernors was Mirza Bairam Khan, who built a mosque ther in 1663 A.D. near the Bharion Burj.But after the disruption of the Mughal empire, the fort fell into the hands of the nawab vizir of Avadh, and through all the subsequent aggressions and intrigues it was the only place which Balwant Singh was not able, or did not dare, to reduced into his possession. In 1764 an unsuccessful attack was made on it by the British troops under major Munro.
Two assaults failed and the size was turned into a blackade which, however, was abandoned owing to the menacing attitude of Shuja-ud-daula after an unsuccessful night attack, a breach was effected in the south western rampart from batteries erected on Gaddess fort was exchanged for that of Allahabad, but in 772 it was formaly ceded to the East India Company , who established in it a depot for artillery and ammunition. After Chet Singh's outbreak in 781, Warren Hastings retired for safety to Chunar fort where a force was collected under major Popham, which expelled Chet Singh from his strongholds in the neighbourhood. In 1791 , Chunar fort became the headquarters of invalid battalion of European and Indian troops serving in India, all officers and men who were unfit for field service, being sent here for light duty .
From 1815 onwards the fort was used as a place of confinement for state prisoners. During the freedom struggle of 1857-58 , it was garrisoned by the artillery and infantry company of the European invalid Battalion and all the district officers and European residents. The enclosure of Bhartri Nath's shrine was once being used as civil treasury .It was garrisoned until the year 1890, when the troops were finally withdrawn, the buildings in thefort being handed over to the charge of the civil authorities who first used it as a convalescent jail .Later on it was turned into a religious place.
The fort contains some buildings of historical and archaeo-logical significance . The building known as Sonwa Mandap has 28 pillars reflecting purely the Hindu style of architecture.There is engraving on the mehrab which, it is said, was filled with gold.In the back portion there is the samadhi of Bhartri Nath .At present religious ceremonies are also held there. It has four gates. There is a tunnel in font of this building. It is s aid that in 1333 A.D. princess Sonwa, daughter of Sandeva , a Nepali king ,used to go to take bath in the river Ganga through this tunnel , which leades down from the fort . There is about 17M. diameter and about 200M. deep bawali in the fort still having water. It is said that princess sonwa used to take bath here. It is also said that it is connected with the Ganga which supplies water to it. Less than one Km. south west of the fort is situated the tomb or dargah of Shah Qasim Sulmiani. it is a building of considerable architectural ,pretensions.
The saint whose remains are interred here is said to have been an Afghan by birth and to have lived during the reigns of kbar and Jahangir , the date of his being given 956 Hijri or 1549 A.D. and the age of 27 he be took himself to a holy life, and setout to visit the sacred places at Mecca and Medina. The Pristige gained by his pilgrimage procured him on his return a considerable following of disciples, but unfortunately he incurr- ed the displeasure of Akbar by declining to subscribe to that monarch's views on religion.During Akbar by declining to subscribe to that monarch's views on religio.During Akbar reign he was not molested further than having his place of residence fixed at Lahore, but on the accession of Jahangir his enemies represented to the king the danger of all-owing Shah Qasim to attract so large a number of followers.
At first Jahangir appears to have contemplated punishing the saint with death .But better counsel prevailed and Shah Sulamiani was sent as prisioner to his Chunar in 1606 A.D. where he died the following year.His disciples erected the mausoleum into his memory and his two sons were installed as its chief attendants.The process of canonization was now complete,and Jahangirhimself recognized the sanctity of the shaine by a grant to the saint's son of 30 bighas of land in the advacent village ofTikar.Oneof the sons, Shah Kabir Baba,become a saint ,and his disciplesset up a mausoleum to his memory at Kanauj.Another son , Muhammad Wasih, and two grandsons,Muhammad Afzal and Muhammad Hakim, were honoured with tombs near that of Shah Qasim.
Further additions to the landed estate of the shrine were made in the regins of Shah Jahan and Farrukhsiyar.To the latter it owes the gift of the village of Begpur.Poor Muslim travelers were provided with food for three days out of the income derived from the estates.The annual offerings to the saint take place between the 17th and 21st days of the month jamadi-ul-awwal, and during March and April five dargah fair are held on Thursday which are attended by all classes, prays and praise being conjoined with a brisk Market in wordly goods. The buildings are seven in number.First there is the mausoleum of Shah Qasim himself.
It is enclosed by lattice stone walls,outside which standing on stone basements,are the graves of his disciples in groups,being seprated from each other by beautifully carved stand it is belived that these when gently rubbed by one of his disciples, poor out a divine effluence through entrance gate there is a brief inscription in five lines all of which, except the last ,are in Arabic and consist of paraises of the saint, the date given in 1607 A.D. There are two other mausoleums , one belonging to the saints son, Muhammad Wash, and the other to his grandsons Muhammad Afzal and Muhammad Hakim, and the other buildings include the Nakkashi Darwaza or principal gateway, the Fawara Sawan Bhadon or mountain of the rainy season, the Range Mahal on the corner walls of which are engraved 16 persian couplets, and the mosque.
The last six were all built it is said, by Muhammad Wasihin 1618 A.D.There are beautiful carvings on the principal gateway and the stone lattice with which the gardenis enclosed. less than one Km. up a narrow revine to the south-southwest to the railway station is a perennial spring , called Durga Kund. To the north side of the ravine stands the temple of Kamakshi Devi, and just below it a small old temple.The ravine or Jhima nala,is spanned by a bridge,which leads to arow of three dalansor cloisters formmed by building against the face of the rock.Against the back wall there is a low platform,or seat ,about 38 cm.high and 40 cm. broad, which was probably intended for the reception of statues.Sculptured on the rock there are several figures of lions, forses, and elephants in outline .The face of the rock is about 3/2 metres high,above which the constructions exist.
The whole back wall is covered with short inscriptions of many ages begining from the Gupta period.Similar inscriptions are also cut in the rock of Durga Khoor Durga cave, a little further up the ravine,near which an annual fair is held on the ninth day of the Durgapuja festival.The cave is simply an old quarry which has been converted into a dwelling by building up two pillars under the edge of the overhanging rock , but the inscriptions are of considerable antiquity, several of them being of the Gupta period, through they are chiefly the personal records of pilgrims whohave visited the cave of Durga where she is said to have sprung out of the rock .There are several other interesting buildings about the outskirts of Chunar.The mausoleum of Iftikhar Khan, nazim in the reign of Jahangir , known as the old tahsildari, lies beyond the Jirgo. Near the only gate by which admittance is Gained there is a baoli (well) called the "robber's cave" with steps leading down to the water's adge.Formerly a subterranean passage led from the latter to the mausoleum,but this has long since been closed.
An inscription over the well shows the date of its construction to have been A.D.1605.The tomb of saiyid Bahadur Ali is on a high stone platform at Tikaur. He was a large land holders in the neighbourhood, who was assigned a grant of land rent-free by Shah Jahan. He adopted the usages and habits of a faqir and is much venerated by the people of the neighbourhood who built a tomb.It is affirmed that the tomb was originally of stone but it was mysterously transformed into white marble.Close to the railway station is situated ,on the boarders ofa swamp , Phulwaria. In the days of raja Sahadeo, a mythical raja of the fort, who had a daughter named Sunnia who was married to Alha , the Benapher hero of Mahoba, there was a garden here, the flowers from which used to be offered daily to his residence here called idol at Durga Kho. Udal is said to havetaken up his residence here for a brief spell,and the garden is said to have been the model of one made bySaiyid Jamal-ud-din,anazim of Chunar in the reign of Qutb-ud-din Aibak, at Benares which was famed forthe excellence of its melons.
Near it is a monastery called Achraj, composed of blocks of stone buildings in which accommodation was provided for monks, pilgrims, and others who came to worship. Along a terrace near the entrance is an array of Hindu deities with grotesque countenances.It is said to be the birth place of the great Hindu hieresiarch Swami Ballabhach-arya or , according to another version ,of his son Bithal Nath, in whose honour the edifices were built. At the declivity of a hill , believed to be the Sonwar Pahar,south east of Phulwaria,there are the remains of a small mosque.
This is a large agricultural town lying in latitude 25.10 North and longitude 82.31 East,(a part of Mirzapur- cum – Vindhyachal municipal board) 11 Km. West of Mirzapur with is connected by a metalled road.The ancient town of Vindhyachal , famous in the Puranas , is said to have been included within the circuit of the ancient city of pampapura .Pampapura is supposed to have been an old Bhar city covering several Km.of area.Tradition says that this city once possessed 150 temples, all of which were destroyed by Aurangzeb.The place is celebrated as containing the shrine of the goddess Vindhyeshwari Devi , which is visited by thousands of pilgrims annually from all parts of India ,especially central and southern India.The temple ,which is built of stone is of rectangular form,sorrounded by a verandah,the whole encompassed by a flight of five steps.
The roof is flat and the pillars that support it interior chamber of it of plain and coarse workmanship.The image of the goddess is in an interior chamber of small size,the walls being constructed of large coarse stones. The head of the figure is of black stone with large eyes, the whites of which are formed of plates of burnished silver, and the feet rest on black rat .The building must be one of great antiquity .On the river front is the devighat, a fort like structure adorned with six bastions, which just out into the river and has a flight of about 80 steps . From this a long narrow paved street leads to the temple which is about 8Km.distant. The place contains post office , a police station , a pound, a dispansary and a school.
There is reference of Tarkeshwar Mahadev in Puran's which is situated in the east of Vindhayachal. At present this Is in Tarkapur ward of Mirzapur.Before the temple there was a big Kund which had been dug by a jiant (Asur) named Tarak . Tarak was killed by Lord Shiva so called Tarkeshwar Mahadev.Near Kund there were several shivling . According to tradition God Vishanu dug a pond in the west of Tarkeshwar and established a temple of lord Shiva.Now it is disappear and stimulated in Ganga river. goddess Laxmi sacrificed herself here at Tarkeshwar. As per tradition Goddess Laxmi lives here in the form of another Goddess called Vaishnavi with Goddess Saraswati.
The river which flow between Mirzapur and Vindhayachal is Called Punyajala (Ojhala) . It is said about the ojhala that it is greatest in all Tirth , as Ashwamegh in all Yagya, Himalya in all mountain and truth in all Brata .The Water of this river is as holy as Ganga river. This is surrounded by Goddess Kali Temple, Maha Laxmi , Maha Sarsawati and Tarkeshwar Mahadev.
Nagkund is stand in the west of Punyajala river there are fifty twosteps around the kund. It was famous that there was so many container(Patra) in kund and when devotee prayed for his daily necessities with kund the container floated on the water level in kund itself . Devotee got and satisfied with it further they kept the container in Kund and patra dipped in kund again . It was the most importance of this kund for which it was famous. Traditionally it is called pilgrims got Akshaya punya after taking bath in the kund at Panchami of Shukla Paksha of sawan.
Devotee and pilgrims gets his desirable Sidhi after Parikrama of Maha Trikon as it is said. After visiting at temple of Vindhayavashni Devi they goes to Sankat Mochan (Mahabir) temple as well as Kalikhoh which is in south of Vindhayachal railway Station. Devotee visit at Goddess kali and worshiped they make them pious with the water of Kali Kund. They completed their Parikrama after visiting at saint Karnagiri Bawali. There are severl temples Situated of Bhairwas around the Kalikhoh, situation are such as - in the east Anand Bhairav, in west Sidhnath Bhairav , in south Kapal Bhairav and Bhairav is situated in north.The view of the visitors to get luxary like haven after visiting at Vindhayvasani temple and completed their Parikrama. Traditionaly it is famous as Maha Trikon.
The Dewaki and Basudev were prisoner's of Kans in Mathura. Dewaki Was the sister of Kans. Kans was afraid of with the eighth son of Dewaki.Inspite of son a baby (girl) was born in place of son. Kans would have to kill him. Unfortunately baby slipped from the hand of Kans and flew in the sky and ulti mated to Kans about loss o f his kingdom. In future this baby became famous as Goddess Asthbhuja Devi. She situated at the top of the Vindhaya Mountain in Vindhayachal.
According to the tradition of Hindu Methology Bhagwan Sri Ram Chandra had done the shardh of his father king Dasrath asper direction of Rishi Basistha in Vindhaya area.First of all Bhagwan Sri Ramchandra worshiped lord Shiva and paid his dedication to Goddess Vindhayavasini Devi. After that he established a idol of lord Shiva in the west, which is famous with the name of Rameshwar so it is called Shivpur.
Sita ji dug a kund in the west of Astbhuja b Devi temple called Sita kund. Near the kund sita ji established lord shiva which became famous with the name siteshwar, in the west of Sita Kund Bhagwan Sri Ram Chandra dug a kund which named is Ram Kund.In Shivpur Laxaman Ji Established a Shivling near Rameshwar which is famous as Laxmaneshwar.
The mausoleum of khavaja Esmile Chisti is Situated in the ward of Kantit sharif . Annually ursh fair celebrated by Hindu and Muslim both. Near the mausoleum there is shrine of Mugal Kal , which is very long so called people were tall in the mugal kal. The shrine is known as Longia Pahalwan shrine.
Around Mirzapur city there is so many natural and religious sites.The Tanda water fall is about seven miles away from the city . Away from the Tanda water fall there is Khajuri Dam and Vindham fall. Vindham fall is main tained by forest department and developed as tourism place. The park and Ban Vihar constructed at fall, a care have been taken for the protection of Forest animals . Now a days Vindham fall is a attractive place for tourist. Inspite of the place in trikon parikrama thereare so many places which is Important for both pilgrimage and tourism .The natural sites of nature may seen from the top of Astabhuja Devi. In spring season the sight of nature is really very attractive which may be remember up to a long period which may not be forget . The Sita Kund , Bhairav kund ,Motia Talab ,Geruaa Talab Kali khoh , amwshwar, Ramshila are religious places and have a great importance for health.