Kaushambi district is one of the districts of Uttar Pradesh state of India, and Manjhanpur town is the district headquarters. Kaushambi district is a part of Allahabad Division.
Kaushambi is a newly created district out of Allahabad. It consists of major towns as Chail, Manjhanpur, Bharwari, Sirathu, Karari, Kara. It is pre-dominantly a Muslim dominated area but after the partition of India. A lot of affluent Muslim feudal families left for Pakistan. This is why we see a lot of dilapidated Havelis, Villas and old places there. Yet there is a substantial Muslim population there. Especially the Chail Tehsil is famous for valiant and brave Muslims who had been since olden days preferred the marshal and armed services from Mughal period up to the British dominion.
The soil is very fertile and it is the same place which is famous for Surkha guave of Allahabad that is famous all over the world. The Surkha region lies mainly in Allahabad.
History Of Kaushambi
The present Kaushambi district was carved out of Allahabad district on 4th April 1997. The District Headquarter, Manjhanpur is situated in the south-west of the Allahabad on the north bank of the Yamuna river,about 55 km away from Allahabad. It is surrounded by the districts Chitrakoot in the south, Pratapgarh in the north, Allahabad in the east & Fatehpur in the west.
However the area occupied by this district has a very glorious past. In Ancient India, Hundreds of years before the christ born, Kaushambi was the capital of Chedi-vatsa janapada, one of the prominent janapadas into which the Indo-Aryan people were divided. As some of these janapadas figure prominently in the Brahmanas and Upanisads, it is not unlikely that the antiquity of Kaushambi goes back to the period of the Brahamanas. The Satapatha Brahamana mentions a person called Proti Kaushambeya, a native of Kaushambi. This hoary antiquity of the city is confirmed by the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, the former ascribing its foundation to Kusamba, the third son of the Chedi King Uparica Vasu and the latter to Kusamba, the son of Kusa.
According to the Paramatthajyotika, the commentary on the Suttanipata, Kaushambi was the hermitage of the sage Kosamba, after whom it came to be known by that name. Buddhaghosa records that Kausambi was so named because in course of founding the city, a large number of Kusamba trees were uprooted. Buddhaghosa seems to echo a tradition also known to the Jainas, though in a slightly different version. According to the Jain Vividha-tirthe-kalpa Kaushambi was so called because it abounded in Kusamba trees.
According to the Puranas, Nicaksu, the sixth in line from Pariksita, transferred his capital from Hastinapura to Kaushambi, as Hastinapura was ravaged by flood, invasion of locusts and upheavals in the Kuru family itself. Evidently, according to the legend, the city of Kaushambi was important enough to be selected as the new capital of the scion of the Pandavas. The legend, thus corroborates the antiquity of the city as recorded in the Brahmanas, Mahabharata and Ramayana.
During Buddha’s time Kaushambi was one of the six most important and prosperous towns of India. It was a nerve center of ancient Indian communications as the principal routes from north to south and east to west met at the city. It was a terminus of river traffic and an important emporium of Madhyadesa. The city retained its importance at least up to the sixth century A.D.,as it was visited by the Chinese pilgrims Fa-Hien and Yuan-Chwang.
The ruins of the well-known site of Kaushambi (25o20′ 30″N., 81o23’12″E.) are situated on the left blank of the river Yamuna at a distance of 51.2 km from Allahabad in a south-westerly direction. The remains of the ancient city viewed from a distance give the impression of an imposing hillock, which, when approached nearer, reveals itself as a chain of rolling mounds, standing high above the surrounding plains, girdled on the south by the Yamuna. The Vindhyan range across the horizon at not a great distance beyond the river Yamuna provides the southern frame of the Panorama.
The chain of mounds has a peripheral circuit of about 6.45 km. The rampart proper has an average height of 9 to 10 meters from the surrounding from the field-level. The towers or the bastions, however, are considerably higher, those in the north-western corners being as high as 21.33m.
The fortified city forms an irregular oblong on the plan. The city was provided with gates on three sides-east, west and north. The location of the southern gate can not be determined on account of the erosion caused by the Yamuna. Besides the bastions, gates and sub-gates, the city was encircled on three sides by a moat, which, though filed up at places, it still discernible on the northern side. At some points, however, there is evidence of more than one moat. The defences of Kaushambi betray an advanced knowledge of fortification. At places the gates are provided with curtain-walls on the outside, the same being best illustrated near the eastern gate.
The entire city, thus encircled by the rampart wall and moat, is littered with a huge mass of brickbats indicating the density of structures in the city. With the passage of time, The habitation levels inside the city went on rising and an approximate thickness of 17m of habitation deposit furnishes the vertical record of city’s life and antiquity.
Geography Of Kaushambi
District Kaushambi is situated in the west of Allahabad district. In the North of the district Pratapgarh, in the south Chitrakoot, In the east Allahabad, in the west Fatehpur districts are located. The total geographical area of the district is 2012.8 sq. km.
The Ganga & The Yamuna are the main rivers of the district.The plain area of the district is situated in between Ganga & Yamuna so these rivers plays a very pivotal role in the agriculture of the district.
The atmosphere of the district is Sheetoshana i.e. In the summer season the weather is too hot and in the winter the weather is very cold. But in the rainy season the weather is good and pleasant.
The District Kaushambi is mainly a agricultural district in which the main crops are wheat and rice. Some area is cultivated under pulses also like Arhar, Urad and Chana. The famous Allahabad variety of Guava is actually the speciality of Kaushambi. The principal sources of irrigation are canals and tubewells.
Tourism in Kaushambi
District Kaushambi is rich in historical places. History of all times demistify the importance of the district. Kara, Prabhasgiri and Kaushambi are the main historical centers. The district is full of temples in which Sheetla temple of Kara Dham and the Jain temple of Prabhosa are the main attraction. Sheetla Temple of Kara
The historical and religious importance of Kara is very old. This place is situated in the north-west of Allahabad about 69 km away. There are so many temples in Kara in which Sheetla Mata temple, Chhetrapal Bhairav temple, Hanuman temple and Kaleshwar Mahadev temple are famous.
The temple of ma Sheetla is situated on the bank of Ganga river. It is known as the major shaktipeeth from all the 51 shaktipeeths of Goddess. In the idol, Sheetla Devi is sitting on gardhabha. Followers of all the religions worship in this temple. It is said that by the worship of Goddess Sheetla on the ashtami of Krishnapaksha of the month of chetra they get rid of evil powers.
This place has been a religious pilgrimage since at least 1000 A.D. Kara was also an important township in the kingdoms of medieval kings of the northern India. and even today one can see the remains of the fort of king Jaichand, the lasr hindu king of Kannauj.
Kara is also the birth place of the famous saint Malookdas(1631 – 1739 A.D.). The Aashram and Samadhi of saint is there. He was also a follower of Goddess Kara. The famous Sikh guru Teg Bahadur had come to Kara to discourse on various topics with Saint Malookdas. Prabhasgiri(Prabhosa)
Prabhasgiri or Prabhosa is famous as a religious historical place on the bank of Yamuna river at the Manjhanpur Tehsil about 50km away in the north of Allahabad.
It is also said that Shri Krishna died at this place by the arrow of Jaratkumar in the suspicion of deer.
In the earlier days there was a big Jain temple on a very big hill. After the demolition of this another jain temple was constructed in 1824A.D.. A cave which is 9 feet long and 7 feet wide is also there. In this cave the records are found in the brahmi lipi of second century before Gupta dynasty. Till now this place is the center of faith of all the followers of the Jainism. This was the place where the sixth teerthankara of Jains Bhagwan PadmaPrabhu lived most of his life. Kaushambi
Sir Leonard Wooley in his famous report had suggested Kaushambi as one of the two important sites in the Ganga valley, the excavation of which, according to him, would unravel the early history of the Indian people. It was a memorable event in the History of Indian Archaeology when first of March, 1948, Sir Mortimer, authorised the University of Allahabad to excavate Kaushambi with G.R.Sharma as Director.
The excavations have been conducted in the following areas: near the Ashokan pillar which laid bare a part of the residential area of the city, the Ghositarama monastry, the defences near the Eastern Gateway and the tower at the north-eastern corner, the Stone Fortress Palace.
Durga Devi Temple of Manjhanpur
This temple is situated about 1km away in the south-west of Manjhanpur town area. In this temple there is an idol of black stone of Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva. It is believed that these idols are of the time of Buddha. On the occasion of Navaratri there is a large crowd to worship Goddess Durga. Kamasin Devi Temple
This temple is situated on the bank of a pond about 10km away in the west of Manjhanpur in the village of Gambheerapurab . According to the local tradition Kamasin Devi fulfils all the desires of her followers. Local people have a great faith on the devine powers of this temple. Shri Ram Temple Bajha
This place is situated about 30km away from Allahabad on the Allahabad Kanpur road . This place resides in the Chayal tehsil area. A huge temple of Lord Shri Ram is situated at this place. This temple was constructed around 20 years ago. Neighbouring Places of Interest
There are numerous places of interest round about Kaushambi like Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Chitrakoot and Vindhayavasini.