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Kairana : A UP town remembered for all the wrong reasons

Kairana is often in the news for the communal riots that take place in the town. However, we are on the verge of forgetting that it is the birth place of one of the greatest gharanas of Indian classical music.

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Ustad Majid Khan, Ustad Abdul Karin Khan and Ustad Abdul Haqq Khan. Image Courtesy : thewire.in
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  •  Kairana is a small town, located in the Shamli district of western part of Uttar Pradesh
  • Shamli district is part of Muzaffarnagar, which was the seat of communal riots, in the recent past
  • These days, it is the tales of so-called religious violence that keeps Kairana in the news

It has always been the birth place of one of the most popular and culturally enriched gharanas of classical music of India.

Kairana, the small town of Uttar Pradesh has been in the news for the apparently nonviable conditions it possesses for its Hindu residents. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has strengthened its claim by saying that the Hindus live in deplorable state over there and almost have to flee from there to shield themselves from the torture that the Muslims inflict upon them. Journalists who have visited Kairana have found these accusations to be untrue and have failed to get hold of proofs that may give legitimacy to the claims of the VHP.

Bhimsen Joshi with others. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons
Bhimsen Joshi with others. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons

What has almost ebbed away from our memory is that Kairana used to be the seat of one of the most prominent gharanas of Indian classical music. It has given birth to stalwarts of classical music like Bhimsen Joshi, who is the only recipient of Bharat Ratna in the category of male vocalist. Joshi was the composer of the renowned song “Rag Miya Ki Malhar”, an indelible piece of musical genius.

Ustad Karim Khan. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons
Ustad Karim Khan. Image Courtesy : Wikimedia Commons

Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, the revolutionary of the Kairana Gharana of Indian classical music, was employed by the Gaekwards in their court for his unparalleled musical brilliance. Bhimsen Joshi had stated that the reason he pursued Indian classical music was the Ustad himself. His children, Hirabai Barodekar, Sureshbabu Mane and Saraswati Rane were eminent musicians of Kairana Gharana, after him.  Even after the independence of India, Karim Khan and his Kairana gharana’s legacy carried on and spread through India. Kairana gharana came to be known as the perfect amalgamation of the music of the north and the south.

It is said that Ustad Abdul Karim Khan spent his last days in Miraj, Maharashtra. Every year, the place erupts in musical celebrations to remember the maestro. It serves as a grand attraction to the biggest names in classical music today.

The Hindu Exodus issue of Kariana. Image Courtesy : theindianexpress.com
The Hindu Exodus issue of Kariana. Image Courtesy : theindianexpress.com

Kairana, thus, had been a place where music had kept the Hindus and the Muslims united from the very beginning. The elders of the town say that there was friendly relations between both the communities in Kairana. Nobody was aware of their religious identity, they were more acclimatised with their caste identities.  But now things have changed, now, people have been made aware of their religious identities which have led to a lot of bad blood between the Hindus and the Muslims of the region.

It is a shame, indeed.

-This report is prepared by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Ustad Karim Khan is indeed one of the best musicians and surprising to know that he comes from Kairana!

  • shridhar nagansur

    Bhimsen Joshi was born and brought up in Karnataka ,please check your sources before posting in article!

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7 Most Famous Temples to Visit in Uttar Pradesh

show up at these temples on your visit to Uttar Pradesh and enjoy the majestic beauty, architecture and not to miss, the devotional sound of the bells.

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Uttar Pradesh
Prem Mandir one of most famous temples in Uttar Pradesh. Wikimedia.

The state of Uttar Pradesh is regarded as an enshrined pilgrimage junction since the inception. Devotees from across the world solicit spirituality by visiting these temples of divine importance. Uttar Pradesh is known for its special attraction especially for the Hindu devotees since it is the birthplace for Vishnu avatars, Lord Ram and Lord Krishna.

Undoubtedly, you must show up at these temples on your visit to Uttar Pradesh and enjoy the majestic beauty, architecture and not miss, the devotional sound of the bells.

The listicle shows you a tour of these famous temples worth giving a visit in Uttar Pradesh.

Prem Mandir

Uttar Pradesh
Prem Mandir is one of the most famous temples in Uttar Pradesh. Wikimedia.

Built on the outskirts of Vrindavan, the Prem Mandir is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It was structured by the Fifth Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj. Statues of Lord Krishna and his followers cover the entire temple symbolizing the crucial events of Lord Krishna’s life and birth. The temple is known for its exquisite architecture and the sculptures. Devotees visit the Prem Temple to offer their prayings to Lord Krishna, during Janmashtami and Diwali.

Banke Bihari Temple

Uttar Pradesh
Banke Bihari temple main gate in Vrindavan. Wikimedia.

The Banke Bihari Temple of Vrindavan is a Hindu temple built by Swami Haridas, the solemn guru of the ancient singer Tansen. The temple is efficiently carved in Rajasthani style. The literal meaning of Banke is “bent in three places” and Bihari means “supreme enjoyer”, which suggests that the main idol Lord Krishna is in a Banke posture or the famous Tribhanga position. It has been claimed that Lord Krishna’s statue was hidden underground by a Hindu priest during the Mughal era. It was Swami Haridas who dreamt of Lord Krishna asking him to release the statue. Swami Haridas dug up the place, found the statue and built a temple for it.

Ram Janma Bhoomi Temple

Uttar Pradesh
Ram Janam Bhoomi Temple in Uttar Pradesh. Wikimedia.

Although Ayodhya is presumed as the birthplace of Lord Ram, it was in the town of Ram Kot where he was actually born. This temple is known as Ram Janma Bhoomi marking the divine presence of Shri Ram. Travellers visiting Ram Kot in Uttar Pradesh pay their homage to Lord Ram and admire the inscriptions on the temple walls depicting the life of Lord Ram.

Goraknath Temple

Uttar Pradesh
Gorakhnath Mandir in Uttar Pradesh.Wikimedia.

The Gorakhnath Temple is one of the most popular temples in Uttar Pradesh and is believed to have been structured at the exact spot where Saint Gorakhnath had meditated. The main feature of the temple is the garb griha where the saint is depicted as an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Tourists also visit the pond next to the Goraknath Temple called Mansarovar for peaceful meditation or boat rides.

Shri Krishna Janbhoomi Temple

Uttar Pradesh
Sri Krishna Janam Bhoomi Temple in Uttar Pradesh is the birthplace of Krishna. Wikimedia.

Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi is one of the most sacred places for Sanatan Dharmis (Hindus) since it is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. It is a prison cell belonging to his mama (maternal Uncle) Raja Kans where Lord Krishna was born.

Located in Mathura on the banks of river Yamuna, Uttar Pradesh, Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi temple is approximately 145 km from Delhi. The prison cell, commonly known as ‘Garbha Griha’, in the temple premise is the exact place where Lord Krishna was born.

Sarnath Temple

Uttar Pradesh
A Buddhist temple at Sarnath. Wikimedia

This famous Buddhist site in Varanasi, Sarnath Temple is popularly known where Lord Buddha addressed his first sermons. It is here where the lord set the ‘wheel of law’ in motion. Stupas like Dhamek Stupa and Chowkhandi Stupa are situated inside the enshrined temple. The temple aims to inculcate its thousands of visitors about the history and impact of Buddhist cultures.

Bharat Mata Mandir

Uttar Pradesh
Bharat Mata Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh has the Indian Map structure inside the temple. Wikimedia

The temple located in Varanasi is dedicated to Bharat Mata with the national flag in her hand and a tri-colored sari adorning the idol, who is regarded as a symbolized figure of unity in Diversity and integrity in India. It acquires a huge map of the Mother India on the ground denoting the statue of the Goddess or the Mother of India.

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana