Friday July 19, 2019

Bithoor: This is the place where mankind originated according to Hindu mythology

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By Rituparna

Around 24 kilometers north of Kanpur lies the historical and majestic town of Bithoor that also steals a mention in the Puranas.

According to legends, Bithoor is the place where Lord Brahma created mankind. Therefore, it came to be known as Brahmavarta or the seat of Brahma. The holy scriptures also consider Bithoor to be the center of Universe.

Embedded in the ghats of holy river Ganges, a nail of horse is an object of special reverence for the devotees here. The believers consider that nail to be of Brahma’s horse. It is believed that the nail fell on the ghats while Brahma was going for Ashwamedha yajna. After the completion of the yajna, the forests of Utpalaranya came to be known as Brahamavarta, and from there derives the name of Bithoor.

In the later centuries, Brahmavarta blossomed as the capital of the Utpalaranya Kingdom ruled by King Uttanpad. It is said that his son, Dhruva, penanced here to please Brahma. That place is pointed out to be Dhruva Teela in Bithoor.

Bithoor’s Brahmeswar Mahadev embraces with itself a striking story that unfolds with the establishment of a Shiva linga on the Brahmavarta ghat by Brahma. It is also believed that the sages were bewildered by the demonic activities of the ogre. It was when Lord Brahma came to sages’ rescue, and spotted his clog (wooden slipper) to provide a safe and secure venue to perform the religious activities.

Conversely, MS Tyagi, assistant officer, Uttar Pradesh State Archaeology Department said, “The department has not found any object, which could symbolize the presence of Brahma’s abode, it is a matter subject to public’s belief and reverence, and department has never pestered them.”

Moreover, Bithooor outlines the epics from Ramayana, when Lord Rama freed Rajsuia, considered to be his horse for the Ashwamedha yajna. The Ramayana delineates the horse to be the symbol of sovereignty in the kingdom of Lord Rama while the abduction of the horse meant disobeying the king. The twin sons of Lord Rama, Luv and Kush, fetched the horse, and it resulted into a fight between Lord Rama and his sons.

The devotees revel in the simplicity of a small pool inside Valmiki Ashram, famous as Sita-Kund. Sita-Rasoi is still preserved, near which stands ‘Swarga Nasinee or Deep Malikha Stambha,’ which is studded with niches around illuminations. The tower has 48 steps leading to its top by a cupola, from where one can have a panoramic view of the entire city. These beautiful architectural buildings are under the surveillance of Uttar Pradesh State Archaeological Department.

 

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Film Friendly Policies and Favourable Conditions in Uttar Pradesh Interest Bollywood

Popular films like "Raid", "Bareilly ki Barfi", "Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana" and "Toilet Ek Prem Katha" were also shot in Uttar Pradesh

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Uttar Pradesh is emerging as the new Bollywood destination. Flickr

Uttar Pradesh is emerging as the new Bollywood destination as A-listers have opted to shoot their films in the state and filmmakers are also busy exploring virgin locations. Officials say that the film-friendly policies and favourable conditions have envinced interest in shooting in the state.

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan is already shooting in the state capital for his upcoming movie, “Gulabo Sitabo”. Popular films like “Raid”, “Bareilly ki Barfi”, “Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana” and “Toilet Ek Prem Katha” were also shot in Uttar Pradesh.

The much-loved films like “Mukti Bhawan”, “Masaan”, “Ranjhana”, “Laga Chunri Mein Daag” and “Bunty Aur Babli” were shot in Varanasi. Karan Johar’s much-awaited film “Brahmastra” is also being shot in Varanasi. According to Principal Secretary Information and Tourism, Avanish Awasthi, Uttar Pradesh provides most favourable conditions and resources for film production.

“We offer subsidy if the film fulfils the set criteria and we make sure that the film units get all security and assistance. We have got approval for 21 films by the Script Examination Committee which means there will be more shooting in Uttar Pradesh in the coming months,” he said.

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Toilet- Ek Prem Katha was shot in UP. Flickr

The state government has also formed a committee in every district called the ‘Film Facilitation Committee’ which can be contacted at the time of any problem or any inconvenience. If the problem is not resolved then film producers-directors can contact ‘Film-Bandhu’ division for any assistance.

Lucknow, in particular, has been a favourite for film makers. The state capital has plenty of ‘havelis’ and palatial bungalows that add to the charm of storytelling on screen and the new memorials and parks that have come up are also an attraction for film makers.

In several cases, the owners of these locations have not charged a penny for shooting. The only ‘charge’ is a photograph with the stars or an invitation to a meal.

Earlier, Akshay Kumar had shot extensively in Lucknow for “Jolly LLB 2”. “Lucknow Central”, “Ishaqzaade” and “Dawat-e-Ishq” were set in the backdrop of Lucknow. John Abraham’s upcoming “Batla House” is another Lucknow based film. The critically acclaimed movie “Mulk” was also shot in the city of Nawabs.

bollywood, uttar pradesh
Popular films like “Raid”, “Bareilly ki Barfi”, “Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana” and “Toilet Ek Prem Katha” were also shot in Uttar Pradesh. Flickr

D.K. Singh, who works as a Liaison Officer cum arranger for film units, said: “The government has come up with film-friendly policies and even the bureaucracy is going easy with permissions. Residents no longer go berserk on seeing film stars and there is a definite ease in crowd management. The atmosphere in general is more relaxed and film makers get a good mix of urban as well as rural location in and around Lucknow. Besides, there are innumerable hotels in the state capital that suit every budget.”

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The biggest factor which is drawing filmmakers to the state is that in recent years, there has been no major law and order problem related to film and its subject.

Earlier, shooting of films like “Gadar- Ek Prem Katha” was temporarily stalled because some Muslim clerics objected to some of the names mentioned in the film. The unit of Deepa Mehta’s “Water” had to leave Varanasi without shooting even a single frame because the residents objected to the subject of widow remarriage. (IANS)