Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Oct 9 (IANS) More than two months of waiting for a response on a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the people of Bithoor in Kanpur are preparing to raise their demand to declare and develop the place as a sister city of Ayodhya by holding demonstrations.
“We will start a peaceful agitation after Navratri later this month. We want the world to know the significance of Bithoor and its connection with Ayodhya,” said Ravish Sinha, a local resident.
Bithoor is the place where Sita is believed to have given birth to her twins, Luv and Kush.
According to the Hindu mythology, Sita came here after being turned away by her husband Lord Rama. She gave birth to her sons here, who were taught by Valmiki at his ashram in Bithoor. The remains of the ashram can still be found in the town.
Sita Rasoi, a place along the banks of the river Ganga and near Valmiki’s ashram, is considered to be the site where Sita had her kitchen.
“Places like Sita Rasoi, the utensils found in it, the prayer room and the ‘swarg naseni’ (ladder to heaven) attract many tourists. All these places are closely related to Lord Ram. If this city is developed on the lines of Ayodhya, it would attract more tourists,” said Ravish Sinha.
It is believed that as Valmiki’s ashram was located at a height and a circular staircase of 49 steps, called ‘swarg naseni’, was constructed to help people reach the ashram. It was also believed that the staircase connected heaven and the earth. One can even see the whole Bithoor town from atop the ruins of what the locals regard as the ashram staircase.
“Bithoor is a mythological city and should be connected to Ayodhya so that devotees could visit other places related to Lord Ram and Sita. Bithoor’s significance has grown as it is related to Goddess Sita. Now that the construction of the Ram temple has begun, the government should make arrangements for easy transport so that more and more people are able to discover the relevance of this ancient town,” said Punya Pratap Tiwari, a local priest.
The residents want that Bithoor should be developed as a sister city of Ayodhya. The distance between the two is about 240 kilometres.
Incidentally, Bithoor also has considerable historical significance. It played a significant role during the freedom struggle and is the native place of Rani of Jhansi.