History of Ramnagar Fort
Ramnagar Fort and the palace were constructed in the eighteenth century by Maharaja Balwant Singh. The fort served as the place where the forefathers of the Maharaja of Varanasi used to dwell. Since the 18th century the fort has been the home of Kashi Naresh. Ramnagar Fort also houses a temple and a museum. The temple is dedicated to the popular historical figure Ved Vyas. He was the famous writer who is credited with scripting the very famous Indian epic Mahabharata. According to the legends, Ved Vyasa is said to have resided in this place for a short span of time.
Architecture of Ramnagar Fort
The famous Ramnagar Fort of Varanasi dates back to the ancient times. The fort has been constructed with red sandstone and looks very attractive. Being located on the eastern bank of Ganga River, the fort looks picturesque and is a delight for the visitors. A pontoon bridge connects the fort to the city. During the rainy seasons the bridge is dismantled and is substituted by a ferry. The architectural features of the fort are remarkable. The balconies of the fort have been carved brilliantly. The courtyard of the fort lies wide and open. Even the picturesque pavilions add to the beauty and charm of the fort. The stricture gives a glimpse of the Mughal style of architecture.
Ramnagar Fort also houses a museum. Here one can see the magnificent treasure of the Royal family. Apart from this it also displays many other interesting items such as many rare and antique items. Amazing traditional palanquins, horse drawn carriages, vintage cars, ornate gilded and silver howdahs i.e. elephant seats, old motor cars, hookahs, royal costumes, exquisite ivory works, and old and unique clocks like astronomical clock, hunting trophies and many other ancient and fascinating objects have been displayed here. It also exhibits war implements like guns and swords, and other arms and ammunitions. The museum gives the visitors a glimpse into the lifestyle of the royal family.
The Durga Temple and Chhinnamastika Temple can also be seen here. A temple of Dakshin Mukhi Hanuman has been built here. Within the huge Ramnagar Fort there is a big clock. It displays days, weeks, months and years. It also indicates astronomical positions of the sun, the moon, and constellation of stars. Across the courtyard of the Ramnagar Fort a section is devoted to the Ram Lila festivities that are held during Dussehra in the month of October. The city of Ramnagar is famous for the Ramlila festival. During this time episodes from the Ramayana are enacted and a month long elaborate celebrations are organised.
Saraswati Bhawan at Ramnagar Fort
The Saraswati Bhawan is another interesting place to visit inside the Ramnagar Fort. It houses many ancient manuscripts, chiefly religious writings. These are rare in collection and hence considered to be very valuable. These manuscripts consist of precious handwritten manuscript by Goswami Tulsidas. Apart from this there are many books illustrated in the Mughal miniature style. The beautifully designed covers draw the attention of the visitors towards the books and also enhance its value.
Ramnagar Fort can be reached by road from the long main road that crosses the Malaviya Bridge up north near Raj Ghat. One can also drive down the eastern bank of the river. Presently the fort as well as the city of Ramnagar has become a tourist hub. Visitors from far off places come here to have a look at the city and its priceless possessions. It has also drawn the attention of movie makers and directors who consider it to be an impressive site for shooting movies for its scenic location of the Ramnagar Fort.