The chaotic state of Uttar Pradesh is filled with numerous historical and religious places that narrate the story of our rich past and its impact in today’s era. Being one of the largest states geographically and the most populous state of India, Uttar Pradesh has something to offer in every city and town and the old town of Bareilly is no exception. From being the land dedicated to Lord Shiva to late Smt. Indira Gandhi marking it as a Congress territory to being the birth place of Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata, the historical facts about Bareilly could go on forever with many of its temple being centuries old that makes it an interesting visit. It is the land of both Hindu and Muslim devotion, existing harmoniously with each other and making the land a beautiful confluence of varied culture and traditions. Some of the must-visit historical places in Bareilly are summarized below.
The temple is dedicated to the lord of the universe Shiva, which is the principal deity of the town. Known for its exquisite architecture and over two centuries old sculptures and paintings, the interior walls of the temple are adorned with beautiful and intricate designs that narrate the story of the world. The sonorous sound of the bells echo in every corner of the temple and even with their booming sound, proves music to the ears. The bells when heard with the morning prayers, reverberates not only the temple but in the nearby areas as well, and makes the whole vibe calming welcome.
This temple is another one of the major historical and religious sites of the town. An important site for the Anand Akhara order, the temple is a common place where you can find many Naga Sadhus roaming around or sitting in the temple chanting the mantras. These Sadhus are ascetics who have found their world and solace in the great lord Shiva and remain naked as a sign of giving up all the worldly possessions and desires. The temple is also home to many animals such as monkeys, cows, and even camels, who are fed by the devotees visiting the temple.
A simplistic dargah with simple architecture, Dargah-e-Ala Hazrat is known for the ideals of the man buried here, Ahmed Raza Khan. A scholar and a jurist of the British time, he was a man of righteous beliefs and led the movement that unified the Shia and Sunni sect to develop harmony among the sects and to lead them towards proper reverence of Allah and Prophet. The dargah has also made several statements against the terrorism committed by Taliban in the name of Islam and promotes the virtues of benevolence and goodwill.
Army Service Corps Museum, Bareilly Cantonment:
The museum is an open book about the journey of the artillery used in India and the bloodshed caused by them. It also showcases the freedom movement via models of the fights and conflicts that took place in the area and the manuscripts there present us a gory account of the war. The quotations, slogans, and the pictures in the museum teach us how much we have developed, but have learnt very little.
The temple is dedicated to Tulsidas, the author of Ramcharitramanas, who made the ideas of the holy scripture of Ramayana accessible to common people by translating the text into the language of the masses. People believe him as a reincarnation of Valmiki, the author of Ramayana, and worship him as an important religious character.