Being a nature lover and wildlife enthusiast, I love to travel with friends to adventurous places and spend my trip in camping, mountain cycling and trekking. But this time I wanted to explore the architectural beauty of India. After a quick thought, I decided to visit the holy land Varanasi. My tour to Varanasi would have been incomplete had I missed the Ramnagar fort. Located in the opposite banks of Ganga, many miss this place due to the travel time and route. But I had a wonderful experience walking to the place by crossing the river by the temporary wooden bridge, built on floating drums, avoiding the longer route on main bridge by auto or rickshaw.
The fort built with yellow sandstone, by Kashi Naresh Maharaja Balwant Singh in the 17th century, stands majestically on the banks of the Ganga. The ancestral home of the Maharajas of Kashi, still is the home of the present Maharaja of Kashi. The Portion of the palace where the royal family resides is not for public view. But the rest of the fort itself is a treat to the tourists. The Durbar hall, constructed with marble stone, is a blend of Indo-Islamic architecture. No wonder the arched balconies, vast courtyards and gorgeous pavilions have pulled many filmmakers to shoot their films.
The Palace houses a museum known as the Saraswathi Bhavan, has many Royal collections. The vintage cars, Royal palkies, array of ornate palanquins gold plated howdhas speaks of the royal life style. But I was most fascinated by the collection of swords, armory and old guns. Antique clocks, Jewelry, paintings, Photographs and ivory works are also on display. This place was indeed a treat to my lens and I clicked beautiful images of the entire fort and the surroundings.
There is a temple dedicated to Vedavyasa, the author of Mahabaratha who as per legend is believed to have lived here for some time. A big clock, the Dharam Ghadi, is a wonders which shows time, day, week and month but also gives astronomical facts about the sun, moon and stars. The month long Ramleela festival during Dusshera, which takes place in the narrow lanes behind the fort and the Rajmangal- procession of boats from Assighat to fort in Phalguni with dance and music is a visual treat. But what impressed the environmentalist and the photographer inside me was the view of the Ganges from the top of the fort.