Ganga Villages tour, TuTA ghAT : Apr 18, 2010
saumyen and i set off at 05:50, with the goal of
exploring some of the villages on the ganga
upstream from bithoor.
with the advent of summer though, bicycling
comes under a tight time bind. the heat
becomes fierce after 9AM, and this route would be more than 50km, so our goal
was to keep riding steadily.
from bithoor chungi, we took the fattepur road (fattepur is on the
road). turning right at rAmpur, we reached a broken
bridge. carrying our bikes across, we were in paTkApur, where you could see the
gangA in the distance.
patkapur: sunrise over the ganga (click any picture to enlarge)
saumyen under a barkat tree at paTkapur
the village is on a mud cliff; in the rainy season, the river fills up and
flows by the banks,
but in this season you have to go down and trek through the sand to reach the
water. so we continued on to chintApurwa, the next village on the
ganga. here we were told that we could be access the river at TuTA ghAT
bit further up. avoiding some barking dogs that sounded fiercer than their
actions, we pedalled on over more
country roads and reached TuTA ghAT. here, there was a metalled road.
at the ghat, you could see the eponymous ruins (TuTA
an impressive flight of stairs
had been sheared off over the centuries by the river, and was lying angled
across the sandy bank.
one of the towers that used to stand guard over TuTA ghAT, eroded by wind and
water. a boat waits to unload its harvest on the broken stairs.
some egrets were lined up on the sand banks near the other shore.
it was harvest season on the seasonal fields that crop up along the riverbed
in the dry season. boats were coming in with gourds and squashes and watermelons, which would be
loaded onto trucks for dispatch to mandis and distant markets.
boat with vegetables being towed in. they were coming from a village many kms away,
and had started very early. the kaddus
(huge squashes, bigger than a basketball) and lauki (club gourd) would now go
to the manDi
kids gather around our bicycles.
after a final visit to the temple at the ghat, we moved on to the next
village at Balhipur, from where there was a metalled road going to
Chaubepur. Although we were very late already, having come this far,
we couldn't resist a visit to the mud cliffs at Balhipur.
downstream view from balhipur mud cliffs; you can see tuta ghat at the bend.
slow boats working upstream.
boatmen need to know the river and its sandbanks well.
Beyond Balhipur, we took the road to Chaubepur, and then back via the canal.
On the way back. Saumyen on the Bandimata-Chaubepur road.
By now it was past nine and the heat was building up, so we stopped for a
lassi and some maaza at chaubpur before taking a shortcut to Raigopalpur that
I'd explored recently. But this
was perhaps a mistake - saumyen had a fall on some treacherous roads, and later we
got lost and had to cycle for a bit along an aal
- the thin mud
boundary between fields. We
passed through the villages of Bajra Purwa, Malau, Maharajpur and Pachor
before reaching Raigopalpur.
Saumyen on the canal path.
The heat was building up and village kids were cooling off in the canal,
along with the buffaloes.
List of villages upstream from Bithoor
- Patkapur: about 6km from bithoor.
Patkapur may also have been part of a grant of 3 villages to
Rai Brij Narayan Gurtu, a Kashmiri Pandit who remained loyal to the
Britishers in the mutiny.
- Chintapurwa: The nearby Tuta ghat has a road going to Kishunpur.
- Azgar Purwa Small village on the way to the Bithoor-Fattepur road
- Bandimata: see bandimata page.
All in all, we had ridden 62km by the time we got back into IIT around
quarter to 10.
As we were approaching IIT, the canal waters looked rather inviting
and I wished i could jump in with these kids - but there was a full workday
ahead... Another day!
kids splashing around in the summer morning
amit mukerjee Apr 30 2010