There are several temples in the city like Hanuman Setu temple on university road, Mankameshwar temple in Daliganj, Chandrika Devi temple in Bakshi ka Talab and so on. But did you know there’s a historic Shiva temple in Pipraghat, which was constructed in 1897 to commemorate the diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria?
“That was the time when Pipraghat was coming up as a stronghold of the British Army. Prominent residents of Sadar were given a huge piece of land there for development of a colony to facilitate movement of British troops,” said Vinod Singhal, trustee of Pipraghat Temple Trust.
This temple was built to honour the Queen and the ‘partnership’ between the army and the residents of the area. Saligram, a contractor of the British Army, was given the work of developing the ghat. And to please his masters, he constructed this temple.
Ram Dutt Tripathi, noted journalist and member of Gomti Mitra Mandal, which does social work in the area, says: “Pipraghat is one of the most beautiful and scenic areas in the world. If developed properly, it has the potential to become one of the best tourist spots. It has a historic temple, which only a few people know of.” “When William Howard Russell, war correspondent of The Times of London, saw Pipraghat for the first time in 1858, he concluded: ‘Not Rome, not Athens, not Constantinople, not any city I have ever seen, appears to me so striking and beautiful as this place of Pipraghat,” said Tripathi.
The British were aware of this fact and that’s why they developed Pipraghat and gave land to locals as they wanted to use this place for their army and stay of officials, he said.
Apart from the Shiva temple, Pipraghat has another Shiva Temple, a Hanuman Temple along with the Samadhi of Baba Nirbhayadasji and a Gurudwara, which was later abandoned.
Priest of the temple Ramji Dubey says, “Our forefathers were appointed as priests of this temple, and I am continuing the tradition. Only a few people know why this temple was built.”
He said, “In the pre-independence era, the British used to come to these ghats to watch sunrise. If we get on to a boat and go a few meters away, we will see trees hovering the river from both sides. The place resembles Kerala.”