Ramnagar Fort looks very elegant from the western bank of the River Ganges as it is located at the scenic place opposite to the Tulsi Ghat. It is situated around 14 km from the Cantt railway station Varanasi and around 2 km from the BHU Varanasi. It opens daily, except the holi festival, from 10 am to the 5 pm. Ramlila fair at the Ramnagar Fort attracts more crowds otherwise throughout the year there is an optimum crowd.
There is a minimum entry charge per person whether he is an adult or child. People come to see the attractive historical statues, equipments and majestic antiques such as the old armory, vintage cars, antique clocks, ivory work, swords, old guns, gold and silver royal palki’s, medieval costumes, silver elephant saddles, jewellery, furniture, carved out of silver, variety of costumes etc. One can reach to the Ramnagar Fort through the Peepa pool, boats, steamers or Vishwa Sundary pool.
History of Ramnagar Fort
In the ancient time (means the Mahabharata times), Ramnagar was the tap sthal of the great rishi Ved Vyas. Earlier, it was named Vyas Kashi behind the name of the rishi Vyas. Ramlila fair had started to held there annually for one month since 18th century. Hence, it got the name of Ramnagar. The Ramnagar Fort is a place of attraction in the Ramnagar, Varanasi, India. It is situated opposite to the Tulsi Ghat (one of the famous ghats) at the eastern bank of the holy River Ganges. It is constructed by the famous Kashi Naresh Raja Balwant Singh in the Mughal style using creamy chunar sandstone in the year 1750 (17th century). Attractive carved balconies, open courtyards and exhibition areas increase its beauty and attraction which attracts a huge crowd of the people every year.
Now, the fort and its museum is the storage area of the King’s history of Varanasi who has been ruled here. Since 18th century it has been the home of Kashi Naresh and currently, Maharaja Anant Narayan Singh is residing there in the fort. A Dakshin Mukhi temple of the Lord Hanuman is also available in the Fort. The fort is constructed at the high level from the ground level. A small part of the fort is open for the public sight. Two white towers are there in the fort, at one side of the tower there is a residential area of the King of Kashi. Because of the historical look of the fort, this place is used for the outdoor shooting of the film. A popular movie named Banaras was shot here.
Ramnagar Fort Museum
Ramnagar Fort, the residential place of the King of Kashi and temple of the Ved Vyas, houses a museum known as the Vidya Mandir or Saraswati Bhawan Museum. The Museum and Darbar Hall at the Ramnagar Fort make the mirror image of a court of the ancient time. A variety of Royal collections like old guns, traditional cars, old armory, swords, old armored matchlocks, ornate hookahs, daggers, portraits of the Maharajas, black musical instruments traditional astronomical clocks, ivory work, gold and silver palki of the King, bejeweled sedan chairs, silver elephant saddles carved out of silver, jewelleries, furniture, old and traditional costumes (made up of kimkhwa silk) are collected in the museum.
Some religious writings with the attractively designed cover in the Mughal miniatures style are collected in the fort. Some of old documents, traces of the Mughal period are also available there. Antique pieces in the museum and the Ramlila celebration attract a huge crowd in the Ramnagar.
Ramlila Festival Celebration
Ramnagar Fort is the most famous place for annually celebrating the Ramlila (Dussehra) which helds in the month of October and finished on the last day of the Dashmi. People celebrate the festival Dussehra by burning the dummy of the demon king Ravana which represents the victory of good over evil. The celebration starts in the presence of the King of Kashi and his family. King of Kashi comes into the fair by riding on an ornamented elephant. A famous festival named Raj Mangal is also celebrated at the fort in the month of Falgun. It starts at the Assi ghat (along River facing the fort) by the parade of boats, then dancing and singing in the fort.