I had to come back to Ramnagar on the last day to take a boat ride and see the fort from a different viewpoint… Unfortunately it was hazy and not very well illuminated… which would have been the case perhaps in the evening. There was no activity in the water except for a few gulls and stray fishing boats. I tried to capture the red sandstone fort from different angles.
My boatman was roving the boat slowly to allow me a glimpse of every bastion. There were several marks of the flood line on the fort walls. From the river, the fort look much bigger and grander in terms of scale. One can see remnants of a long wooden pole system to protect the fort base from flood water erosion.
There was a bridge being constructed over the river, below which there was a pontoon bridge that was abuzz with traffic.
Fort walls were intact but some buildings were slowly showing signs of age. Ramnagar town is a sleepy, calm cousin of Varanasi situated about 14km from the city . centre. It is home to several colonial and royal buildings. Some buildings have been conserved well while some are deteriorating rapidly. I decided to talk a short walk after having perhaps one of the best Lassis I have ever had. Fish market next to the fort jetty had some fresh catch.
After seeing the grandeur of Kashi Naresh’s royal palace and fortress; serendipity brought me to the home of another tall leader from this town. A leader who came from a simple family in Ramnagar, but became much taller in stature compared to the King of Benares. I saw the home of one of India’s most love prime ministers – Lal Bahadur Shastri. His simplicity lives on decades after his death in 1965.
It was time to head back to Varanasi via Padaw – for another encounter with Ganga. The story of Ganga Aarti in my next blog!