Bijnor – A Center of Religious Diversity
The city of Bijnor serves as a prominent pilgrimage destination in Uttar Pradesh for people from every major religion. This religious diversity began developing since the 18th century, as the city of Bijnor fell under the reign of many rulers, including the Mughals, the Nawabs and, finally, the British. Shrines, temples and churches of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism are littered throughout Bijnor. Most of these religious sites also hold appeal because of their classic architecture. Most tourists are usually struck by the religious harmony, tolerance and warm hospitality practiced by the people of Bijnor.
Pilgrimage in Bijnor
While temples of various deities are scattered throughout the town of Bijnor, one of the most visited temples here is ‘Sita Mandir Math’ or the Temple of Sita. It is widely considered to be a historical structure that is associated with the epic Ramayana. Other prominent temples in the city include Radha Krishna Mandir, Panchmukhi Mandir, Shiv Mandir and Chamunda Mandir.About 12 km from Bijnor is Vidur Kuti. It is believed that this place was once home to Kanva Rishi’s Ashram. Emperor Bharatha, the son of King Dushyanta, spent his early days in Vidur Kuti. While only some ruins from ancient times remain now, Vidur Kuti also finds its link with the epic Mahabharata and is said to have hosted Lord Krishna at Kanva Rishi’s Ashram. Founded by Nawab Najib-Ud-Daulah, Najibabad, about 37 km from Bijnor, is home to a famous fort. Ganj is situated along the banks of the river Ganges, about 12 km from the town of Bijnor. This place is known for numerous ancient ashrams and temples near the river. The legacy of the Mughals and the Nawab rulers can still be seen in the mosques of Bijnor. These elegant sites of Muslim worship reflect the architectural tastes of the long-gone royalty. Jama Masjid, Teli Wali Masjid, Hadishah, Markaz Masjid and Bahar Wali Masjid are some of the well-preserved mosques in Bijnor. A number of beautiful and lush gardens have come up in the recent years. Mahatma Gandhi Park and Sudama Park are among the favorites here. Most of these gardens have bright flowers, herbs, fountains and trees.