Badeswar Nath is a small village, located approximately five kilometers from Basti city. The population of the village comprising mostly Brahmins and Goswamis is only five to six hundred. Nonetheless, the tiny village is a tourist landmark and is famous for the Badeswar Nath Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed to have been built by Ravan, who was a great devotee of Lord Shiva.
Situated on the banks of the River Kuwana, four kilometers from the Company Bagh Chauraha-crossing, and approximately twelve kilometers from the Basti railway station, the temple can be reached by taking a left turn from Badeswar Nath Dwar. The temple houses the idol of the Shiv Linga. The association of Bhadeswar Nath with the Shiv Linga located in it is also mentioned in Shiv Mahapuran. A fair is held at the temple during Shiv Ratri festival. The fair attracts huge crowds of devotees from far and near.
Located on the Tanda Road, approximately 10 km in the south western side of the Basti District, Chando Tal or lake is an important destination for bird watchers, fish lovers and picnickers. The lake attracts a huge number of migratory birds during the winter months. Their presence in variegated colours and sounds provides a feast to the eyes and ears of the bird enthusiasts.
Chando Tal is 5 km long and 4 km wide. It is also loved by fishermen as it is home to a variety of fish species. According to folklore, the area used to be a human habitat and was called Chandra Nagar.
With the passage of time, the natural calamities and gradual degeneration led to the disappearance of the habitation and what resulted was a lake or a tal. Some fishermen still retrieve ornaments and other remnants of those times as they catch the fish further lending credence to this view.
Barah Temple, also popularly known as Barah Chattar, is located in a village Barah and probably derives its name from the village. It is situated 15 km from the township of Basti on the bank of river Kuwana. It is believed that the original name of this ancient place was Viyagrapuri.
The village and the temple are referred with great reverence in mythological scriptures. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and also houses the Shiv Ling. It is a favourite destination of the devotees of Lord Shiva who throng here in large numbers especially during Shiv Ratri and other festivals related to the lord.
Established in 1956 in Basti, the Horticulture R&D Training Centre has become a hub of horticultural and agricultural pursuits in the eastern region of Uttar Pradesh. It attracts not only students but also a huge number of tourists because of its artistically laid out landscape.
The centre conducts training and research work in the cultivation of a large variety of fruits, ornamental plants, vegetables and crops. Special emphasis is laid on the research and production of mushrooms. The centre has set up a mushroom spawn production unit.
High quality mushroom seed is supplied to the mushroom cultivators. It also houses a large number of bee yards in its Apiculture department for the production of honey. There are also facilities to impart training to the bee farmers.
Yet another area in which the centre has earned a name in the international market is the production of high quality sweet mangoes such as Amrapali, Romani and Neelam varieties. It supplies saplings of these varieties to farmers all over the country.
Rashtriya Van Chetna Kendra was set up to foster awareness about the forests and environment among the residents of Basti and its surrounding areas. It is also called Sant Ravi Das Van Vihar as a tribute to the great saint. Basti is an ancient city. It used to be the residence of saints and sages who had built their ashrams here.
It would be relevant to mention that Rishi Vashisht, the famous guru of Lord Ram had also set up his ashram here. As mentioned in the Ramayana, Lord Rama spent some time in the ashram along with his brother Lakshman.
Situated approximately 1 km from the centre of district Basti and close to the village Ganeshpur, the Rashtriya Van Chetna Kendra houses a children’s park and a beautiful lake that offers boating facilities to the visitors. The park is touched by Kunwah river at two spots which increases the charm of the surroundings manifold. The park attracts huge crowds of visitors on holidays and Sundays.
Paida is a small village or a hamlet in the district of Basti. It is located approximately 14 km from the district city on the road to Siddharth Nagar. The chief claim to fame for this village is its contribution to the cause of the freedom movement in the country. It was an important centre of the freedom struggle.
Paida is home to a number of monuments raised in the memory of the freedom fighters. The horticultural department of the district administration has also set up a beautiful park in the village. The park attracts a large number of tourists from far and near.
Pakke Bazar is the name of the main market of the Basti district. It is a centrally located market and attracts people not only from the city but also from the surrounding areas. It is a very busy shopping area and remains densely crowded all through the day. The market caters to almost all the basic needs of the shopping public.
The market is one of the oldest business areas of the city. It houses all the major shops and other business establishments, hospitals, nursing homes, pathology labs, grocery stores, stationary shops, sports goods vendors, jewelers, cloth merchants, guest houses, hotels and restaurants.
Since the market remains heavily crowded, it is advisable to take a rickshaw or a cycle and avoid four wheelers because of the scarcity of the parking space in the main market area.
The word Nagar is used for any settlement, township or a city. However, it is also the name of a village in Basti District of Uttar Pradesh. The place is also known as Nagar Bazar. Situated approximately 8 km from the district headquarter, Nagar boasts of being the second largest panchayat in the entire district next to Ganesh Pur.
Located on an elevated mound, the village was believed to be the birthplace of Gautama the Buddha though this claim has been abandoned. It is nonetheless true that the mound has a historical background that needs to be explored.
It also houses the remnants of an old castle, which was the residence of the Gautam Rajas of the fourteenth century. There is a temple called Rajkot which is built over the remains of the castle. The famous Chando Tal or the water body, a popular destination for tourists, bird watchers, fishermen and picnickers, is located in its western side.
Ahmath Pull or Ahmath Bridge is located over the river Kuwano in the outer area of the city of Basti. It was built by the British government and connects Basti with major cities of the state such as Ayodhya, Faizabad and Lucknow.
The bridge derives its name from a math or a monastery which is located on the bank of the river Kuwano as one climbs down the bridge. There is also a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva close to it. The area is a kind of haven of peace from the noisy traffic and hassles of the crowded city.
Scores of people turn up to soothe their nerves in its peaceful surroundings in the vicinity of two spiritual places on the bank of a river. It presents a good sight in the mornings and evenings with people taking walks, visiting the temple or the math and performing a variety of physical exercises and yog asanas.
Chaawani Bazar is located at a distance of 12 km from village Karmiya and 40 km from the Basti city. It served as a market place for the military establishment during the British rule in India in the 1850s but became the centre of revolt of the Indians against the British rulers during the First War of Indian Independence in 1857 in which General Fort, the commander of the British army, was murdered.
The bazaar has a peepal tree which has become a tourist landmark in the area. Infuriated by the loss of their commander, the British army brutally killed 250 Indians fighters by hanging them from the peepal tree. Since then, Chaawani Bazar has acquired a historical importance and become a popular tourist destination.
Mahua Dabar, a township situated 15 km from the district of Basti, has earned a proud place in the history of the freedom movement of India. The obscure habitat was rediscovered through a long and sustained research by Mohammad Latif Ansari, a businessman in Bombay whose forefathers lived here and were killed during the first war of India’s Independence in 1857.
The researcher was awarded a certificate of appreciation by the then President of India, Dr. APJ Abul Kalam for his pioneering work. As the mutiny against the British Government started from Meerut on 10 May and from Delhi on 11 May 1857, the residents of Mahua Dabar, led by one Jaffer Ali murdered a party of 6 British army officers who were crossing the river Manorama close by.
Infuriated by this audacity, the British 12th Irregular Horse cavalry led by W. Peppe, the Deputy Magistrate of Basti burnt the township completely. They butchered its entire population, razed all the houses, decimated and wiped out all traces of its existence. They leveled the township and converted it into agricultural land to retrieve the losses suffered by the British.