JOURNEY OF ERSTWHILE KATHER TO RAMPUR
By Vinay Soumya
There may be more than 35 Rampurs in India. Today my subject of interest is a small town named Rampur in Uttar Pradesh.
History of Rampur
Rampur was a group of four villages owned by Raja Ram Singh of Kather. The villagers and Ram Singh bravely resisted the Islamic rule for 400 years. Neither the Sultans of Delhi nor the Mughals could overpower the defiant and valiant Katheria Rajputs. In medieval times, Rampur was a part of Delhi Region.
How was Kather village usurped by the British and passed on to the Rohilla Nawab is not known. I wondered how the British could capture the brave Katherias and their King and where did they go! I labored hard to know the plight of Katherias after Kather was captured by the British. And then luckily I came across a blog by a Katheria that enlightened me on the issue. Most of the Katherias migrated to Budaun and Bareilly and others shifted to the Kumaon Region. Those who made Kumaon their abode, are called Kathayats. Bhardwaj, Kashayap may be among few of their gotras. That reminds me of famous film makers like Vishal Bhardawaj and Anurag Kashyap. I may admit I don’t have complete knowledge of the history of Kather. I still wonder how Kather was snatched away from the bravehearts!
The Rohilla State of Rampur was established by Nawab Faizullah Khan on 7 Oct. 1774 in the presence of a British Commander. The Nawab laid down the first foundation stone of Rampur fort in 1775 and thats how the city of Rampur came into existence. The Nawab of Rampur had his own personal Railway Station at his doorstep.
Rohilla Nawabs ruled Rampur till India won freedom. Rampur is famous for RAZA LIBRARY, being a repository of Indo-Islamic cultural heritage. The Library has more than 12000 rare manuscripts and is a favorite place of scholars.
Rampur is famous for its cuisine: Doodhiya Biryani, mahi Seekh Kebab, adrak ka halwa. Rampur dishes are spiced up with a blend of 21 spices and herbs. The vegetarian delicacies like doodhi, lotus stem, jackfruit, pineapple khus roots, dal chini and amla were among the favorite ingredients of the Rampuri cooks. Instead of finely ground spices, Rampur cooks used whole or coarsely ground spices to give the dish a distinct taste and aroma. Clay pots were used for cooking; the cooking was slow and laborious. Rampur is extremely famous for its non-vegetarian dishes. The desserts of Rampur are known for its great taste, flavor and uniqueness.
If you are interested in visiting quaint places, Rampur in UP may be your choice. And Rampur cuisine may delight you if you are a foody.