Places of Interest The pilgrim town of Dewa is situated just 42 Kms. from Lucknow and 12 Kms. from the district headquarters of Barabanki in the heart of erstwhile 'Awadh'. This is the birth place of Haji Waris Ali Shah who was to influence the lives of many generations of people with his message of universal love for humanity. Haji Waris Ali Shah came of a family of Husaini Syeds, and was born in the first quarter of the 19th century. His father Syed Qurban Ali Shah died in his early childhood. Hindus held him in high esteem and regarded him as a perfect Sufi and a follower of Vedanta. Haji Saheb left for his heavenly abode on 7th April, 1905. He was buried at the spot where he died and this place is marked by a splendid monument erected in his memory by some of his devoted followers, both Hindus and Muslims. Every year Urs is held at the scared tomb in the month of 'Safar' (July). Haji Waris Ali Shah organized 'Urs' of his father in the month of Kartik (October-November) where a big fair known by the name 'Dewa Mela ' is held to commemorate the Saints. Pilgrims from all parts of the country and abroad come to pay their homage to the great Sufi Saints, Haji Waris Ali Shah and his father Qurban Ali Shah. A big cattle market is the highlight of the Fair. A good variety of cultural programmes are organized during the Fair including an All India Mushaira, Kavi Sammelan, Music Conference, Manas Sammelan, Seeratun Nabi etc. Sports loving people find great pleasure in events like Hockey, Volleyball, Badminton, Athletics, etc. Hundreds of brightly lit and decorated shops offer a variety of handicrafts, household utility items, toys, delicious snacks and exotic sweetmeats. A brilliant display of Fireworks marks the conclusion of the 10 days Fair.
This ancient Shiv temple is situated at village Mahadeva in tehsil Ram Nagar of district Barabanki on the banks of Ghaghra. Lodheshwar Mahadev has ancient history to its credit. The Shivling in this temple being one of the exotic and rarest of the 52 shivlings on the surface of earth. It is said that, prior to the Mahabharat period, Lord Shiv wished to reappear on the earth once again. Pandit Lodheram Awasthi was a learned Brahmin, simple, kind and good natured villager. One night Lord Shiv appeared in his dreams. Next day, Lodheram who was childless, while irrigating his field, saw a pit from where his water was getting drained into the earth. He tried hard to plug it, but failed and returned home. In the night, again he saw the same statue in his dreams, and heard whispers saying 'The pit where water is getting drained is my place establish me there and I would get fame by your name.' It is said that, next day when Lodheram was digging the said pit, his implement struck a hard substance, and he saw the same statue in front of him, blood was oozing from the place where his implement had hit the statue, this mark can be seen even today. Lodheram was terrified by this sight, but he continued to digout the statue, but failed to get to the other end of the statue, so he left it as it is, and built the temple at the same place with half his name 'Lodhe' and the Lord Shiv's 'Ishwar', thereby became famous by the devotees name i.e. Lodheshwar. The Brahmin was then blessed with four sons, Mahadeva, Lodhaura, Gobarha and Rajnapur, villages named after them exist even today. There are several instances in Mahabharat where this ancient temple is referred to. Pandav after the Mahabharat had performed the Mahayagya at this place, a well exists even today by the name Pandav-Kup. It is said that the water of the well is having spiritual qualities and those who drink this water get cured of a number of ailments. In the history of the melas and fairs the world over, the fair held on the occasion of Mahashivratri at Mahadeva is unique. For the millions of devotees thronging the place, there is not a single woman devotee to be found during this festival fair.
Village Kintur, about 38 Kms. east of district headquarters Barabanki was named after Kunti, mother of the Pandav. There are a number ancient temples and their remains around this place. Nearby a temple established by Kunti, is a special tree called Parijaat. There are a number of sayings about this tree, which have popular acceptance. One being, Arjun brought this tree from heavens and Kunti used to offer and crown Shivji with its flowers. The other saying being, that Lord Krishna brought this tree for his beloved queen Satyabhama. Historically, though these saying may have some bearing or not, but it is true that this tree is from a very ancient background. The following is said in the Harivansh Puraan about Parijaat. Parijaat is a type of Kalpvraksh, it is said to be found only in the heavens and, whosoever makes a wish under this tree, gets fulfilled. In the Religious and ancient literature, we find a number of references to the Kalpvraksh, but no description whatsoever of its existence can be found anywhere in the world, except for only Kintur (Barabanki ). Whereby this unique Parijaat tree of Kintur holds a special place in the world. In botanical terms, PARIJAAT is known as Adansonia digitata and has been kept in a special category, because it does not produce either its fruit or its seeds, neither can its branch cuttings can be planted to reproduce a second Parijaat tree. This is a unisex male tree, the botanist say, that there is no such tree anywhere else to be found. The leaves of this tree in the lower portion has five tips like the fingers of a hand, while at the upper reaches it has seven. Its flower is very beautiful and white in colour, on drying out it takes on golden tinge. This flower has five petals. This tree blossoms very occasionally, with very few flower, but when it does, that is after the 'Ganga Dashehra', spreads its fragrance far and wide. The age of this tree is said to be 1000 to 5000 years. The perimeter of the trunk of this tree is around 50 feet and height of around 45 feet. There is another popular saying that, its branches do not break or dryout but shrink and disappear into the original trunk. The nearby people consider it to be their protector and obliging, henceforth they protect its leaves and flowers at all costs. Local people hold it in high esteem, in addition to the large number of tourists who visit to see this unique tree.
It was initially known as Siddhpura, and as time passed by, it became Siddhaur. It is around 50 Kms from district headquarter Barabanki. It is adorned by the famous Siddheshwar Mahadev temple, and here in the months of December and January each year a big Fair is held on the occasion of Shivratri. There is a mausoleum of Sufi Saint Qazi Qutub and people come to pay their respects to this Sufi Saint. A big Fair is held here on the occasion of every Id-ul-fitr and Id-uz-Zuha.
Badosarai around 9 Km northeast of Ram Nagar tehsil headquarters, was established around 550 years by a spiritual King. About 6 Kms southeast of this place is the temple of Baba Jagjivan Das the founder of the 'Satnaami' sect at Kotwa, popularly known as Kotwa Dham, with a very beautiful pond nearby. Thousands of pilgrims take a holy dip in this pond during the Fairs held in the months of October and April. There is a mazar of a Sufi Saint Malamat Shah between Badosarai and river Ghaghra, who left for his heavenly abode about 300 years ago. People throng this place to pay their respects to this Sufi Saint.
It is said that its original name was Saptrishi, because Guru Vashisht, the Kulguru of the Suryavanshi kings, preached and taught the young princes here. It is the penance ground of great number of Saints and ascetics. No certified evidences are available to give any authentic details prior to the Muslim rule about this place. This was the headquarter of Sayyed Salar Masood, the brother of Mehmood of Ghazni. His father Salar Shah's tomb is here, and people visit this monument to pay their respects. The main congregation is held during the full moon of 'Jaishtha' that is the summers. Sheikh Salahuddin had also come with Salar Shah and settled down in Satrikh.
On the banks of the stream Soti is Bhitauli, the last front of the Freedom fighters of the First war of Indian Independence in 1857-1858. Here Raja Guru Bux Singh with his men fought the British bravely. This place has a fort and sufficient remains of the freedom struggle and hence it has been declared as the place on the protected historical heritage list.
This is the birth place of Late Shri Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, great freedom fighter, politician and statesman of India. He was buried in Masauli after he left for his heavenly abode and a tomb was built in his memory.