Sultanpur (Hindi: सुलतानपुर, Urdu: سلطان پور) is a city and a municipal board in Sultanpur district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Located on the right banks of the Gomti river(a major tributary of the Himalayan Ganga River), Sultanpur is the administrative headquarters of Sultanpur District and comes under a part of Faizabad division. According to the 2011 Indian census, Sultanpur has a population of 116,211 people.Total area occupied by Sultanpur is 4436 km2. The common language of the people of Sultanpur is Awadhi, dialect of Hindi. Sultanpur is distinguished for its unique culture. Originally known as Kushbhawanpura,was renamed as Sultanpur (सुलतानपुर),which means "City of beautiful vines (सुन्दर लताओं का नगर)" ,the name is however often confused for "सुल्तानपुर - City of Sultan .The city came under the Muslim rule in the 12th century. Although the area has been part of successive North Indian kingdoms through centuries, the recorded history of the city began in the colonial times. Long a center of Hindu and Buddhist culture it fell under Muslim occupation in the 12th century. The town was completely destroyed during the military operations of the Revolt of 1857. Its economy is predominantly agricultural, but has a broad industrial base in the automobile, computer, technology, hardware manufacturing, healthcare and small scale industries. Some of the crops cultivated here are rice, wheat, barley, sugarcane and poppy. The main industrial center in Sultanpur is Jagdishpur. Places of interest in Sultanpur are Victoria Manzil, Christ Church and Chimanlal Park. The city has a large number of temples and palaces. Major points of attractions include the Victoria Manzil and Christ Church.
Sultanpur is the headquarters of the Sultanpur district, north side of this district is bounded by Faizabad district, south side is bounded by Pratapgarh district, west side is bounded by Barabanki district and Raebareli district and the east side is bounded by Azamgarh district, Ambedkarnagar district, and Jaunpur district. It has an average elevation of 95 metres (312 ft). Geography of Sultanpur comprises plain lands except some regions around gomti river which drains almost the whole city and district, however southern part of city drains towards Sai river flowing through the Pratapgarh district. The only significant mineral found in region is Kanker. Moreover, Clay is also found in almost all parts of the region.
Sultanpur has a tropical wet and dry climate with average temperatures ranging between 20 to 28 °C (68 to 82 °F). Sultanpur experiences three distinct seasons: summer, monsoon and a mild autumn. Typical summer months are from March to May, with maximum temperatures ranging from 30 to 38 °C (86 to 100 °F). The warmest month in Sultanpur is April; although summer doesn't end until May, the city often receives heavy thundershowers in May (and humidity remains high). Even during the hottest months, the nights are usually cool due to Sultanpur's altitude. The highest temperature ever recorded was 48.3 °C (118.9 °F). The monsoon lasts from June to October, with moderate rainfall and temperatures ranging from 10 to 28 °C (50 to 82 °F). Most of the 722 mm (28.4 inches) of annual rainfall in the city fall between June and September, and July is the wettest month of the year. Autumn begins in November. The daytime temperature hovers around 28 °C (82 °F) while night temperature is below 10 °C (50 °F) for most of December and January, often dropping to 3 to 4 °C (37 to 39 °F). The lowest temperature ever recorded was 1.7 °C.
Sultanpur is well connected by railways and roads from almost all the major cities of north India. It also has an airport at Amhat about 5 km away from the city. It is situated on the National Highway No.56, 141 km from Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh and about 180 Km from Holi city Varanasi. State highway connects it from Allahabad, 96 km, and Faizabad, the Divisional HQ situated at 56 km away. Delux and State Road Transport buses as well as local taxis are available frequently for these places.
Direct train service are also available of Mail/Express trains connecting the city to Delhi, Bombay, Hawra (W.Bengal) and other neighboring states. Nearby districts are also connected by express and Passenger trains for local people.
There are two main public parks in Sultanpur city. First, Paryavaran Park, which is situated at the southern bank of river Gomti in civil lines , is the latest park built specially for children and youth. The park has a lot of attraction for children and covers a large area at the bank of Gomti. The second park, at Amhat (known as Amhat Park), maintained by Horticulture Department is located at about 5 kms from the city and is one of the important picnic spots of Sultanpur full of greenry and colorful flowery patches.
The Rotary, Lions and Sultanpur clubs are the main and prestigious clubs of the district which are engaged in various social and cultural activities apart from provision for healthy entertainmment.
As elesewhere in the state, fasting and feasting are the special features of the Hindu festivals, which are spread all over the year. A short account of the principal ones are given below:
The first nine days of the Hindu calendar or the Vikram Samvat begining with the first day of the bright half of the Chaitra are called Navratra. On the eighth day falls the Shitala Ashthami when Devi, particularly in the form of Shitala is worshipped. The next day Ram Navami marks the birthday of Rama when the Hindus of the district fast and the temples of Rama are specially decorated and illuminated at night and the Ramayana is read in them and in the home of the devout where large numbers gather to listen to the recitation. Some of the places where fairs are held on this occasion are Sultanpur municipality and Dera (in tehsil Kadipur).
Nagpanchami is celebrated in the district as elsewhere, on the fifth of the bright half of the Shravan month to appease the Nags or the serpant God.
The Guriya festival is also celebrated on the same day (Nagmanchami). The women go to their parents and receive clothes, etc. as gift. Jhula or the swing provides a lot of fun to village women and girls on the occasion. They go high up in the swings singing melodiously songs, known as kajari.
Janmashtami, the festival celebrating the birth of Krishna, falls every year on eighth day of Bhadra. In the district as in other parts of country, devotees keep fast the whole day, breaking their fast only with the eating of Prasad at midnight when the worshippers throng the temple and the small shrines and cradles (specially installed in homes and in other places and decorated and illuminated to commemorate the deity's birth) to have a jhanki (glimpse) of the representation depicting the auspicious event.
Dasahra is celebrated by the Hindus of the district on the tenth day of bright half of the Ashvina to commemorate the victory of Rama over Ravan and Ramlila celebrations are held at several places in the district, big fairs being held at Sarwanpur, Katra Lalganj, Sengthi and Ramganj (all in tehsil Amethi); Mayang, Kurwar, Aliganj, Guptarganj, Dhammaur, Kurebhar, Bandhua Kalan, Pratappur and Sultanpur (in tehsil Sultanpur); and at Koeripur, Dostpur-Firozpur and Dera (in tehsil Kadipur).
Dipavali, the festival of lights is celebrated in the district (as alsewhere) on the last day of the dark half of Kartika when the houses of Hindus are illumunated and the Godess Lakshami is worshipped. Festivities start two days earlier with the Dhanteras (when metal utensils are purchased as token of prosperity) followed by Narak Chaudasi when a few earthen lamps (diyas) are lit as a preliminary of the main day of the festival. For the traders and businessmen, Dipavali marks the end of the fiscal year and they pray for prosperity in the ensuing new year. There is no fasting on the occasion as Dipavali is regarded as a festival of feasting.
Kartik Purnima is a big bathing festival which falls on the full moon day of Kartika, when people take a bath in the Gomti. A big fair is held at Dera.
Shivratri falls on the fourteenth day of Phalguna in honour of Shiva. Hindus in the district fast throughout the day and vigil is kept at night when the God is worshipped. The Shiva temples of the district are specially decorated and illuminated and large numbers of devotees offer water, flowers and bel-patra (leaves of Aegle Marmelos, the bel tree) to icons and images of Siva and sing devotional songs in his praise. Big faires are held at Misrauli, Pindara Karnai and Soraon (in tehsil Musafirkhana); and Tala, Bandoia and Sonari in Tehsil Amethi.
Holi, the festival of spring, is the last major festival of the Hindu calender year and falls on the full-moon day of Phalguna. People in the rural area start singing phaaga (songs of Phalguna) during the nights long before the actual day of the festival. On the night of the festival itself big open-air fires are lit to celebrate the annihilation of the forces of evil, on which newly harvested cars of barley and wheat are roasted for offering to the Gods. Widespread rejoicing marks the following day of the festival when, till about noon, people throw coloured water and coloured powder on each other and in the evening, visit relatives and friends.
As many as thirty-eight Hindu religious fairs, big and small, are held in the district annually. Of these fairs, only 13 are such as attract gathering of about 10,000 persons or more. The Dhopap Ghat fair which is held at Shahgarh on Jyeshtha, Shukla 10nth, appears to be the biggest, attracting, a gathering of about 90,000 persons. It is followed by the Pandey Baba fair fair held at Badhuna Din on Ashwina, Shukla 1-10th, and the Shivratri fair held at Belai on Phalguna, Krishna, 13th (both in tehsil Kadipur), where the congregation is estimated to be about 70,000 persons.
The bathing fair of Kartika Purnima is held on the bank of the Gomti at, Dera and Dasahra fair at Koeripur. The fairs of Sagara held at Sitakund on Chaitra, Shukla 9th, Lohramau Bhavani (held at Lohramau on 1st Monday and Friday after Shravan, Shukla 5th) and Ram Vivah held on Agrahayan, Shukla 5th at Pratappur (all in tehsil Sultanpur) attract a large gathering.
About 20,000 persons assemble annually at the Ram Navami fair held on Chaitra, Shukla 9th and the Sitakund fair held on Magha, Krishna 15th. The fair of Nandmahar takes place at Nadiawan (in tehsil Musafirkhana) in memory of Nand Baba, when about 10,000 persons gather. Another fair known as Baba Sagan ka Mela attended by about 10,000 persons is held at Bandhua Kala (in Sultanpur tehsil) on Kartika, Shukla 15th when dramatisation of the story of Ramayana is performed. The Navratri fair is held at Hamidpur (in tehsil Kadipur), when the Godess Durga is worshipped. It attracts a gathering of about 10,000 persons.
The Muslims of the district celebrate a number of festivals. Id-uj-Zuha is celebrated on the 10th day of the month of Zilhijja the last month of Hijri calendar to commemorate the occasion when the prophet Ibrahim submitted himself to the will of God. Men attend morning prayers in Idgahs or mosques and sheeps and goats are sacrificed in the God's name.
The first ten days of the month of Muharram commemorate the tragedy of Karbala which witnessed the martyrdom of Imam Husain (the grandson of prophet Muhammad) and his companions on the tenth day. Although this occasion has special significance for the Shiyas, the Sunnis also take part in some of the observances. The imambaras are illuminated on the 8th and 9th of the month, majlis (religious assemblies) are held from the first to the ninth and tazias are taken out the processions separately by Shiyas and Sunnis on the 10th day (Ashra) and are burried at specified burial grounds.
Chelhum falls on the 40th day from Ashra. It usually marks the end of the period of mourning.
Barawafat (or Id-e-Milad), the birthday of the prophet Muhammad, is celebrated on the 12th day of Ravi-al-awwal when alms are distributed and muslim gather to listen to discourses (Milad Sharif) on the prophet's life.
Shab-e-Barat, falling on the 14th of Shavan, is a festival of rejoicing. It is marked by a display of fireworks, distribution of sweets and reciting of fatiha (prayers) for the piece of the souls of the dead.
Id-ul-Fitra falls on the 1st of the month of Shawal when thanks giving prayers are offered by Muslim men in mosques for the successful completion of the fasts of the preceding month of Ramadan. Besides these traditional and orthodox festivals urs celebration are held at the tombs of different pirs (Muslim saints).
The Sikhs celebrate the birthday of their gurus, Nanak and Govind Singh, when portions of the Granth are read or recited, congragational prayers are held and processions taken out.
The main festivals of the christians of the district are Christmas, which falls on December 25th and celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ; Good Friday, which commemorates his crucifixion; and Easter which celebrates his resurrection.
The Jains of the district celebrate the birth and nirvana anniversaries of Mahavira, their 24th tirthankar. The other important festivals of Jains are Paryushan (the last ten days of Bhadra) and the three Ashtinhikas falling during the last eight days each of Asadha, Kartika and Phalguna.
1. Devlok : It is situated at 26 degree 11 minutes north lattitude and 81 degree 53 minutes south longitude on the way to Amethi at 21 kms from Sultanpur near Tikri bus stop from where it is 3 kms in Gauravpuri Kshetra where the Holi Samadhi of Ghasibaba is situated and is belived to the way to Heaven by local people.
2. Koond : Around 300 years back it was a place of penance of Sawami Lokdas who had two more brothers Sahajram & Durgadas. There is a place in the west known as 'Satyasagar' and is a famous spot.
3. Sitakund: This is in the north of Sultanpur city on the bank of Gomti river and belived to be a place where The Sita the wife of Lord Rama had taken a bath on his way to exilement.
4. Vijethua : Here is situated a grand temple of Shri Hanumanji who, according to the local belief killed the demon Kalnemi sent by Ravana to obstruct him from bringing the Sanjeevni Booti for Laxmana. The story of Makri, who got Nirvan by Shri Hanuman ji, is also linked to the same event and the Sarover, where she lived is still existing here. A fair is orgnised on each tuesday.
5. Satthin Sharif : Here ten days fair of urs is organised every year. Shah Abdul Latif and his contemporary baba Madari Shah were reknowned fakirs of their time. The samadhi of Shah Abdul Latif is situated here on the bank of Gomti.
6. Dhopap : Lord Rama had taken a dip here on the advice of Maharshi Vashishth. Devotees having faith vist the place on Dussehara to wash their sins in the river Gomti. There is a grand temple built here.
7.Pali : A very artistic, ancient Murti of Sun God is situated here.
8. Kotwa : There is a grand temple at Kotwa near Kisni of Lord Vishnu where a beautifully carved statue of the Vishnu made of white marble is situated.
9. Koeripur : Here various temples of Shri Hanumanji, Lord Rama & Sita and Bagwan Shanker, and pokharas are built by local business people making the town area a beautiful attractive place. A great fair is organised on the Purnima of Kuaar month of Hindu calender when over ten thousand people gather here.
10.Lohramau: This place is about 8 km from the Sultanpur city and is one of the most important places for local populace. Here is situated a large temple of Goddess Durga.
Among the distinguished Hindi scholars, the earliest known is Malik Muhammad Jaisi, who settled during the last period of his life in Amethi under the patronage of the kings of the place. His famous work is Padmavat, which deals with love theme of a high standard. In his another work Akhravat, a description of God, creation, soul etc. has been given. The subject of Akhri Kalam is Doom's Day.
Guru Datt Singh alias Bhupati, a king of Amethi, was a great poet. His important works are Satsai (written in 1678), Kantha Bhushan, Ras Ratnakar, Bhagwat Bhasha and Rasdip.
Udai Nath, born in 1679, was a great poet in the court of Himmat Singh and Guru Datt Singh, the kings of Amethi. He composed Ras Chandrodaya, Vinod Chandrika and Jaglila.
Sukhdeo (probably in the beginning of 18tn century) wrote Chhanda Vichar.
Sahaj Ram (1848) wrote Prahlad Charitra and Ramayana.
Chitipal Raja Madho Singh of Amethi (died in 1891) wrote Manoj Latika, Devicharitra, Saroj and Tridip.
Ram Naresh Tripathi (1889-1961) was born in village Koeripur, formerly in Jaunpur district now in Sultanpur district. He was poet, critic and dramatist. His important works are Pathik Milan, Swapna, Manasi, Premlok, and Goswami Tulsidas Aur Unki Kavita. He also edited seven volumes of Kavita Kaumudi.
Majrooh Sultanpuri, a great shayar (poet), contributed a lot to Urdu literature and film industry in later times.
Bihar became the first state in India to have separate web page for every city and village in the state on its website www.brandbihar.com (Now www.brandbharat.com)
See the record in Limca Book of Records 2012 on Page No. 217