Railways to connect Bateshwar with Agra-Etawah rail line

Bateshwar (बटेश्वर): North Central Railway’s GM Mr.Pradeep Kumar said that it was a long pending demand to connect Bateshwar with Agra-Etawah rail line. The link will become operational by December, he said. Bateswar is a small village that lies in Agra district and is between Agra and Etawah. It is 5 km from Bah. Vajayee’s first political exposure was from this village when he along with his brother were arrested in August 1942 in this village and remained in jail for 23 days.

The announcement of the launch of this line is being seen as a boon for the natives of Bateshwar as it was Vajpayee’s dream to connect his ancestral village to a railway link passing through prime cities. Vajpayee had announced this mega rail connecting project around 15 years back, on April 1, 1999. The project had seen many ups and downs with change in governments at both Centre and state levels.

Even after spending crores, the project hit a road block due to non-acquisition of five hectares of land. BJP blamed poor coordination between railway and administrative authorities for the delay in project. According to an estimate, railway authorities have spent around Rs 214.90 crore on this project till now. Kumar said the rail line connecting Agra-Bateshwar-Etawah is ready for the final round of trial. He said all the issues related to land acquisition have been resolved.

“The trials for the rail engine have already been done on the new tracks from Bateshwar to Etawah. The full-fledged train service will be launched by the end of the year”, he said. Bateshwar, is an important tourist destination as it holds the annual cattle fair every monsoon which is famous across India. It is known for 101 Shiva temple complex.

Bateshwar is a village in Agra District, on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Bateshwar is in between Agra and Etawah and is 5 km from Bah. It is an important spiritual and cultural centre for Hindus and Jains. It is known for the 101 Shiv Temple Complex. An annual religious and animal fair is also organised in the village ground area.

The name Bateshwar is derived from the main Bateshwarnath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva (Bateshwarnath Mahadev). As per the mythology and legends, here under a marvelous Banyan tree (Bat in Sanskrit), lord Shiva took rest for some time under that tree which stile standing at that place, the place known as Bat-Ishwar; the banyan lord.

Since ages Bateshwar remained a renowned religious centre both for Hindu and Jain communities. In the epic Mahabharat Bateshwar is supposed to be referred as Shouripur a city of king Suresaine. It is known for 101 Shiv Temples built by Raja Badan Singh Bhadauria on a dam on the banks of Yamuna. Shaouripur, near Bateshwar, which is the birthplace of the 22nd Tirthankar of Jain faith, Lord Neminath. Each year the region hosts a cattle fair in October and November. The commercial livestock event is also of significance to Hindus, who make pilgrimage to the river Yamuna in honor of Lord Shiva.

Bateshwar has long been celebrated for its annual fair, believed to have been a fixture since time immemorial given the significance of Shoripur/Bateshwar in Hindu mythology. Although the origins of this ancient fair are religious, and of immense importance in the Hindu religious calendar, the fair is also of great commercial value and is renowned as the 2nd largest animal fair in the country (Sonepur in Bihar being the largest).

Bateshwar is the ancestral village of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Vajpayee’s first exposure to politics was in August 1942, when he and his elder brother Prem were arrested at Bateshwar for 23 days during the Quit India movement.