2024.01.17 (Vrindavan Today News): People will soon witness the tales of Shri Krishna’s exploits projected on the walls of the ancient Kans Fort through a light and sound show. The Uttar Pradesh Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad (UPBTVP) has proposed a plan to attract tourists to Kans Quila.
Similar to Ravan’s role in Ram Lila, Kans plays a significant evil role in the legends of Shri Krishna. The Kans Fort in Mathura, nearly 5500 years old, has been deteriorating due to neglect over time. Often overlooked in the Mathura pilgrimage circuit, the fort fails to capture the curiosity or enthusiasm of the common people.
However, the Uttar Pradesh Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad has devised a strategy to boost the interest of people in the Kans Fort. For this purpose, the ‘Parishad’ has formulated a project costing 6 crore rupees. Under this initiative, the walls of the fort will showcase the divine exploits of Shri Krishna through a light and sound show, aiming to attract a substantial number of spectators.
The proposal of a 6-crore project for establishing the light and sound show at Kans Fort has been forwarded to the government by the Uttar Pradesh Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad (UPBTVP). It is soon to be presented before the Chief Minister for further deliberation.
The eastern wall of the fort, facing the Yamuna River, will exhibit the divine stories of Lord Shri Krishna. Watching the enchanting tales of the Lord in the night-time ambiance by the banks of the Yamuna is expected to allure many visitors.
This move is anticipated to boost tourism in the city of Mathura, which has been lagging behind compared to pilgrimage sites like Vrindavan, Gokul, Govardhan, and Barsana. So far, people mainly visit for glimpses of Shri Krishna Janmasthan, Dwarkadhish Temple, or the ghats of Yamuna River.
However, the numbers visiting these places in Mathura are significantly lower compared to other locations in Braj. Therefore, the introduction of the light and sound show holds promise to bolster tourism in Mathura.
About the Kans Quila
Believed to be the seat of the ancient Yadava Kingdom in their capital city of Mathura, the Kans Qila on the western banks of the Yamuna is one of the oldest of remnants of that ancient city. Named after the Kans, the king of the Andhaka branch of Shuraseni Yadavas, the Kans Qila is an artefact that bridges both mythology and history.
Kans used to be a righteous ruler till his marriage with the daughter of King Jarasandha of Magadha, who fed him with plans and promised his support in seizing the whole of Yadava confederacy. In his pursuit, he attacks and captures rest of the Yadavas and imprisons their kings. He also imprisoned the King of Vrishnis and his brother in law Vasudeva who was married to Devaki, Kans’ sister. Kans also imprisoned Vasudeva and Devaki partly because it was prophesied their 8th son would bring about his demise, that eight son being none other than Krishna.
Traditions aside, the Old Fort of Mathura i.e. the Kans Qila in its current form was built by Raja Man Singh of the Kachhwaha Rajput dynasty of Amer in the first quarter of the 17th century, and completed before his death in 1614. He built it upon the pre-existing structure of the old Kans Fort, and hence the building kept its name as such. Several decades later, the fort would become the occasional residence of Maharaja Sawai Jai Sinh II of Amer who commenced his 44 year long reign 1699 AD. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh also would construct an observatory atop the Kans Fort being the keen astronomer that he was.
During the late 1800s, especially after 1857, the fort came under the jurisdiction of the British East India Company. The Fort was handed over to a government contractor named Jyoti Prasad, who demolished much of the fort for construction materials. Today the fort lies in an even more dilapidated condition than it was left by the British, defaced with billboards, illegal encroachments and constructions, ignored by the governments.