Rampur, a princely state that was established by Nawab Faizullah Khan in backdrop Rohilla-Awadh war in 1774. Though much of its early days heritage has been lost or replaced by the later days Nawabs. Today whatever stood as a heritage of Rampur bygone era are the remnants of the grand construction plan that took place under reign of Nawab Hamid Ali Khan (1889-1930). W.C. Wright, an English engineer was appointed by the Nawab as his chief engineer. From the railway station to the grand gateways, all the buildings constructed during this building plan was designed in a typical Indo-Saracenic fashion. On 08th June 1905, an album was presented by Nawab to Lord Curzon, then the Viceroy of India to commemorate his visit to this to princely state. Today most of this heritage has been lost to the rubble. Among the many iconic monuments of Nawab Hamid Ali Khan that has been forgotten for its decaying fate, this heritage weir at River Kosi is most sumptuous. The River Kosi at Rampur is a tributary of Ramganga river that originated in lower Himalayas of Kumaon hills. Almost travelling hundred kilometers from Almora, this river traversed Rampur. It was due to this river that the entire belt from Ramnagar to Rampur prospered as one of the most fertile regions for the production of Rice down the centuries. A weir is a dam built across a river in order to raise the water-level, measure the flow of water or to divert the flow for irrigation purposes. This weir on the river Kosi is located almost fifteen kilometers north of the Rampur city on Bhojpur-Kashipur road.

This weir was also photographed in 1905 along with the major building raised during Nawab Hamid Ali Khan reign under the supervision of W.C. Wright for the album presented to Lord Curzon. A dam was build at the Kosi on this point to divert the flow of water for the irrigation purpose.

View of a heritage weir c 1905 at Kosi River near Rampur. Source: http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/apac/photocoll/k/019pho000430s42u00054000.html

More than one hundred twenty years old weir still stood high on the river Kosi holding the waters of the river that irrigate the lands of this district down the centuries. While standing on the banks of the river, I tried to catch the gush of water coming out from the gates of this weir. Unfortunately no plaque or any board existed on the site to mark the heritage status of this site. Till a decade ago, this was also used by commoners as a bridge on the road but now a new larger bridge replaced this role.

Present view of the weir from the same angle as taken for the Curzon’s album in 1905, Source: Author

Made up of large brick blocks that were introduced in Royal buildings of Rampur in late 19th century, this weir is made up of around twelve arcades. These arcades served a dual purpose, providing strength to the bridge & it gates controlled the waters of Kosi.

Lush green banks of Kosi near the weir, source: Author
Pic source: Author

Today this beautiful site is hidden away even from the visitors & residents of Rampur. However a little facelift of this heritage location can be capitalized as the perfect site for the tourism.

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Dr. Faisal is a penman, poetry hunter, and mind smith. He is currently drying his Sufi cloak. His interests include Biryani, Qawwali, and Perfumes.


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