What chance do facts have against legends, when it comes to being convincing and all-pervasive? Legends and facts may not match sometimes. When that happens, legends win in winning people over to their side. Here’s a legend: the legend of the brave warrior king Chet Singh of Kasi.
Once upon a time there used to be a brave king in Kasi. (Thus begin legends, even this one. He was Lord Dalhousie’s contemporary). An Indian nationalist, and a true son of Baharat Mata, he had some difference of opinions with the East India Company. The Company sent one full army to take the great king prisoner and he was forced to retreat to his palace at Sivala Ghat (that is around one kilometer from my home). His palace was surrounded by the Company sepoys and he was in peril of being imprisoned. Ganga was flooded and was flowing not very far below the balcony. The king mounted his faithful horse and jumped with it into Ganga. They crossed the river and he reached Ramnagar Fort safe, to continue his resistance against the foreign invaders.
There’s another equally popular and interesting ending to this legend: The Palace had underground tunnel that lead to his fort in Ram Nagar. Obviously, the tunnel went through the river bed and was well maintained till then. So, the brave king entered (with or without the horse) the tunnel, crossed the river and he reached Ramnagar Fort safe, to continue his resistance against the foreign invaders.
It is his name that the ghat that his Palace’s famous balcony overlooks is named.