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Explained: Why is there a demand to rename Lucknow

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Lucknow, May 19: A tweet by chief minister Yogi Adityanath to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi has revived the debate over possible plans to rename Lucknow after Lakshman.

Explained: Why is there a demand to rename Lucknow

Welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, Yogi wrote: "Sheshavatar Bhagwan Laxman ki pawan nagri Lucknow mein aapka swagat aur abhinandan."

Soon the social media was abuzz about the name of Lucknow being changed to Laxmanpuri. The renaming of Lucknow to Laxmanpuri, is a popular demand flagged by several leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Historical reference

According to popular legend, Ramayana, Lord Rama gifted the territory of Lucknow to his devoted brother Lakshman after he had conquered Sri Lanka and completed his term of exile in the jungle. people believe that the original name of Lucknow was Lakshmanpur, popularly known as Lakhanpur or Lachmanpur.

Several historical references show the city was originally named Lakshmanavati, then Lakshmanpur, and after that Lakhnavati, before finally being named Lucknow.

A long pending demand

The Yogi Adityanath government on renaming spree had changed the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj and Faizabad to Ayodhya.

Following this, there was a surge in demand for changing the names of many districts such as Sultanpur to Kushbhawanpur, Aligarh to Harigarh, Mainpuri to Mayanpuri, Sambhal to Prithviraj Nagar or Kalki Nagar, Firozabad to Chandranagar and Deoband to Devrand.

Likewise, the demand to rename Lucknow to Laxmanapuri is long pending.

People know that Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Rama and they should also associate Lucknow with Lord Lakshman's name. Many believe that the city derives its name from Lord Lakshman.

Former UP minister late Lalji Tandon in his book 'Ankaha Lucknow' had established the link between Lucknow, which was named after Lakshman.

"This city was originally named Lakshmanavati, then Lakshmanpur, and after that Lakhnavati, before finally being named Lucknow," Tandon wrote in 2018.

The former minister also claimed that a 'Shesh Gufa' also stood on the Lakshman Teela - a proof of Lucknow's link with Lakshman.

Laxman temple in Lucknow

Notably, Lucknow already has several landmarks named after Laxman and these include Laxman Tila, Laxmanpuri and Laxman Park.

After grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya, the UP government has decided to build a 151-foot-high statue of Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Ram.

The authorities have also planned to come up with a gallery 'Lakshman Prerna Kunj' surrounding the statue which will portray all the facts of Lord Lakshman, his early life, story, sacrifice and his dedication towards Lord Rama, ethics and simplicity.

The Lakshman temple, reportedly will have statues of his wife Urmila and there will also be statues of Shiva Parivar and Ram Darbar. An old age home will be a part of the temple complex, named after Urmila.

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