Four centuries ago, an emperor stopped by, giving the village its name. Today, Shahanshahpur had another brush with fame when it hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The village, some 30 km from Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, has had its tryst with history. Legend has it that the village was named after ‘Shahanshah’ Humayun, who had taken shelter in the hut of an elderly woman here after his battle with Sher Shah Suri more than 450 years ago.
Today, Shahanshahpur played host to the prime minister, who inaugurated the ‘Pashu Arogya Mela’ (cattle health fair), being organised for the first time in the village, on 1,800 acres. The prime minister, who addressed a public meeting, also laid the foundation stone for a toilet under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in the village.
Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Minister of State for Rural Development Mahendra Singh and BJP’s UP President Mahendra Nath Pandey were also present on the occasion.
The residents of the village take pride in the lore about the Mughal emperor’s visit. “The prime minister’s visit has given the villagers a reason to relive the tale,” said Apna Dal (S) local MLA Neelratan Patel ‘Neelu’. Apna Dal (S) is an ally of the BJP
The story goes that Humayun reached the quiet village after crossing the Ganga late at night after Sher Shah Suri defeated him in the battle of Chausa. That was when the elderly villager gave him shelter in her hut without knowing that her lodger was none other than Humayun, say locals.
Years later, when Humayun’s soldiers succeeded in locating the village, the residents learnt who the overnight guest was.
After Emperor Humayun restored his rule, he sent his soldiers to say thanks to the elderly woman. Unfortunately, she was dead by then. That was when their village — till then known as Kalupur — was named Shahanshahpur.