|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)|
Variants of name
It has been sometimes spelt at Karrah, Kada and Kurrah but actually it is Kara (in Hindi कड़ा and Urdu کڑہ )and often called with its sister town across the river Ganges called Manikpur. Still it is called Kara-Manikpur. Kara falls in Kaushambi district while Manikpur has now become a part of Partapgarh District.
It was capital of a very big region for centuries under the Delhi Sultanate and Jaunpur Sultanate rule.
Sir H. M. Elliot Edited by John Dowson writes that The royal armies accordingly marched to Hindustan, passing down the Doab between the Ganges and Jumna. After some fighting, the fort of Nandana was captured, and Ulugh Khan was sent with some other generals and a Muhammadan force to oppose Dalaki wa Malaki. This was a Rana in the vicinity of the Jumma, between Kalinjar and Karra, over whom the Rais of Kalinjar and Malwa had no authority.
Centuries ago it was the seat of the Governor of the Sirkar of Kara ("the Province of Kara"). Between the 7th century and the 16th century it retained its charm and importance as the capital.
During British Rule, Allahabad gained so much importance that Kara went into oblivion and today it is a town of dilapidated havelis, forts, and monuments unknown. Hundreds of thousands of graves are lying in an area with a diameter of 7–8 km. This stunning fact which emboldens its claim that it had been certainly inhabited by many people during its history.
In the 11th century the warrior saint of Islam, Saiyid Salar Masud Ghazi, defeated the princes of Manikpur and Kara, but Muhammadan rule was not established till the defeat of Jai Chand by Muhammad Ghori. Manikpur and Kara on the opposite bank of the Ganges were important seats of government in the early Muhammadan period. Ala-ud-din Khilji was governor here, before he gained the throne of Delhi by murdering his uncle on the sands of the river between these two places.
In the 15th century the district came under the rule of the Sharqi kings of Jaunpur, and after its restoration to Delhi the Rajput chiefs and the Muhammadan governors were frequently in revolt. The Afghans long retained their hold on the District, and early in the reign of Akbar the governor of Manikpur rebelled.
Kara lost its importance when Allahabad became the capital of a Province, and from that time it was merely the chief town of a sarkar.
The Rajputs again rose during the anarchy which marked the disruption of the empire after the death of Aurangzeb. They were, however, gradually reduced by the Nawabs of Oudh, and in 1759 Kara was removed from the Sufrah of Allahabad and added to A lot of noble Muslim families had settled there. With the passage of time they left the town due to the lack of civic amenities and the carelessness of the government for the upkeep and development of the town.
It is the same place where Jalaluddin Feroz Khilji was murdered by his nephew Alauddin Khilji.
Shah Karak Abdal, a famous sufi saint lies buried here whose annual Urs is the largest Urs in the area of Allahabad.
Kara is a place of pilgrimage. It is the site of the holy temple of Kara Devi (Shitala Devi). Once the provincial capital of the Delhi Sultanate, its ruins extend 3.5 km. This place has been a religious pilgrimage since at least A.D. 1000. Kara was also an important township in the medieval kingdoms of northern India and even today one can see the remains of the fort of Jaichand of Kannauj, the last Hindu king of Kannauj.
Places of historical interest
Places of historical interest include;
- Dargah of Khwaja Karak,
- Kara Devi Temple,
- Samadhi of Saint Maluk Das,
- a mound called fort of Jai Chand,
- Jama Masjid,
- Kshetrapal Bharav Temple,
- Kaleshwar Mahadev Temple,
- Shivala Maharishi Ashramractions.
Karra Inscription of 1037 A.D.
A king Yasahpala of Kausambi is known from the Karra Inscription of 1037 A.D.but his relationship with the Pratihara dynasty, if any, is unknown. A complete list of relevant inscriptions, with full references, is given in V. A. Smith's article (J. R. A. S., 1909, pp. 53 ff., 247 ff.) 
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