A guest who spent a night in Shahanshahpur over 450 years ago gave the village its name. Now the hamlet near Varanasi is ready for another brush with fame, as it gets ready to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi will visit the village on Saturday to inaugurate a mega animal fair and a newly constructed gaushala (cowshed). The gala fair, being organised for the first time there, will be held on 1800 acres of land.
Shahanshahpur 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 one night after his battle with Sher Shah Suri.
Residents of the village, located some 30km from Modi's Lok Sabha constituency, Varanasi, take pride in the lore about the Mughal emperor's visit over 450 years ago.
"The Prime Minister's visit has given the villagers a reason to relive the tale," says local MLA Neelratan Patel 'Neelu', who is with the Apna Dal(S), a BJP ally.
The story goes that after Sher Shah Suri defeated Humayun in the battle of Chausa in what is now Bihar, Humayun reached the quiet village after crossing the Ganga late at night. That was when the elderly villager gave him shelter in her nut -- without knowing that her lodger was none other than Humayun, the locals say.
Years later, when Humayun's soldiers succeeded in locating the village, the residents learnt who the overnight guest was. That was when their village -- till then known as Kalupur -- was named Shahanshahpur.
Shahanshahpur Village is less than 5km from Jayapur Village, which Modi adopted on November 7, 2014, as part of the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
Jayapur, which is off the Grand Trunk Road in the Sevapuri assembly constituency in Varanasi district, has got spanking new roads, solar electricity provisions, toilets and piped water connection, Neelu, who represents the seat, said.