Kaushambi in Uttar Pradesh state is a newly created city, carved out of Allahabad in the year 1997. It consists of major towns such as Chail, Manjhanpur, Bharwari, Sirathu, Karari and Kara. The city of Kaushambi is situated in the west of Allahabad city, north of the city Pratapgarh, in the south of Chitrakoot, and in the east of Fatehpur city. The total geographical area of the city is 2012.8 sq. km.
Located at the latitude of 25.486 degrees N and the longitude of 81.67 degrees E, Kaushambi city is divided into three tehsils named as Manjhanpur, Sirathu & Chayal. Tehsils are divided into Development Blocks. Sarsawa, Manjhanpur and Kaushambi are the development blocks in the Manjhanpur tehsil, Kada (Kara) & Sirathu are the development blocks in the Sirathu tehsil, Chayal, Mooratganj, and Newada are the development blocks in the Chayal tehsil.
The plain area of the district is situated in between rivers Ganga & Yamuna which plays a very important role in the agriculture of the district.
There are number of stories behind the name of this place. According to the Paramatthajyotika, the commentary on the Suttanipata, this place was the hermitage of the sage Kosamba, after whom the place got its current name. One of the legends has also mentioned that this place is called as Kaushambi as during its foundation, lots of Kusamba trees were uprooted. There is also a mention of a person called as Proti Kaushambeya, a native of this place in a Hindu Scripture. As per the Hindu mythology, it is also believed that this city was founded by Kusamba, eldest son of Kasu and grandson of Brahma.
The city cum district of Kaushambi is known as an agricultural region in which the main crops cultivated are wheat and rice. Additionally, pulses such as Arhar, Urad and Chana are also cultivated in some of the parts. The famous Allahabad variety of Guava is actually the specialty of Kaushambi. The principal sources of irrigation are canals and tube wells.
The remains of the ancient city viewed from a distance give the impression of an imposing hillock. When approached nearer, it looks like a chain of rolling mounds, standing high above the surrounding plains, girdled on the south by the Yamuna.
The Vindhyan range across the horizon at a short distance beyond the river Yamuna provides the southern frame of the Panorama.
The chain of mounds has a peripheral circuit of about 6.45 km. The rampart proper has an average height of 9 to 10 meters from the surrounding from the field-level. The towers or the bastions in the north-western corners are as high as 21.33 m.
The city was provided with gates on three sides- east, west and north. The location of the southern gate cannot be determined on account of the destructions caused by the Yamuna. Besides the bastions, gates and sub-gates, the city was encircled on three sides by a moat, which, though filed up at places, is still noticeable on the northern side. At some points, however, there is evidence of more than one moat. At places the gates are provided with attractive and good looking curtain-walls on the outside. The defenses of Kaushambi inform on an advanced knowledge of reinforcement.
Kaushambi, also known as a centre of Buddhist culture, is now into ruins. In Buddhist scriptures and ancient Indian literature there is a mention of a Buddhist Vihara (Ghositaram Vihara) but unfortunately no trace of the Ghositaram Vihara is seen now. A lot can be read into the great past of the place. This place has been attributed to the Pandavas and their descendant King Parikshit. The Parikshit's fort having an expanse of 6 km is now extinct (vanished). The great Mauryan emperor Ashoka, in the 4 BC, had built two pillars in Kaushambi. One of these pillars now is in Allahabad fort and the other is in a tattered condition in Kaushambi.