Motijheel haveli is situated in Mahmurganj area of Varansi. Built in the year 1908 by Babu Motichandra this unique house has been a centre of attraction for long largely because of the carcass of a large crocodile that hangs across the main entrance. This twenty foot long and two feet wide monster has been hanging like this for well over a hundred years now. Different theories abound with regard to the advent of the crocodile and its fate thereafter. According to some this monster was a resident in the jheel or lake behind the house and on one occasion had devoured the queen in all her entirety. Hearing this the King had slain the crocodile and rescued his still alive wife from the crocodile by cutting it in half. Yet another section believes that the king had himself been attacked and injured by this crocodile while bathing. Enraged he had brought out a sixteen kilo sword and cut the crocodile in half. He then had the carcass hung across the entrance. Folklore aside the current descendant of Motichandra – Ashok Kumar states that this crocodile had happened to enter Ajamgarh of Ajmatgarh province sometime during the floods of 1920 and was spotted by the villagers there. Apprehensive that it might enter the village all the villagers got together and killed the crocodile after a long fight. Not knowing what to do with the carcass they decided to gift it to the king and transported the same here after a two day journey. He adds that initially the crocodile was complete but as it had been stuffed with straw and aided by decay it had split in two. That explains why only one section of the body is seen today. Then again the King or Sir title of Motichandra was given to him by the British rulers and he was a king only in name and never had a 16 kilo sword. This lake was dug for personal use and there were never any crocodiles in it ever. In spite of reality robbing much of its charm the curious spectacle still manages to draw visitors to this haveli at Mahmurganj.


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