Damodar Kund

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Damodar Kund
Girnar Hills from Damodar Kund.jpg
Damodar Kund at foothills of Girnar. The view of Girnar Hills can be seen in background.
Location near Girnar hills, Junagadh, Gujarat
Coordinates 21°31′32″N 70°29′10″E / 21.52556°N 70.48611°E / 21.52556; 70.48611Coordinates: 21°31′32″N 70°29′10″E / 21.52556°N 70.48611°E / 21.52556; 70.48611
Lake type Artificial lake
Basin countries India
Max. length 257 ft (78 m)
Max. width 50 ft (15 m)
Settlements Junagadh

Damodar Kund (Gujarati: દામોદર કુંડ) is one of the sacred lakes as per Hindu beliefs, which is located at the foothills of Girnar hills, near Junagadh in Gujarat, India.

It is considered holy, as per Hindu mythology and many Hindus prefer to bathe and immerse the ashes and the bones left after cremation of dead bodies, here at Damodar Kund due to a belief that the departed souls would get moksha here.[1][2][3] It may be mentioned here other such famous places for immersion of ashes and bones ( Hindu rite of asthi-visarjana ) are in Ganga at Haridwar[2] and Triveni Sangam at Prayag.[4]

The water of the lake has properties of dissolving the bones.[3] The lake is 257 ft long and 50 ft broad.[3] The steps for going up the Girnar hills start near Damodar Kund.

The temples of Damodar, Radha, Baladeva and also Vagheshwari are located near Damodar Kund.[3][5] These temples are very ancient and are supposed to have been built by a Suryavanshi ruler named Chandraketpur, who accredited to have built both the temples of Shiva ( at Bhavnath) and of Krishna / Narayana a.k.a Damodarrai at Damodar Kund.[6]

The Damodar Kund is closely attached to the life of Narsinh Mehta, the famous 15th century Gujarati poet and devotee of Krishna, who used to come to bathe at Damodar Kund and is said to have written many of his prabhatiyas (morning prayers), in the natural surrounding here at the Damodar lake, at picturesque foothills of Girnar.[7] At present, there is also a temple of Narsinh Mehta, which is built near temple of Damodar, to commemorate the memory and association of this great saint-poet with Damodar Kund and ancient temple of Damodar here. This temple was built in decade of 1890 during reign of Nawab Sir Muhammad Bahadur Khan III at behest of his Diwan Haridas Viharidas Desai, who used to public money by organizing lottery to build the temple and foot steps leading up the mount Girnar.[5]

Narsinh Mehta in one of his verses mentions this fact as quoting self as under :-

(Gujarati:

—‘ગિરિ તળેટી ને કુંડ દામોદર ત્યાં મહેતાજી ના’વા જાય.’)

..at the foot hills of Girnar, there is Kund (lake) Damodar, where Mehtaji goes for bathe...

There are other holy lakes, known as Revati Kund and Mrigi Kund, which are located nearby Damodar Kund. Hindus prefer to bathe in all these lakes to get rid of their sins.[7]

There is a large fair held on Amavasya day of Bhadarva month as per Hindu calendar since ancient time at Damodar Kund[3] and is one of the two most important fairs held at Girnar, other being fair held at Bhavnath on Maha Shivaratri[7][8][9]

Damodar Kund is one of the monuments protected by the state government of Gujarat. It is a temporary check-dam reservoir, which are being made and shifted regularly, in order to maintain water levels throughout the year at Damodar Kund. There are changing rooms, public toilet and other basic amenities provided by government, who have built permanent structure at Damodar Kund for facility of pilgrims.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Folklore Notes - 2 Vols. (Vol. I - Gujarat, Vol. II - Konkan) By R.E. Enthoven. 1989. 
  2. ^ a b Global Encyclopaedia of the Brahmana Ethnography edited by K.S. Krishna Rao. 2008. p. 177. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Gazetteer , Volume 8, Bombay (India : State). Government Central Press, 1884. 1884. p. 442. 
  4. ^ At the Three Rivers TIME, February 23, 1948.
  5. ^ a b Census of India, 1961: Gujarat published by India. Office of the Registrar General, 1965, pp 818.
  6. ^ Gir Forest and the Saga of the Asiatic Lion By Sudipta Mitra. p. 12. 
  7. ^ a b c Fairs and Festivals of India: Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra by Madan Prasad Bezbaruah, Dr. Krishna Gopal, Phal S. Girota - 2003 - Page 157
  8. ^ Gazetteers: Junagadh - Page 316
  9. ^ Gujarat State gazetteers - Volume 11 - Page 316