Dhosi Hill

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Aerial View of Dhosi Hill Crater
View of Dhosi Hill crater showing various structures

Dhosi Hill, an extinct Volcano, standing alone in the North-West end of Aravali Mountains range located at 28*03'39.47"N and 76*01'52.63"E is a unique and important hill. Unique, for the reasons, it has all the physical features of a perfect volcanic hill with distinct crater, lava still lying on it and giving a perfect conical view from top and important because it can reveal many a facts about the initial development of Vedic Sanskriti or Sanatana Dharma, the original name of the oldest religion in the world, which at present times is called 'Hinduism'. The hill is mentioned widely in Sanskrit Granths or Holy Books of Hindus like Brahamanas, Mahabharat, Puranas etc. Hill having physical features of an extinct Volcano, is described in epic Mahabharat that it, has features like 'three distinct hill tops', 'three perennial water falls' and housing the Ashram of revered Rishi Chyavana (for whom tonic Chyawanprash was prepared for the first time), had 'appeared' (obviously through Volcanic eruption), at the confluence of Treta and Dwapar yug [1] which happens to be within last 10,000 years.

Location of the Hill[edit]

Chyavana Rishi, who had his Ashram, on this hill and was cured by Ayurvedic treatment

Dhosi Hill is located in India, on the borders of two states, south Haryana and north Rajasthan. Haryana portion of the Hill lies in District Mahendragarh, and is located 5 km from Narnaul on Singhana Road and the Rajasthan portion lies in the district of Jhunjhunu.

In revenue records of the villages where the hill is located, Dhosi Hill is known as Pahadi Dhusran i.e.the Pahadi or the Hill owned by Dhusars. Dhusars are Vaishyas and Brahmins and descendants of the dynasty of Chyavana and Bhrugu Rishis. A Dhusar is also known as 'Bhargava' in present times. The present ownership of the hill belongs to the three Panchayats of villages 'Dhosi' in district Jhunjhunu in the state of Rajasthan, villages 'Thana' and 'Kultajpur' in the district of Mahendragarh of state Haryana. The three villages are inhabited on the three waterfalls, which get activated during monsoons in the months of July–August, originating from the 'Sarover' on the hill top. The three water falls are clearly mentioned in the epic 'Mahabharat'. Each village has an ancient water reservoir also in their village to augment the needs of water for villagers as well as animals.

While the ground level is about 900 feet above the sea level, the hill top is another 900 feet above the ground level.

Eruption of the Volcanic Hill[edit]

Lava or eruptions lying at Hill

As per epic Mahabharat, in Vanparv,[2] eruption of this Hill had taken place in the beginning of Treta Yug. This fact was described by the Guru Shaunak, who had accompanied Pandavs during their agyaatwas visit to this hill some 5100 years ago. Lava in solidified condition can still be seen on the hill on one side. Physical conditions and Pictures of lava show that description in epic 'Mahabharat' is quite appropriate. As per further descriptions in the epic, the Hill has remained revered all the times since 'appearing' or erupting, as it was inhabited by respected Rishis and Munis, who contributed to Vedic Sanskriti books. Guru Shaunak gave an approximate period of eruption of this hill as Treta Yug, some 9-10,000 years ago. An analysis and dating of Lava scientifically can give the finer time and period of eruption of this hill.

Mentions in Sanskriti books[edit]

Dhosi hill is an important landmark to trace out the happenings during the Vedic period 9-10,000 years ago. This is an important site mentioned in various Sanskrit Epics. As per description in Mahabharat, Pandav brothers visited this hill and their Guru, Shounak who had accompanied them, explained the importance of this site during Vedic period.

As per Manusmriti, this hill is part of the Vedic state of 'Brahmavarta' [3] which was also called 'Devbhumi'. This being a volcanic hill had erupted on the banks of a river Drishadvati, which had its origin in Aravalli mountains, from Lord Brahma's abode at Pushkar Lake near Ajmer. According to research by 'Brahmavarta Research foundation',[4] Rewari, the main Vedic Sanskriti books like Manusmriti, Vedas and Upnishads were initiated in this area called the small state of Brahmavarta, of Vedic period, where Rishis and Munis lived. Lord Manu, Rishis like Bhrigu, Chyavana, Durvasa, Piplad etc., who have contributions to various Sanskriti books, had their Ashrams in the vicinity, 50 KMtrs radius of this hill.

Brahmavarta State, Saraswati and Drishadwati rivers[edit]

As per Manusmriti,[5] Vedic state of Brahmavarta was at the confluence of two revered rivers Saraswati and Drishadwati. While Saraswati came from Himalayas in the North, Drishadwati came from Ajmer and Jaipur Hills in Aravalis, to first towards North, up to village Nangal Chaudhery in Haryana, and then took turn towards west in the Vedic state of Brahmavarta,(originating from abode of Brahama, at Pushkar Lake[6] near Ajmer) and formed the northern border of Bharmavarta. As per documents[7][8] 5 streams had flown from Pushkar Hills and were called 'Saraswati' but covering 200 Kilo Metres and entering Brahmavarta from eastern side the river was called Drishadwati river (a river with stones). Saraswati, which came from Himalayas had made the western border while Drishadwati made the northern border of Brahmavarta.

Rigved which has shaloks composed during 7500 BCE to 3000 BCE was initiated by Rishis in this area which was a confluence of vedic rivers Saraswati and Drishadwati, presently called Sahibi. One of the shaloks (RV 7.95.1) clearly mentions Khetri Copper Mines to be located near Saraswati River. It says " prakshodasA dhAyasA sasr eshA saraswati dharUNamAyasl pUh prabAbadhana ratthyeva yAti vishvA apo mahina sindhuranyA" meaning " This Sarasvati, firm as a city made of Ayas (Copper) flows rapidly with all sustaining water, sweeping away in its might all other waters as a charioteer (clears the road).

The Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Publications, 14–17 April, Rabat, Morocco, 121-129, have explained that these well sprung-up palaeochannels are traces of the mighty Saraswati river which once ruled the deserts... (these and )other studies show clearly that Saraswati river once flowed close to the Aravalli hill ranges and met the Arabian sea in the Rann of Kutch.

Another Remote sensing study [9] of the Great Indian Desert reveals numerous signatures of palaeochannels in the form of curvilinear and meandering courses with feeble to contrasting tonal variations. The Saraswati river, which is believed to be lost in the desert, could be traced to these palaeochannels as a migratory river. Its initial course flowed close to the aravalli ranges and successive six stages took west and northwesterly shifts till it coincides with the dry bed of Ghaggar river.

Dhosi Hill is more popular and is known as Chyavana Rishi's Ashram or hertimage. Chyavana Rishi was the son of Bhrugu Rishi, who has contributed a lot to the various Sanskrit books of the Vedic period, like Manusmriti, Bhrigu Samhita, Taittiriya Upnishad and many more. Saint Bhrigu and BhruguVanshies (descendants of Bhrigu) are mentioned in Hindu Books like Ramayana and Mahabharat also.

Floods in the area and composition of Manusmriti[edit]

Matsaya pulls a boat carrying Manu and Saptrishi during floods or Pralaya

About 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age and beginning of holocene period, because of fast melting of glaciers, rivers worldwide [10] had floods, causing widespread destruction. This is mentioned in Persian book Avesta as well as several Indian Sanskrit Books or Vedic Granths. After the floods, Rishis in the Vedic state of 'Brahmavarta', also called 'Devbhumi' in 'Manusmriti' [11] approached the oldest Seer at that time Manu, who was four hundred years old and who had escaped floods successfully,[12] to "guide the community from his 'memory' and experiences, on how to face such calamities in future and lead life peacefully in an organised manner. It was a conference of important saints and seers of that period to launce a 'civilised and organised society'. Conference held in 'Brahmavarta' state, the abode of Rishis of that time, can be called a formal launching of 'Vedic Sanatan Dharma'.

Manu and Bhrigu narreted shaloks on various aspects of life, which were carried for a long time verbally through generations and then compiled in written form gradually as facilities appeared. The document is known as 'Manusmriti'. It was only an 'advisory' by veteran Rishis, Manu and Bhrigu, and not an 'ordinance' by Manu, as wrongly described by British linguist Sir William Jones. However, Sir William Jones had a great respect for Manusmriti and considered it containing valuable information. After his death in 1794 in Calcutta, East India Company, which was ruling most of Indian territory at that point in time, got installed a statue of him at the premises of Saint Paul's Cathedral in London, holding a copy of 'Manusmriti' in hand. Britishers had taken 'Manusmriti' as a 'Law Book' for Hindus during their administration.

Also the first edition of the English translation of 'Manusmriti' which appeared in the series 'Sacred Books of the East', Vol. 25, in 1886 written by German Prof. George Buhler Friedrich Nietzsche described Manusmriti "an incomparably spiritual and superior work" compared to the christian Bible.

Centre of Ayurveda[edit]

Renovated 'Kayakalp' pond at Dhosi Hill, in which a herbal solution was prepared for Chyavana Rishi for his skin treatment

Dhosi Hill has remained an important Ayurvedic centre since the Vedic times because of fertile and virgin soil on the volcanic hill. The entire hill has several types of rare herbs, though because of negligence of neighbouring Panchayats herbs are getting damaged by animal grazing and cutting of shrubs and trees by villagers.

CHYAWANPRASH 'Chyawanprash', a paste of 46 herbs, and oldest known generic brand worldwide, was created/formulated here for the first time. During Vedic period, when revered Rishis Bhrigu and Chyavana lived, some 9 to 10000 years ago, a formulation of Herbal Medicines was formulated for the aged looking and weak 'Chyavana Rishi' by the 'Royal Vaids' or 'Raj Rishis', the twin brothers called 'Ashvini Kumar' Brothers on Dhosi Hill. This formulation was called Chyawanprash or 'CHAVANPRASH'. The formulation 'Chyawanprash' is still very popular at present times as well. It sells in huge quantity throughout India and abroad. This is perhaps the oldest commercial brand of all times selling any where in the world and has been marketed in India by renowned actors and sports persons like Amitabh Bacchan, Sharukh Khan, Saurabh Ganguly etc.

KAYAKALP 'Kayakalp' is a 'skin toning and glowing process' which made the revered Rishi Chyavana look young, who was a case of early delivery at birth. The story has mentions in Mahabharata, Brahmanas and Puranas. Ashwini Kumar brothers had developed this process with the use and application of various herbs. This formulation had become very popular even among the common people of that period and has mentions in different Vedic books. Even at present times the pond water at the hill top, is considered good for rejuvenation and 'Kayakalp' of body and considered sacred. People come from long distances to take a dip in various Sarovers on different sides of the hill. The scientific reason for water to become 'rejuvenating' is that water which flows from all sides on the hill, which has copper content in it, brings dissolved herbs and tinge of copper in it. Traces of Copper in water is not only germicidal but is good for eyes, skin and digestion. So the sacredness. A regular use of such water treats people of many ailments.

Heritage Fortified[edit]

Serpentine Stairs to Dhosi Hill Crater from Kultajpur Side
Remnants of a fort built during medieval period by Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya

Dhosi Hill has remnants of a Fort which was built by Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, also known as Hemu about 500 years ago, on the hill top of this hill. Thick walls, up to 25 feet high and 40 feet wide are built even along the steepest and tops of the hills. Fort was constructed to safeguard the Heritage and Ashrams on the hill from frequent attacks by Muslim invaders during medieval period. Hemu is known in history as a Dhusar. It was because of his origin from this area that his community was known as 'Dhusar'. To replace the old temple a Fort like temple of Chyavana Rishi was built at the crater of the hill in the 1890s, which is 125 years old, by the Dhusars or the Bhargava Community.

All weather stairs in stone and lime plaster are constructed on Kultajpur and Thana sides of villages. The way from Dhosi village and pony track from Thana village are damaged at present. Stairs from Kultajpur side are the most comfortable means of going to top of hill. Stairs are wide and one can relax on them at places. Journey gives a good view of villages in neighbourhood and distant Aravali ranges. During Monsoons, one gets to pass through clouds as well.

The Chyavana Rishi temple has Shekhawati paintings in the Garbhagrah of the temple, a basement which can be used as a 'Dharmshala' (Resting place) for pilgrims. Among other structures on the hill is the renovated 'Chandrakoop', where the 'Raj Rishis' had prepared a solution for the treatment of Chyavana Rishi for his skin ailments. An ancient well for the supply of water for drinking and other purposes exists on the top of hill which is recharged by seepage and percolation of water from adjoining reservoirs which are charged by the rain water on the hill.

Haryana Government is now providing drinking water at the hill through mechanical uplifting from village Thana side located on the base of the hill.

Shiv Kund and Sanskrit Sansthan[edit]

Shiv Kund Complex at Dhosi Hill, which also had a Sanskrit Vidyalaya
'Shiv Kund' Sarovar at 'Dhosi Hill'

Halfway on way to top of the Hill from village Kultajpur side in the south direction of the hill, a water reservoir known as 'Shiv Kund' is located, which gets its recharging from the reservoir on the top. Shiv Kund had a Sanskrit Vidyalaya next to it, which was in operation till three decades ago. Apart from Sanskrit vidyalaya the hill had facilities for 'continuous recitation of Vedic richas' on the hill, thus giving the hill a name 'Richic Parvat' as described in epic Mahabharat. Shiv Kund, Temple and other structures around it are managed by a community trust of local Mittal community.

Rejuvenating Sarovar at Top[edit]

Plaque of Birla Brothers at the Dam Sarover on 'Dhosi Hill'
Sacred sarover for pilgrims atop Dhosi Hill

An ancient Sarover (Reservoir) for storing rain water for bathing for pilgrims is located on the hill for centuries. The rain water stored in the Sarover carries some rejuvenating properties and treatment for skin ailments. The water in the reservoir becomes herbal and 'Cupric' because of good quantity of Copper metal in the hill and growth of rare herbs in large quantities. The reservoir gets silted over the time and needs to be desilted at regular intervals. In 1944 (Vikrami Samvat 2000), the renowned industrialists 'Birla Brothers', led by G.D.Birla, who hailed from nearby Pilani village (popular for BITS, Pilani), got the reservoir desilted and constructed a proper concrete dam on the site to increase the storage capacity of reservoir in the memory of their father Raja Baldev Rai Birla. A plaque is put on the Dam to this effect which states that reservoir could be used for bathing by all shades of Hindu pilgrims, including Sanatan, Harijan, Arya Samaji, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. This plaque shows that there was no caste barrier in using the facilities at this pilgrimage centre. Last time this reservoir was desilted in the year 2003 by the efforts of INTACH, "Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage" an renowned NGO based at Delhi and Haryana.

Parikrama and Reverence[edit]

Water reservoir on the Northern Parikrama route of Dhosi Hill
Cave on the route of Parikrama, which provides shelter to pilgrims in case of emergencies

Dhosi hill is revered by Hindus since its eruption. It has several mentions in Sanskriti books. Visitors to the hill for pilgrimage always had a parikrama of this revered hill. Narrating how all persons take a Parikrama of this hill, Guru Shaunak of Pandavs asked them to join him for this ritual during their visit to hill. The old 'Parikrama' is distinctly and clearly identifiable in the picture above. Some people take the Parikrama even at present times, though there are no facilities available for pilgrims. In case of rains, dust storms or heat waves, no shelters are available. No drinking water facilities are there on 8–9 km parikrama track. Some portions of the ancient 'Parikrama' are damaged because of land slides.

A few decades ago sufficient facilities were available to pilgrims visiting Dhosi Hill for Parikrama. Water reservoirs were there on the route, Sufficient number of trees were there for protection against sun and rains.

Temples and Religious Melas[edit]

Chyvan Rishi Temple on Dhosi Hill constructed by Bhargava community in the 1890s
Ancient Shiva Temple on the levelled surface of the hill

Apart from Temples at Shiv Kund, halfway to top of hill from Kultajpur side, there are several temples on the crater portion of the Hill. Most prominent among them is Chyvan Rishi temple built by Bhargava community. There is a Shiv temple on the crater, a devi temple on the hill top, a Ram Temple next to the Royal Guest House and some small-small set ups. Different temples attract devotees on different days, but generally devotees visit all temples.

Several Melas take place on the Hill on various festivals and special days. On 'Somvati Amavasya' day lots of people assemble at the hill for a holy bath on the Sarovers at the hill. As per the map available of the period of the 1890s, there were separate Ghats for women known as 'Janana Ghats' but now they are abandoned.

Swami Vivekananda's Links[edit]

Royal Guest House at Dhosi Hill where Swami Vivekanand had stayed some times during his visits to Khetri area

Swami Vivekanand, widely acclaimed and respected Hindu saint, who had travelled widely to different religious places throughout India to study and analyse Hinduism, had a friend, philosopher and guide in the Raja of Khetri Ajit Singh, who helped Swami ji by different means. Swamy Vivekanand had visited Khetri three times during the 1890s [13] and stayed in area for three months. He visited this important site of Vedic Sanskriti also, which was a vibrant place at that point of time, and stayed in the guest house of Raja of Khetri. Swami Vivekanand had introduced spiritual Hinduism to Americans in the 1890s when he went to attend 'World Religions Conference' at Chicago.

Situation 125 Years Ago[edit]

Map of Dhosi Hill depicting all the structures and activities on the hill in 1890

Dhosi Hill was a busy and vibrant place in the 1890s as is described in a map of activities. There was no shortage of water on the hill or around it during that time. Water scarcity in the lean months is the main reason for dwindling activities on the hill at present times. Water in all the reservoirs on top of the hill gets dried up by the month of June, when recharging starts with the onset of Monsoons in July.

There were several settlements of Rishis on the hill, 125 years ago, who used to do and perform religious activities. There were 'Gaushalas' (Cow Sheds) on two locations, a separate wing for widows, and shelters and hutments for Sadhus. Wide variety of herbs were grown on the hill. A herb 'Shilajit' which normally grows in Himalayas was also found here as per the map. Ayurvedacharyas from different corners of the country used to visit Dhosi Hill for rare herbs which grew only on this virgin hill. The temples on the Hill were visited by large number of devotees. Participation of people in Melas used to be huge.

Tourism Potential[edit]

There are four routs around the hill to go up to the crater. Two are from village Thana. Pony path, from village Thana side, which is quite wide should have been the most convenient, but because of erosions and land slidings the path is damaged at many places. Stair path from village Thana is rather steep, and small stairs do not provide even resting places. The third path from Dhosi village side, though is the shortest yet, even the stairs have been washed away at many places by a seasonal waterfall from the hill. The best route to go up the hill is the fourth path from village Kultajpur side, which provides broad stairs and comfortable journey, though there are no rain or sun shelters on route. One can sit on the stairs to rest and enjoy views of old Drishadwati river, presently known as Dohan river. .

The hill provides tourism opportunities to various categories of tourists. Students get to know about an extinct Volcanic Hill with distinct crater, conical hill, solidified lava and variety of herbs on not very old soil. Religious tourists will find ancient caves and Ashram of Chyawan Rishi on the Hill which has a walk from base to Hill top of 30 minutes to one hour depending on how fast one moves. Shiv Kund has old structures of now defunct Sanskrit Vidyalaya. Shiv Kund also falls on this route.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shree Mahabhartai,Van Parvai,shaloks 7-20, Geeta Press Gorakhpur, p.1300
  2. ^ Mahabharat, By Gita Press, Gorakhpur, Van Parv, Shalok No. 14, page no. 1308
  3. ^ Manu Smriti, Translated by Pt. Tulsi Ram Swami, published by 'Sarvdeshic Arya Sabha' New Delhi, Chapter 2, Shalok No. 17, page 74.
  4. ^ Sudhir Bhargava, 'Location of BRAHMAVARTA and DRISHADWATI river is important to find the true alignment of Vedic Saraswati river', Saraswati River: International Conference, 20-22 Nov. 2009, at Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra.
  5. ^ Translation by Pt. Tulsi Ram, Chapter 2, Shalok 17, Page 74
  6. ^ City Development plan for Ajmer and Pushkar, p. 196
  7. ^ Pushkar Lake,Eco.India, Retrieved 2010-01-23
  8. ^ Rajputana District Gazetteers Part 1, Scottish Mission Industries Co. Ltd.,1904, pp 18-19
  9. ^ P.C.Bakliwal and A.K.Grover, 1988, Signatures and migration of Saraswati river in Thar Desert, Western India, Rec. Geol. Surv. Ind., 116:pts. 3-8, pp. 77-86:
  10. ^ http://www.iceagenow.com
  11. ^ Manusmriti by Pt.Tulsi Ram Swami, Chapter 2, shalok 17,18, page 74
  12. ^ Matsayapuran
  13. ^ http://www.swamivivekananda,org

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°03′39.47″N 76°01′52.63″E / 28.0609639°N 76.0312861°E / 28.0609639; 76.0312861