Taxakeshwar

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Taxakeshwar temple
Statue of Taxaka at Taxakeshwar temple
Statue of Dhanvantari at Taxakeshwar temple
Waterfall at Taxakeshwar temple

Taxakeshawar or Takhaji is a place of religious and historical importance in Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh. It is situated at a distance of 22 km from Bhanpura town on Hinglajgarh road.[1] This is the site of serpent king taxak, where he is worshiped as Taxakeshawar but the local people call him Takhaji. Curiously enough he shares the worship of the country folk with Dhanvantri, the Indian Aesculapius.[2][3] The shrine in question stands on a most romantic spot from village Navali[4] situated on the table land at the foot of which Bhanpura lies.[5]

There is a grand natural water pool full of many varieties of fish. The source of water in it is a hot water spring which falls from a height of about 200 feet.[6] The river Takhali at a distance of about 10 km from Chambal River that flows to Jhalawar in Rajasthan falls into this water pool and forms the water fall.

This place is probably the only site having a temple and a statue of nagaraja Taxak. Statue of Taxaka is shown with seven serpent hoods protecting from above. In one hand of Taxaka is shown a human head. On one side is shown his wife and his son on other side. The period of installing this statue is estimated to be 12th century.[7][8] A fair is organized on every purnima of baisakh month of Hindu Calendar.[9]

In front of the statue of Taxaka is installed the statue of Dhanvantari. The main temple has also the statue of Shiva, considered as swami of Taxaka.

Mythological legend[edit]

There is puranic mythological legend heard about nagaraja Taxaka and Dhanavantari in this part of Malwa region in Madhya Pradesh. Emperor Janamejaya ascended to the throne of Hastinapura upon the death of his father Parikshit. According to legend, Parikshit, the lone descendant of the House of Pandu, had died of snakebite. He had been cursed by a sage to die so, the curse having been consummated by the serpent-chieftain Takshak. Janamejaya bore a deep grudge against the serpents for this act, and thus decided to wipe them out altogether. He attempted this by performing a great Sarpa satra - a sacrifice at Nagda that would destroy all living serpents. All the nagas had been destroyed in this nagayagya except Taxaka, who is believed to have obtained boon from Lord Vishnu. Local tradition goes that Taxaka resides here in this place.

On the other hand Dhanavantari along with his followers and medicines was going to save Parikshit. The Taxaka naga with the help of illusive powers took the form of wood-stick of chandan tree. When Dhanavantari took this wood-stick on his shoulder, the Taxaka bite him on back and Dhanvantari died. The local people believe that Dhanvantari stays here since that time as god of herbs and medicines. The local vaidyas first worship Dhanavantari here and then collect medicinal herbs for treatment.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Usha Agarwal:Mandsaur Zile Ke Puratatvik samarakon ki paryatan ki drishti se sansadhaniyata - Ek Adhyayan, Chirag Prakashan Udaipur, 2007, p. 35
  2. ^ Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, Their Origins and History (The History of the Indigenous people of India Vol. 2), Published by Originals (an imprint of Low Price Publications), Delhi, 2002, ISBN 81-7536-287-1, p. 27
  3. ^ J.P.H. Vogel:Indian Serpent lore, p.206
  4. ^ http://www.fallingrain.com/world/IN/0/Navali.html
  5. ^ Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, Their Origins and History (The History of the Indigenous people of India Vol. 2), Published by Originals (an imprint of Low Price Publications), Delhi, 2002, ISBN 81-7536-287-1, p. 27
  6. ^ Usha Agarwal:Mandsaur Zile Ke Puratatvik samarakon ki paryatan ki drishti se sansadhaniyata - Ek Adhyayan, Chirag Prakashan Udaipur, 2007, p. 36
  7. ^ Usha Agarwal:Mandsaur Zile Ke Puratatvik samarakon ki paryatan ki drishti se sansadhaniyata - Ek Adhyayan, Chirag Prakashan Udaipur, 2007, p. 36
  8. ^ Chandra Bhusahan Trivedi:Dashpur, p. 15
  9. ^ Usha Agarwal:Mandsaur Zile Ke Puratatvik samarakon ki paryatan ki drishti se sansadhaniyata - Ek Adhyayan, Chirag Prakashan Udaipur, 2007, p. 36