Around this time last year, I visited Lohargal in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan in search of a stepwell. I found the stepwell or Chetan Das ki Baoli, And along the way also stumbled upon a temple dedicated to the Pandavas, with a very interesting story attached to it.
The Pandava temple (shrine would actually be a more appropriate word) is on one side of the narrow pathway that leads to the main and ancient temple, dedicated to the sun. I would not have given this shrine, whose walls are covered with subway tiles, a second look if the priest hadn’t called out to me and told me to stop. I did out of politeness and was glad that I did for I had never seen or heard of a Pandava temple in worship till then.
The Pandava shrine is a small one with the Pandavas and Draupadi arranged on either side of Krishna. Framed pictures of other gods are also placed inside the shrine as are packets of clothes, sarees and shawls — offerings from devotees. As I look on and take photographs, the priest narrates the Pandava / Mahabharata connection with Lohargal.
The water tank attached to the Sun temple at Lohargal is considered to be holy, with the power of absolving one of all sins. After the winning Kurukshetra war, the Pandavas came to Lohargal to bathe in the holy waters and also clean their blood-stained weapons in the kund or pond. As the weapons were immersed in the waters of the pond, they dissolved away giving Lohargal its name — Loha (iron)+Gal (dissolve).
Fascinating story, isn’t it? This connect and faith with our epics never ceases to amaze and delight. 🙂
In a land as ancient as India, it is impossible to travel anywhere in the country and not discover a mythical and/or mythological legend associated with it or a connection to one of the great epics — Ramayana or Mahabharata. If all the legends are to be believed then the main characters from both the epics are extremely well travelled people !
For more in the “Travel Shot” series, click here.