Garh Jungle – History waiting to be unearthed
What does the Books say?
1. Chandi (Markandya Puran) :
“Tashyoah tairobhabad juddhomati prabol dandinoh
Nuh noi ropi sh tairjuddhey kolabidhanshibhirjithoh” (Chapter 1, 6th Sloka)
i.e. King Surath of Satya Yuga lost in a battle with the Kol, Bhil tribes.
“Tattoh sapurmayatoh nijdeshadhipohohbhabhat
akrantoh sh mahabhogostoi stoda probolarivih” (Chapter 1, 7th Sloka)
In 5th Skanda of Devi Bhaghwat, it is mentioned that “Medhos Muni’s ashram is situated at a distance of 3 Jojon (ie 36 kilometers) from Supur (present day Bolpur).”
And as mentioned in the above slokas from Markandya Puran, King Surath after being defeated by the Kol and Bhil tribes, left his kingdom and entered into the forest to find Medhos Muni sitting in a yogic posture under a sal tree beside the Krishna river (present day Ajay river) in the Tapovan on a platform of stone.
Samadhi Vaishya, a man fed up with family problems met him in the forest. Together they were given Mantra by Medhos Muni and was advised to start Chandi Puja. Later, King Surath returned back to his kingdom and reclaimed his throne. Then he returned to establish a Singhabahini temple. In the process he also established a three layered altar (presently rediscovered) and Mrinmoyee idol, the first instance of Durga Puja in the world.
With time one comes across a temple town in the forest replete with temple and servant quarters, etc and surrounded on all sides by a ‘garh’ (fort) of mud, the exact date of construction of all this being open to research.
The Work of Jogiraj Brahmananda Giri Maharaj (an ascetic of Dasnami cult, Atal Akhara)
In 1991 (Bengali 1398), Maharajji was present in Bolpur to set up an ashram and was initiated into the affair by a trance induced reverie, which told him that there was “a temple of Durga deep inside the forest beside a river”. Based on this he started making enquiries and came to know that a jungle existed at a place in Birbhum (from a book named ‘History of Birbhum’) where there existed a temple.
He arrived at the present place in 1994 and started searching and stumbled upon the temple, which was covered by an anthill, beneath a two intertwined asaththa and pakur trees. The ruins of the temple was unearthed by 1996 and subsequently a lot of other runis of temples were excavated
(1. Lakshi Janardhan Mandir
2. Chandi Mandir
3. Shiv Mandir (not totally excavated)).
These findings were based on references in slokas from the Puranas.
Today, a visitor would encounter on arrival at this serene forest abode, many relics from the past which have been unearthed from the past and being looking after by private funding as no governmental help is at hand.
One can visit it as a religious place. But I always visit it for the history...a history which is thousands of years old.
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