India is an ancient and enchanting land. A living museum where reality and mythology have merged over thousands of years.
Rivers are revered and worshipped as Goddesses In India.The River KRSNA or THE DARK ONE is however an exception.
There are numerous spellbinding and fascinating tales going back to the time of CREATION when LORD VISHNU himself is transformed into the RIVER KRSNA (the DARK ONE) .
However I was witness to the birth of THE DARK ONE, a river that runs deep ( upto 75 feet) and across the breadth of the country for 1300 kms ( 800 miles) , It brings fertility and prosperity to all that it touches starting from the lofty peaks of the Western Ghats ( the home to Shekru, the Giant Squirell) and merging with the Bay of Bengal where mangroves ( home to the estuarine crocodiles) emerge.
The path to the mysterious temple where the river is born can be judged by the following picture.
It rains in Mahabaleshwar without a break during the Monsoons.
Visibility was low as the clouds had descended over all of Mahabaleshwar.
I could discern only the outline of another green. hill. The sense of adventure and mystery was creeping up my spine as I realized they were the outlines of a temple.
Was this the fabled land of the river Krsnavena from the Puranas or Kanhapenna from the Jatakas ?
A closer look and an ancient temple overgrown with vegetation emerged. I pinched myself as I was transported back in time.
Observe the spire , it has been weathered by elements of nature and time.
The picture is telling many stories. Are you listening? ( read on)
The Kund or the pond is where the water collects from the GAUMUKH ( Mouth of the Cow) . The circular SHIVLING ( with flowers) is the fountainhead of the migthy river KRSNA.
You can actually see the sheets of rain .
The Western Ghat is the catchment area for several rivers. Mahabaleshwar itself being the origin of five of these rivers.
The Hollow Nandi ( the vehicle of Lord Shiva) at the top centre of the photograph , not to be confused with the cow at bottom centre ? , is another mystery which we will unfold in the following article.
Behold the wonder of the birth of the RIVER KRSNA.
Goodness Gracious we were at the Origin of the River Krsna. The water flowing through the Sacred Cow and flowing from its mouth was the River Krsna being born.
We were informed the water flows under the sanctum sanctorum of the KRSNADEVI temple and emerges as a spout from the mouth of the cow into the KUND.
The temple is thus incredibly built over a channel of water ensuring the Origin of the river is protected for all time to come.
From the KUND the new born river plunges down the mountainside. A fence behind the hollow NANDI ensures you do not follow the path of the river.( see picture above)
As we walked back to the wonderful HOTEL LE MERIDIEN SPA & RESORTS , many questions puzzled me.
Fables and stories of the demons Mahabal and Atibal, of Lord Brahma and yagnas, of battles, curses and boons, churn in my head.
The featured picture is of the Shivling inside the KRSNADEVI temple. I draw your attention ( for now) to the base of the Shivling. .
I will try to unravel these mysteries and tell you many stories as we travel together through this land of wonder and magic.
BE ENCHANTED IN THE FORESTS OF MYTHOLOGY in Mahabaleshwar.