The ancient Bhimkund located near Bajna village in Chhatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh has flummoxed geologists, marine biologists and pretty much anyone with scientific leanings but has captured the hearts of the devout. Also popularly known as Narad Kund or Neel Kund, this unique body of water with its astonishingly vibrant blue hue is believed to be at least 5000 years old if not more.
This hidden reservoir of stunning blue water is revered by all and has many interesting stories. It is said that one time when the Pandavas along with Draupadi were wandering in the forest during their exile, Draupadi felt weary and thirsty under the scorching rays of the sun and asked for water. Unable to see water in the distance, Bheema who is endowed with the strength of innumerable elephants raised his mace and struck the ground hard and lo! water gushed out immediately and thus, Bhimkund came into existence.
Even today, the hole made from the spot where Bheema’s mace hit the ground is seen from the cave below. The natural body of water is about 40 – 80 m wide and looks exactly like a mace when viewed from above! It is also said that one time Narada Devarshi was traversing the sky and saw a woman and a man in an injured state at this spot. Saddened by the plight of the couple, Narada Devarshi descended to earth to inquire after their condition. The couple said that they are raga and ragini of music and that they would recover only if someone who is accomplished in the art of music will sing Saamagaana.
Narada Devarshi who is known to be masterly in music started singing with such fervour that all the devathas started to sway along with the music. Lord Vishnu became pleased on hearing the rendition of Saamagaana and transformed Himself into a water body. As this water is of the same blue complexion of Lord Vishnu, it came to be called as Neel Kund and Narad Kund.
The kund lies in an underground cave and is about 30 m from the mouth. There is a Shiva Linga that is at the entrance that is worshipped by many. There are other caves close by but very little is known about them. On the upper side of the steps that lead to the entrance of Bhimkund is a magnificent temple of Vishnu (Chaturbhuj) and Lakshmi. There is also another ancient temple near this. There are three smaller temples in a row of Lakshmi Narasimha, Rama Darbar and Radha Krishna respectively.
The water is so clean, clear and transparent that you can see fish swimming underneath but what is baffling is that its origin is unknown and its depth is unfathomable! Discovery Channel as well as some scientists did try to find the bottom of this kund on several occasions, but could not go deeper than 200 m. Locals say that the water in this tank has always been pure like the Ganga and does not deteriorate in quality as normally stagnant water would do.
They also say that the dead body does not float as generally would happen but instead just disappears into the immeasurable depths. Bhimkund also has a formidable reputation of being a trusty indicator of imminent calamities. Locals say that during the Tsunami of 2004, the water in the tank rose by 15 feet! The same has happened before earthquakes and other natural events as well. This mysterious occurrence has befuddled all those who have tried to find a rational answer rather than believe and accept the sanctity of this extraordinary place.
The Maharaja of the princely state of Bijawar started the tradition of organizing a fair on the auspicious occasion of Makara Sankranti in the late 18th century which continues even today. Locals say that as this water is extremely pure and sacred, a dip on Makara Sankranti will heal you as well as wash away all your sins.
This breathtaking cave is a visual paradise and the creation of myriad rainbows when the sun rays fall on the water lends it a mystical air.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)