Prachin Shiv Mandir, Salwan Village, Karnal District, Haryana

Karnal named after Daanveer Karna is one of the most historically, culturally and spiritually important cities of India. Karnal has been at the centre of many great battles and wars that have determined the course of Indian history. Karnal district is home to many archaeological sites predating the Harappan civilization, tirthas and ancient temples of the Mahabharat era.


Salwan village in Karnal district shot into the limelight when an ancient pond with a temple was discovered to be the sacred Dashashwamedha Tirtha of the Mahabharat period. This holy tirtha has been mentioned in detail in the Vamana Purana and, like most of the divine shrines around Kurukshetra region was revered by the Pancha Pandavas and Lord Krishna.


The pond however appears to have been renovated and added to a temple complex somewhere during the 18th – 19th century by either the Marathas or Maharaja Gajpat Singh of Jind. At present, one can see the pond and temple that were probably the original structures quite close to each other along with another temple and yagnashala that have been built much later.


The original temple is built as a pancharatha in the typical early Nagara style of architecture. The inner walls of both temples are richly decorated with frescos dating back to the late 19th century. No inscription has been found yet in this complex.


Unfortunately, all remnants of the Mahabharat period within the ancient pond have either been stolen or have not withstood the ravages of the weather and time. This ancient pond and temple are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).


The tirth itself is deemed to be sacrosanct and of immense spiritual and religious potency. People from far-flung places come to pray at this tirth.


Written by Lakshmi Subramanian


* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)

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