Brahma Kund, Sihor, Bhavnagar District, Gujarat

One of the lesser-known stepwells built in the 12th century by the valorous Siddharaja Jayasimha of the Solankis is the Brahma Kund in Sihor. This magnificent structure has in fact also great spiritual significance and has even been mentioned in the Puranas thereby, suggesting that this stepwell was built around an ancient kund.

 

As the name suggests, this kund was revered for centuries for its medicinal and healing properties. This is why perhaps, according to folklore, Siddharaja Jayasimha who was suffering from a skin disease drank a little of this holy water and sprinkled it over his body. Much to his amazement, he became rid of the irritation immediately.

 

He realized the spiritual potency of this place and commissioned a stepwell to help his citizens. The original layout spread over a vast area with an intricately carved stepwell with a series of steps forming an interesting geometric pattern, miniature shrines adorned with gods and goddesses as per the tenets of the Shilpa Shastra and temples dedicated to the deities venerated by the locals on the periphery is a sight to behold.

 

Even today, the stepwell manages to exude grandeur and elegance, though damaged in several parts and in need of restoration. Most of the sculptures in the miniature niches are still beautiful but rapidly succumbing to the ravages of the weather and time. There are temples dedicated to Samudra Mataji, Lord Hanuman, Lord Shiva and others around the stepwell.

 

Thousands of locals come on the auspicious occasion of Bhadrapad Amavasya to light lamps and participate in the annual mela. There is historical evidence that Nana Saheb Peshwa II used to visit this place and contributed to the maintenance of the stepwell and surrounding temples.

 

Written by Lakshmi Subramanian

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