10.2 C
Monday, February 26, 2024

Dongargarh’s Bambleshwari Temple, A Great Confluence of History and Faith

Dongargarh was known as Kamantipuri 2500 years ago because it was ruled by a monarch named Kamsen

Must read

Niloy Chattaraj
Niloy Chattaraj
COO of Transcontinental Times, A double gold medalist engineer who covers social issues, science, and Indian history.

INDIA. Chhattisgarh, Dongargarh: As the saying goes, there is some truth in local people’s ballads, and Dongargarh is a prime example of this. You can see the glory of Dongargarh at the time of Navratri (nine days of Mother’s devotion in April) when thousands of devotees will line up to see the Mother’s darshan (glimpse).

It is the place where faith meets with history. Devotees visit one of the shakti-peeths (places where cosmic energy appears to manifest as idols) throughout the year. Bamleshwari temple is located about 200 kilometres from Nagpur on the top of a 1,600m (490 m) high rock mountain.

- Advertisement -
Photo Credit: Niloy Chattaraj

Armed with several trolleys to climb up, bypassing more than 1000 steps, the Dongargarh temple is now drawing more devotees to it post COVID-19 pandemic. Dongargarh is well-known to the general population, although only a few people are aware of its historical significance.

Photo Credit: Niloy Chattaraj

Alexander Cunningham’s reference 

Alexander Cunningham made a specific mention of this location and the temple in his magnum opus, Archeological Survey of India Volume XVII. He wrote, “Dongargarh is situated in a basin of the hills, surrounded by jungle, and is supposed to occupy a portion of the site of the ancient city of Kamantipuri.”

- Advertisement -
Photo Credit: Niloy Chattaraj

“Within the last 40 years, six old-world domes stood here; but in the time of the late ruler of Nagpur these were knocked down, and their materials were used for the construction of the bridges on the former Nagpur and Raipur road. It was a very busy marketplace for grains purchases.”

Cunningham wrote, “Later in I864, the place was a jungle hamlet of some 20 houses, but having a Sunday bazâr, which met in honor of the goddess Bagla-Mukhi Devi, an effigy of whom stands at the foot of a craggy hill overhanging the valley.”

- Advertisement -

“In that year Jamna Das ( a grain merchant) opened a branch shop here and began making purchases of grain. As the demand for Chhattisgarh produces increased, the Sunday bazâr (market) grew larger and larger, and as the position was central, both for buyers from Nagpur and Bombay, and for sellers from Raipur and Bilaspur, while the jungle afforded abundant shade, it became the favorite grain market of the countryside, and is now the most important mart for grain in the whole of Chhattisgarh.” 

He mentioned the number of people, assembled at this place in Sunday Bazar, as nearly a hundred thousand. 

Kamantipuri and its connection with Vikramaditya of Ujjain 

Dongargarh was known as Kamantipuri 2500 years ago because it was ruled by a monarch named Kamsen. The ancient drama book ‘Madhavanal – Kamkandala’ mentions this location. There is a battle event in this book between King Kamsen and King Vikramaditya of Ujjain. 

Simhasana Dvatrimsika (popularly known as Singhasan Battisi) wrote a famous book based on the stories of King Bhoj, who was meant to find the great king Vikramaditya’s throne.

It was made up of 32 precious stones, each representing a different event in King Vikramaditya’s life. In the 21st parable of this book, Kamantipuri and the aforementioned fight are mentioned.

When devotees pay their homage to this temple, they should also pay homage to the antiquity of this place, a place that is the confluence of history and faith.

Also Read: Khajuraho Dance Festival: A Celebration of Life


- Advertisement -



Trending Today