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Names and the history in Narmada Parikrama

Excerpts from the book of Vivek ji: Narmada Parikrama -Walking the 3,000 kilometres of sacred Riverbanks of holy Narmada

Bhagvati village in Narmada Parikrama
Vivek ji with young kid from Bhagvati village in Narmada Parikrama

Our next destination after Bavanvahini was the Shulpani mountains, where we planned to spend the night in Bhagvati ( Bhavati). I referred to the place as Bhagvati because it was originally named so, owing to the sangam of Gaur river to Narmada. Gauri, another name for Parvati, is also known as Bhagvati. Historically, the location was referred to as Bhagwati due to the belief that the Gaur river embodies the essence of the goddess Bhagvati. This was here that Anangeshwar Mahadev temple was here but now it is also gone underwater.

Meghnath Teertha is located not too far away in Bhavati, and legend has it that the son of Ravana, Meghnath, stopped here on his route back from Kailash. After a long journey, he was thirsty and exhausted from transporting two Shivalimga from Kailash to Lanka. Here he paused to drink some water and set down the two Shivalinga he had been carrying. Later, he reached out to take hold of a Shivalinga, but it slid out of his hand and into the water. As he readjusted, a second Shivalinga toppled into the water, and he headed back empty-handed. However, both sides of the Narmada River share the same name Meghnath teertha because two Shivalinga fell into the Mother Narmada's waters. Meghnath was a fervent follower of Lord Shiva and had a dedication to Dharma at one time in his life. And this what this nation wants to remember by naming the ghats by his name, this can only happen in India.

India is a fascinating place rich in history, where the names of its towns and villages conjure up legends from long ago. Each name pays tribute to the great diversity of our ancestors and serves as an evocative reminder of our shared history. Unfortunately, it is a sad truth that these beloved legacies, our entire soul, were the first ties that successive people of our country attempted to break. As a result, we are estranged from the realities and narratives that characterise our past. Throughout the tapestry of my life, I have stayed on track with unshakable determination. And as I set off on the hallowed parikrama, I was firm in my resolve to revere and preserve the bygone chapters that were distinctively ours. Considering the vast historical fabric that surrounds us, we feel obligated to learn more about it. We go on a tremendous path of learning with this first step of self-discovery. Indeed, it is the pursuit of knowledge that fuels the fires of spirituality within us.

Excerpts from the book of Vivek ji: Narmada Parikrama -Walking the 3,000 kilometres of sacred Riverbanks of holy Narmada


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