Parashuram Kund Mela: The Kumbh Mela of North East

Parashuram Kund Mela: The Kumbh Mela of North East

Parashuram Kund Mela: The Kumbh Mela of North East

Do you know which fair is known as “The Kumbh Mela of the East’? Parashuram Kund mela in the Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh is regarded as The Kumbh Mela of the East’. It becomes rejuvenated particularly on the 14 January every year where thousands of pilgrims throng not only from India, but neighbouring countries also. They come for a holy dip coinciding on the day of Makar Sankranti with a belief that “a dip in the Kund washes away all sins.”

How you can go there:

It is about 20 km. from Tezu, the district headquarters of Lohit district. The holy place can be approached via Namsai and Chowkham, being about 60 km. away from the later.

Arunachal Government, particularly the district authorities, did their best and did not leave any stone unturned to facilitate the devotees by extending transport, lodging, medical cover and other facilities.

Kund and Mela:

The Kund is approached from land only as the sharp curve of the river, along the steep mountain walls; make it inaccessible from river side. A hillock about 50 feet high rises above the road level. Below the road level are two level grounds. The first one is a narrow strip along the course of the river that ends just near the hillock where the river takes the turn. It is about 15 feet high above the river bed and gently slopes to the west. The ‘mela market’, is held here. About 10-20 feet above it, there is a vast plain with plantation that almost ends in a point where the Namsai-Chowkham- Parshuram Kund road meets the fair-weather road that passes across the ‘mela market. A small clearing about the ‘meeting point accommodates the hall and guest quarters and this section named Parashuram Nagar. Parashuram Kund, open up for few days in January every year for the devotees, has an importance of its own. The legendary butchering of his mother’s head by Parshuram and eventual penance followed by taking a bath in the so-called Barhma Kund, has added religious significance to the naturally beautiful Parshuram Kund. Every Year, on the day of Makar Sankranti in the month of Magha (usually January 14), pilgrims in thousands from various part of the country visit the place for a holy dip.

A temporary market place is set up; transaction of various articles takes place here. A ‘mela market’ at Tezu about 20 kms downstream from the Kund every year on this occasion for a period of three weeks changes the otherwise thinly populated district headquarters town of Lohit district into a scene of hustle and bustle. The Government earns revenue from issuing inner Line Permit to the pilgrims and temporary permits to businessmen who set up shops on the occasion of the Mela’. Arunachal Pradesh State Transport Corporation provides special bus services for the convenience of pilgrims. The district Craft Centre displays traditional articles on the mela spot for sale, thereby displaying the rich traditional heritage of the native people.

Ancient Mythological History about the Kund:

Thus, for a period of two to three week in January every year Parshuram Kund is turned into a mini-India. Many Puranic texts have mentioned the story of Parshuram Kund in different ways but the present narration has been mainly drawn from Srimad Bhagavat in the following words: “Parshuram was born to saint Jamadagni and Renuka in Treta. One day, Renuka after taking her bath in Ganga was on her way back to the Ashram when she saw the Gandharva King Chitraratha playing with celestial nymphs. She felt so much attracted to and interested in this sporting scene that she forgot everything. She felt drawn to the king Chitraratha and lost the track of time. When she returned with wet cloths, frightened and absent minded, it was already time for mid-day worship in the Ashram, Jamadagni, who was worried over the delay of her returning from the bath, could perceive why she was late.

Jamadagni then became so much furious for this unusual conduct of Renuka that he lost his self-control. He asked his sons present there to kill their mother. But none obliged him except Parshuram who obeyed his father’s cruel mandate as a dutiful son. He approached and executed his mother as he was completely mindful of his dad’s capacity of Tapasya. He even killed his brothers because they did not carry out their father’s command. Jamadagni was greatly pleased with Parshuram for his fatherly love and wanted to reward him by granting boon. Parshuram prayed for five boon which were (i) revival of his mother and brothers, ii)expiation of matricidal sin, (iii) disappearance of son’s crime from mother’s mind, (iv) invincibility in any battle and (v) long life. Jamadagni readily granted all his five prayers and Renuika came back to life as if she was awakened from her deep slumber.

But with the grant of boon, Parshuram’s sin could not be expiated. Jamadagni advised him to have a pilgrimage to Brahmakund. A holy dip in the Kund would wash off his sin. Accordingly he went to Parshuram Kund in the Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh, to atone for his matricidal sin. He took a dip in the Kund and felt refreshed. All his sins were washed off.”

Maintenance of the Kund:

There is a general public known as the Parshuram Kund Improvement Society Ltd., framed as right on time as on 27th May 1985 to build up the Parshuram Kund and its premises with all infrastructure facilities to convert it into a regular pilgrim and tourist centre and to organise the annual Parshuram Kund Mela in a befitting manner etc. There is also a governing body of the society consisting of 20 members belonging to different tribes of the district with the Governor and the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh as patrons’ arrangement for Parshuram Kund Mela. Different aspects like preparation of mela ground, transportation, accommodation, water supply, electrification, deployment of volunteers, fixation of permit fees for transient vendors etc. are considered an action entrusted to different departments, organisations and institutions in the district.

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