Ganga Yatra – Part 4

One more view, from the hillock of Ganga Devi Mandir, and then we shall go down….


Let us now come down the stairs, and drive a km or so, back into the Garhmukteshwar village…

We arrive at an arch entrance of a place called Nakka Kuan.

Posters are stuck on the portal… Announcing a Bhaagavata Puraana Katha by Jagadguru Shankaracharya Divyananda Teerthji of Bhanpura Peeth…

Stepping inside the arch, one walks back in time…


Walking down this path, leads us to a nice courtyard…. A holy tree, some shrines…. Peace….


We notice an elderly Sanyaasi, cleaning the courtyard… We ask him which is Nakka Kuan…. He points to a small gate… We peer through the gate, and notice this well…


This is Nakka Kuan, originally known as Nahusha Koop… King Nahusha of very ancient times, is said to have constructed this well, in the premises of Mukteshwar temple (which is also in this complex).

Who was King Nahusha? Ok… Time for stories…

The story of King Nahusha is given in detail in Mahabharata… Here’s a short version..

King Nahusha was one of the forefathers of the five Pandavas. He was a very great King and performed ever so many Ashvamedha Yagya. At that time, Indra, the Ruler of Devaloka, lost his position because of some circumstances.  The Devas then approached Nahusha to take up the position of Indra, for he had accumulated so much merit that he was eligible for taking up the position of Indra. Nahusha wanted to decline the offer, but was persuaded by the celestial deities (Devas) to accept. He then took up that position.

As he got comfortable in that position, the power of that post started going to his head… He started behaving with great arrogance… Finally, he decided that as he was now the King of Devaloka, he has a right to Indrani, the wife of Indra. He sent word to her to come to him, as he was now the Lord of Devaloka. In fright, she sought the refuge of Brahma… Nahusha was pressurizing her and threatened all with dire consequences if she did not agree to his demand… She pleaded with Brahma, and then on his advice, she also took some steps to get advice from Indra who was in hiding, and then she sent word to Nahusha, that she was in-principle not in disagreement… She would accept him, provided he came to her in regal glory, carried in a palanquin by the Seven great Rshis (Saptarshis)… He was in seventh heaven and ordered the Seven Rshis to carry him… Thus it is that by the trick of Indrani, Nahusha was made to commit this great blunder of asking the Saptarshis to carry  his palanquin…

The Sapta-Rshis agreed… One of the Rshis was the great sage Agastya…In Agastya’s matted locks, Bhrgu Rshi was hiding… Nahusha found that Agastya being clumsy, and kicked him, urging him to go faster… The sage and Rshi Bhrigu then cursed him to fall from his position and become a serpent and languish on earth.

No sooner did Agastya utter the curse, Nahusha fell… Even as he fell, he realized his folly, and pleaded with Agastya for mercy. Agastya was all compassion, and told him that he would be relieved of this curse one day, when the great King Yudhisttira would come and answer all his questions on Dharma… He also blessed Nahusha with continued memory, and the ability to overcome any prey.. By Agastya’s boon, any creature that would be caught by Nahusha would lose all its strength of body and mind….

So it is that Nahusha fell on earth and became a massive Python…. And lived on the chance creatures that came his way…

Many, many years later… The Pandavas, who were of his lineage, were on their forest exile period…. 12th year or so… Having spent a month in Badarikashrama (Badrinath), they went to other parts of Himalaya and then came down…. One day, Bheema went hunting… And as destiny would have it, he came to the region of Nahusha, the snake… Nahusha had seen no prey for a long time, and was famished… Seeing the well endowed Bheema, Nahusha grabbed him, and in a second, Bheema was caught in his coils, and  also lost all his strength… Stunned, he asked the snake who he was, and the snake told him all about himself…

Meanwhile, Yuddhisttira found that Bheema was missing… He also saw many evil omens.. Asking Arjuna to guard Draupadi, he left, searching for Bheema. Following Bheema’s trail was not difficult, ahd he soon found him in the cage of a python’s coils… Then follows a dialog between Nahusha and Yuddhisstira… Yuddhisttira replies to all the complex questions of Nahusha… Yuddhittira realizes the great sagacity and knowledge of Nahusha and in turn asks him many questions.. Nahusha clarifies all his questions… As a part of the dialog Nahusha tells Yuddhisttira:

सत्यं दमस्तपो दानं अहिंसा धर्मनित्यता |
साधकानि सदा पुंसां न जातिर्न कुलं नृप ||

“O King! It is Truth, Control of mind and senses, penance / austerity, charity, abstention from doing injury to any creature, and constancy in virtue, that are the means by which man achieves success / salvation, and not his race or lineage!”

At the end of his conversation with Yudhisttira, Nahusha is pleased and releases Bheema.

By the boon of Agastya, Nahusha is also released from his curse upon meeting Yudhittira, regains his lustrous form and leaves for higher regions….

The story is long and fascinating…

It is this King Nahusha who is supposed to have built this well, the Nahush Koop, or Nakka Kuan… The waters are from Ganga that flows nearby… A holy well, as ancient as time….

Lets have one more look at Nahush Koop…


If only the Government Authorities took some interest… So much tourism potential in India…. Sigh….

There has been a constant drizzle…. Starts becoming heavier…

Next stop, the mandir of Mukteshwar….

**** To be continued ***

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2 Responses to “Ganga Yatra – Part 4”

  1. krishni457 Says:

    excellent. We are thrilled to read the story and the well and the old buildings. North indian villages r well versed in these Puranas. Why Govt alone to improve tourist potential. Good private organizations can train graduates of Good character & run a tourist system. let us put this to young people. See one lakh people applying for a few constable posts. Krishnan

  2. Lakshmi Srinivas Says:

    The third pic from the top is rather nice. Your pic’s are getting better and better. Why don’t you remove the second last pic and substitute it with the last pic. It’s the same except for the view of that other bldg.

    Nice story.

    Incidentally, the Indian doctor turned Management guru Devdutt Pattanaik talks of executives in corporate land who get obsessed with one perk which is denied to them. He says they suffer from ‘Nahusha syndrome’. He was refering to Nahusha’s obsession with Sachi being made available to him.

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