Like most pilgrim centres in other parts of India,
Parashuram Kund in Arunachal Pradesh, situated on the Brahmaputra
plateau in the lower reaches of the north of Tezu in Lohit District,
has been a source of spiritual inspiration of a multitude of devotees
since time immemorial.
The personality and
exploits of Parashuram are part of Indias millennial memory.
Both the great epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, and numerous
scriptures have repeated reference of his deeds. From the study of
the Mahabharata, it is clear that Parashuram taught archery and
military science to the warriors of the Mahabharata such as Bhisma,
Drona, Karna and even wrote treatises on its known as Dhanuveda.
There is also a legend of his killing the Kshatriyas, the warriors
class, to establish the path of righteousness at the time of its
The origin of the
kund is associated with
Parashurams matricide described in the Srimad Bhagvat,
Kalikapurana and in the Mahabharata. One day, Renuka, mother of
Parashuram, went to fetch water. While returning, she felt drawn
towards King Chitranatha playing with celestial nymphs.
Consequently, she was late in returning to the ashram. Jamadagni,
her husband, worried over her delay as it was getting late for the
midday worship. On perceiving through his divine power the reason
for her delay, Jamadagni was so enraged that, on her arrival, he
asked his sons to kill her. None of his six sons except Parashuram
could oblige. He immediately beheaded his mother. The handle of the
axe which he used, however, clung to his hand. Pleased with his son,
Jamadagni desired Parashuram to ask for any boon. Parashuram asked
six boons and one was for the immediate recovery of his mother.
However, this did not wipe out his sin. He was told that the only
way to wash off his sin was by taking a dip in the Brahma Kund. Only
then would the axe stuck to his hand drop. Parashuram ultimately
came to the Brahma Kund in present Lohit District and made a passage
for the kund to come out by digging the bank of Brahma Kund. The
spot where the axe dropped from his hand came to be known as
Parashuram Kund. The Kalika Puram states that a mere bath in the
kund leads to emancipation. The waters of the kund are considered as
sacred as the waters of the River Ganga. In the 18th
century a sadhu re-established the site of Parashuram Kund. The
sadhu who came through Chowkham, as the story goes, was driven out
form his village as he was looked upon as a swindler. The villagers
thereafter were afflicted with some unknown disease. Meanwhile the
sadhu, had hidden himself in a cave around the kund away form the
angry villagers. The villagers came in search of him and offered him
fruits and flowers and asked forgiveness.
The site of the
Parashuram Kund as established by the sadhu was in existence till
1950 when the old site was completely changed by the earthquake that
shook the whole of the North-East and the kund was completely
covered. A very strong current is now flowing over the original site
of the kund but massive boulders have in a mysterious way embedded
themselves in a circular formation in the river bed thus forming
another kund in place of the old.
Makarsankranti day which normally falls in Mid-January every year, an
endless stream of pilgrims come to take a dip in the kund in spite of
the biting cold wind. At midnight, the auspicious ceremony of
Makarsankranti begins and devotees start bathing in the kund.
Though there is
scarcity of accommodation pilgrims bear the hardships bravely and
spend the nigh around the temple, wherever they can find space to
rest their tired bodies and spend the night. Sadhus of different
sects from as far off as the hills of Uttar Pradesh remain at the
kund for two nights after their holy bath singing devotional songs.
There is also some recreation in the form of a mela
(fair) organized on the bank of the River Lohit.
From the data available
it is clear that regular approach routes to the kund were in
existence for centuries but in 1826 when the British Administration
took over this area, and introduced Inner Line regulations, pilgrims
could not move into the interior at liberty. Even today one has to
obtain entry permit to cross the inner line check posts. The office
of the Deputy Commissioner Lohit District issues these permits for
pilgrimages on the occasion of Makarsankranti. Arrangements are also
made to issue entry permits for pilgrims at Dirak and Sunpura check
posts during this period.
The kund is 165
kilometres form Tinsukia, the nearest railway station, 97 kilometres
via Tezu. A fleet of the State Transport Department of Assam and
Arunachal Pradesh make elaborate arrangements for playing buses form
Tinsukia to Namsai, Wakro and Tezu.