Griddhraj Parvat

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Author of this article is Laxman Burdak लक्ष्मण बुरड़क

Griddhraj Parvat (also called, Gridhra-kuta Hill and locally known as Giddhaila Pahar) (गृद्घराज पर्वत), which means the hill of vultures. This is a hill of religious, archaeological and ecological importance situated in Devrajnagar village of tehsil Ramnagar in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh, India.

Location

It is located at a distance of 8 km from Ramnagar town and 65 km from Satna in south direction. Its latitude and longitude are 24°18' North and 81°15' East. The altitude of the hill is 2354 feet. The hill is situated between Kaimur hills in the north and Maikal hills in the south.

In Hindu mythology

Griddhraj Parvat is of great religious importance in Hindu mythology. It has been mentioned in Skanda Purana as ‘Griddhanchal Parvat’ (page 208). It is believed to be the birthplace of ‘Sampati’, the brother of Griddhraj ‘Jatayu’ mentioned in Ramayana. The poet Kalidas mentions about this place as the most sacred in his book ‘Griddharaj Mahatmya’ (Narad Uvach) in Sanskrit language. He has written that a dip in the Mānasī Ganga River originating from Griddhraj Parvat, at an altitude of 2354 feet, is a saviour of all kinds of sins. Sons of Brahma and then goddess Parvati first saw this hill. It finds mention in Shiva Samhita (Chapter 19-Bhoogol varnan).

Description by Fa-hien

Chinese traveller Fa-hien had visited this place and has mentioned about Gridhra-kuta Hill in Chapter XXIX by James Legge as under: Chapter XXIX : GRIDHRA-KUTA HILL, AND LEGENDS. FA-HIEN PASSES A NIGHT ON IT. HIS REFLECTIONS.

“Entering the valley, and keeping along the mountains on the south-east, after ascending fifteen le, (the travellers) came to mount Gridhra-kuta.(1) Three le before you reach the top, there is a cavern in the rocks, facing the south, in which Buddha sat in meditation. Thirty paces to the north-west there is another, where Ananda was sitting in meditation, when the deva Mara Pisuna,(2) having assumed the form of a large vulture, took his place in front of the cavern, and frightened the disciple. Then Buddha, by his mysterious, supernatural power, made a cleft in the rock, introduced his hand, and stroked Ananda's shoulder, so that his fear immediately died. The footprints of the bird and the cleft for (Buddha's) hand are still there, and hence comes the name of "The Hill of the Vulture Cavern."

Habitat of vultures

Griddhraj Parvat is a unique habitat of vultures not only in India but the world also. Vultures in number of thousands can be seen in the crevices of the hill rocks. The vulture species seen here are long billed vulture (Gips indicus) and White backed vulture (Gips bengalensis). Apart from vultures it is also the habitat of number of wild animals.

The place is also of archaeological importance. There are four caves on the hill in which Rock painting and mural paintings are visible. An annual fair is organized every year in the month of Magha on the occasion of Vasant Panchami. Thousands of people come and take a dip in Mānasī Ganga River.

References

  • Jitan Singh Diwan, Kothi State, 1907: Rewa Rajya Darpan
  • Kalidas : Griddharaj Mahatmya (Narad Uvach)
  • Shiva Samhita (Chapter 19-Bhoogol varnan)
  • JAMES LEGGE: A RECORD OF BUDDHISTIC KINGDOMS, Being an Account by the Chinese Monk Fa-Hien of his Travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414) in Search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline

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