Earliest Mention Series: Kutch and Koteshwar temple
- When was Kutch, the largest Indian district from Gujarat, first mentioned in history?
- What is the connection between Kutch and Shiva?
- What was the first mistake of Ravana?
- What is the mystery surrounding the construction of the koteshwar temple in Kutch?
This article has answers to the above questions.
‘First Mention’ video series will explore how different places in the world were mentioned for the first time in history. This video, the first of its series, explores the ‘first mention’ of Kutch.
We also examine the story behind its existence & why you could find a Shiv Linga from the pre-historic era here.
Let us explore.
Surrounded by the Gulf of Kutch and the Arabian Sea to the south and west, Kutch is the largest district in India.
According to Hinduism, Kutch, under the name of Kachchha or coastland or tortoise, was once a desert with close to no population. But one fine day, an older man, losing himself in the woods on his way from the Narayan Sarovar in the west, cleared the district by fire. From the ashes sprang crops of grass so rich that many farmers settled in the region.
Narayan Sarovar is a village with an ancient, mysterious Koteshwar temple still standing tall.
Kotweshwar temple has its roots from Ravana. He had won a Shiv Linga as a blessing from Bhagwan Shiva for his display of devotion. However, Ravana accidentally dropped the linga, and it fell into the Koteshwar district.
Shiva punished Ravana for his negligence by turning the linga into a million identical ones. Unable to find the original, Ravana randomly picked one and left, leaving the original Shiv Linga here, around which Koteshwar Temple was constructed.
The temples, on an ancient sandstone mound about a mile to the village’ northwest, rising boldly from the ocean that touches their western face, are surrounded by a fortified wall, the gate neared by three flights of steps. Writing on the left side of the gate explains that the present fort and temples were built in 1820 CE (Samvat 187 CE7) by two Seths, Jetha Shivji and Sundarji. The courtyard is enclosed by a battlemented wall armed previously with three small guns.
In the middle, on a platform, 41⁄2 feet high, 631⁄2 long, and 49 broads, is a beautifully carved stone temple of Mahadev. The porch has three beautiful domes with, under the central dome, a large and impressive brass bull presented by Rao Deshalji I of Cutch State; in the right dome a giant statue of Hanuman and in the left dome one of Bhagwan Ganesha.
The temples have been renovated and rehabilitated over many centuries by numerous rulers of Kutch, renovation done by regional Kutchi artisans.