Vrindavan, 2018.12.30 (VT): The ancient Shiva Kund near Manasi Ganga in Govardhan is on the verge of disappearing. If timely action is not taken, it will soon join the list of Kunds (sacred ponds) that have vanished from Braj.
The ‘Kund’ has nearly dried up, thanks to encroachment and dumping of construction and other waste. Even the steps leading to it are only partially visible now.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) previously ordered the administration to start working on the site’s restoration. Efforts, however, came to a standstill after a preliminary survey was conducted by officials.
Petitioner Satyaprakash Mangal apprised the tribunal of the state of Shiva Kund. The next hearing is scheduled for January 2. Cases pertaining to the conservation and beautification of Giriraj Parikrama, and heritage protection are pending with the NGT.
In addition to being the religious and cultural heritage of Braj, these ‘kunds’ also serve the function of maintaining the groundwater table. According to ancient tradition of design, a ‘go-ghat’ should be constructed next to the ‘kund’ so that cows and even birds can use it to quench their thirst.
Further, as these kunds have religious significance for Hindus, it is only expedient for the government to work on developing them as pilgrimage/tourist destinations.
So far, the UP government has chosen nine ‘kunds’ to feature on the official tourist map. These include Potra Kund, Davanal Kund, Govind Kund, Harji Kund, Narad Kund, Madhusudan Kund, Vihval Kund, Priya Kund and Vrishabhanu Kund. Last year the Yogi Government also promised a sum of Rs 100 crore for their renovation.