Bhor Saidan in Pehowa Kurukshetra

      Bhor Saidan is around 12 km from Kurukshetra, on the way to Pehowa. While travelling from Kurukshetra to Pehowa, this temple is on the right side. We parked our car a few metres from the main gate. We were disappointed to see that the gate had been locked from inside. We knocked a few times, but no one came out. My guide, Vikram, grew impatient. Vikram is a body builder by profession who works as a guide in his spare time. This probably makes him behave more as a wrestler than as a guide! He flexed his muscles and began to bang the gate furiously. Hearing the loud thumping noise, one of the priests arrived at the gate. He partially opened the gate and asked Vikram why he was banging on the gate so violently. Vikram replied that we wanted to visit the temple. The priest retorted that the temple was closed till 4 pm. He asked us to come later. Vikram was wild since he was not a person who would take 'no' for an answer. He threatened to break open the gate. He also told the priest that he had 'high level contacts' and would get the priest removed from his post! The priest was a tough nut to crack. He muttered, "Come back at 4 pm" and walked away. I found the whole spectacle quite amusing I patted Vikram and said, We have not had lunch, let us go back to town and eat. We will come back later:"

      A couple of hours later, we returned to Bhor Saidan. This time, the gate was wide open. To my left, I saw a huge room which had many pictures of Krishna. I also saw an idol of Krishna resting in a cradle. To its right was a Shiva Linga, made of copper. As I walked further, I saw a red temple. This temple had a black Shiva Linga with a border made of white marble. The room was octagonal in shape. I heard continuous chants of Om Namo Shivaya. As I performed the Parikrama of the temple, I saw a small temple dedicated to Hanuman. This was Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple. Next to this, was a temple dedicated to Raja Rajeshwari. It had an idol of the Goddess sitting on a lion.

      On the other side of the temple was a huge open courtyard. The courtyard had six samadhis of saints who were associated with this place. A priest, with a white flowing beard, came and struck up a conversation with us. He asked me, in Hindi, where I had come from. When I told him I was from Bangalore, he switched over to Kannada. It was a pleasant surprise! Even in my wildest dreams, I had not imagined that I would meet a fellow Kannadiga in a remote village in Haryana. The white dhoti-kurta-clad priest told me that his name was Prasad and he hailed from Karnataka. He had left his family behind in Karnataka and was staying here with another priest. He waved his hand towards the other priest who was walking towards us. Imagine our shock when we discovered that he was none other than the priest who had been abused by Vikram a couple of hours ago! Vikram apologised for his bad behaviour and the priest was quite forgiving. He told us that he gets up every morning at four a.m. so he needs to rest in the afternoon. We nodded our heads in sympathy.

      The priest continued, "We lock the gates because many unruly tourists come and disturb our crocodiles. We take care of them like our own children. We do not want their sleep. to be disturbed."

      Crocodiles' did someone say?

      I laughed and told the priest, "You won't believe this, but I thought you said crocodiles!"

      The priest replied with a serious look in his eyes, "Yes, you heard right. That's what I said."

      I jumped out of fear and looked everywhere in the courtyard. It was the priest's turn to laugh. He said, Not here! Please go to the other end of the courtyard and look."

      We went to the wall of the courtyard and peered at the other side. We saw a huge lake filled with weeds and plants. I could spot a few crocodiles resting on the rocks. I cried out loud, "Look at them! Won't they come and attack us?" The priest laughed, "They are our babies!"

      I asked the priest to narrate the legend of Bhor Saidan.

      What a gory end to such a mighty warrior. Compared to this, playing with the crocodile seemed like child's play!

      As we were chatting, we suddenly heard someone calling us. It was Prasad, the priest, informing us that tea was ready. He had earlier insisted that we should have tea and snacks with them. We went to the residential quarters and sat on a cot made of wood and cost. All of us drank the tea and munched on the biscuits that he offered us.

      Seeing Vikram chatting and joking with the two priests, I wondered how a situation could change within a couple of hours. A few hours back, Vikram was at loggerheads with the priests and now, here he was, chatting with them and patting their back!

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