Sacrifice for a greater cause

K.M. Golam Rabbani writes about the myth behind the Sindur Moti pond in Kurigram district

Photo-4

The mysterious tale of Sindur Moti pond of Rajarhat upazila in Kurigram is renowned in the northern parts of Bangladesh. The Hindu communities regard this ancient pond as a gift from God. They believe that the pond is a medium to be free from sin during the next life. The big pond is equally a centre for pilgrimage where devotees have been visiting for thousands of years.

Hindu lords and devotees say that several thousand years ago, there was a pious landlord (Zameendar) named Narayan Chatterje who came here from Sri Lanka. Despite his wealth, he was not happy as he was childless.

After many prayers, at one stage the landlord left his own country along with his wife to wander the world in search of holy places. At last they reached Daul Sagar, the northern parts of the then Bongodesh. There was an ancient temple there surrounded by water. After staying there for three nights, the landlord was enamored by the ancient place and decided to stop his tour of the world. The myth goes that due to his sacrifice, God probably became satisfied as Narayan’s wife, Meneka Devi gave birth to two beautiful daughters who were named ‘Sindur’ and ‘Moti’.

Photo-3

A few years later, a drought affected the land during which all the waterbodies dried up and there was no rainfall for months. The people suffered due to the scarcity of water and many died.

Narayan planned to dig a big pond of about 17 acres near his palace and assigned several thousand workers to the task. However, not a single drop of water was found despite endless digging.

The Zameendar had a dream where he was ordered to start a puja by placing his daughters at the bottom of the pond.  The rituals began on the 9th of Chaitra of the Bangla month without delay and the news spread across the state.

Photo-1

With all people coming to witness, Meneka Devi dressed Sindur in a red saree and Moti in white. Again there was no luck until Tulshi leaf was managed. Little by little, the water of the pond began to grow while the two sisters stayed at the centre of the pond. Unfortunately as soon as the pond became full, the myth goes that the daughters drowned. Later, the Sindur Moti pond was named after the sacrificed daughters who are told to have become immortal.

Since then hundreds of people across the country come to visit the big pond every year where festivals are organised during the Bengali month of Chaitra.

The author is the Kurigram correspondent of New Age