Friday, October 28, 2011

Vadnagar - The Home of the Nagar Community

Vadnagar - The Home of the Nagar Community

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Ahmedabad - 100 KM
 Vadnagar - The Home of the Nagar Community  Vadnagar - The Home of the Nagar Community
 Vadnagar - The Home of the Nagar Community Vadnagar - The Home of the Nagar Community
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Just as Visnagar is the original home of the Visnagar Nagar community, Vadnagar is the original home of the Vadnagar Nagar community. Vadnagar has a large Shiva temple, Hatkeshvar Mandir, whom this Nagar community offer worship as their Ishtadev. From here the members of this learned and cultured community have spread to different places. The area of Visnagar- Vadnagar is very ancient. Vadnagar has been known in the past as Anartpur, Anandnagas, and Chamatkarpur also. At that time it was a capital city of the region. It boasted of not just prosperity, but scholarly activity and fine arts, specially dancing and music. According to local tradition, there were two Nagar girls, named Tana and Riri who lived here.

Tansen, one of the Navratna and court-singer of the great Mughal Emperor Akbar happenned to sing a Raga called 'Deepak'. This Raga left him in agonies, for it created an internal fire in his body. He did not know how to diffuse this fire, except by singing the Raga Megha Malhar. Unfortunately he had no knowledge of this Raga. He went about everywhere looking for someone who would sing it to him and end his pain, but to no avail. When taking his trip he came to Vadnagar, the two Nagar girls, Tana and Riri sang the Megha Malhar Raga for him and ended his agony. We find the 'samadhi' of the two girls even today in Vadnagar. Every year now the Gujarat Govt. invites famous musicians in a program me to encourage them and thus the two girls are offered the commemoration through music. The Chinese Traveler, Hiuen Tsang visited Vadnagar and has mentioned so in his travel notes. The inscription at the Arjun Bari Gate provides a very good description of the grandeur of Vadnagar.

HATKESHVAR Mahadev temple:

This Shiva temple is considerably ancient. As this is a town on the borders of Gujarat, it must have suffered from time to time from attacks, and so the temple also has been renovated time and again. The archaeologists consider the present structure as nearly 400 years old. It is temple built after the Solanki era. It is one of the most important and grand temples of Lord Shiva in Gujarat. In the 'Vedi' surrounding it are found the sculptures of the Ten Avataras of Lord Vishnu and other figures from the stories of the Puranas. It has a tall Shikhara that looks down into the 'garbhagriha' and its beautiful and artistic arches are very attractive. In the center of Vadnagar is Sharmishtha Lake with banks, and stone railings. A little away from here we find two 'Torans' called 'Shamalsha ni Chowri'. They are among the few better preserved 'torans' of Solanki era. We had referred to such 'Torans' when we talked of Kapadvanj. Then we have a 'Toran' at Piludra in Mehsana district. The 'Kirti Stambha' at Vadnagar is 14 m tall. The fort built by Kumar Pal around the city with its four Gates in four corners, and the few remnants of these structures are with us to remind us of its former glory. On the route from Mehsana to Taranga Hill, Vadnagar is at about 40 km distance. The Arjunbari Gate is the entrance to the city and is also known as 'Nak Darwaza'. Just nearby is the prestigious temple of Hatkesvar Mahadev, to whom the Nagars offer worship as their Ishtadev or Kuldev.

It is said that when Lord Vishnu took the fonn of Vamana and later assumed the Virata form at the Sacrifice or Yagna, He put his foot first at Vadnagar. This city was earlier called 'Chamatkarpur' or a City of Miracles. Lord Shrikirshna and the Pandavas had also visited this city. The wedding of Shamalsha, the son of saint-poet Narsinh Mehta, took place here. It is believed that the God himself led his wedding procession and thus came to this place.

Certain historians believe that the Nagar community came to India from the northern side of Kashmir. Whatever the tradition says, it must be admitted that this community looked after its purity of blood as migrants. Members of this community are famous for their bravery, scholarship, arts and learning besides statesmanship. Not only have the Nagar Brahmans patronized arts and learning, they are personally experts what they call in using 'kalam' (pen), 'kadchhi' (ladle) and 'barchhi' (sword)'. The Nagars have a very fine division among them: those who merely give patronage are called 'Nagars', while the rest are "Nagar Brahmans'.

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