Sagar, called the city of lakes, on a spur of the Vindhya Range and 1750 ft above sea-level, is situated in Madhya Pradesh state of central India. The main lake which is called Sagar Lake established by Lakha Banzaara in early 1100 AD is the heart of the city, and the very panoramic view of the lake can give you peace. Sagar was made capital of the region ruled by Maratha Governor Govind Pant Bundele in the year 1735. From then on the importance of the place had only increased.
Sagar is known to many today. The present day Sagar was founded as an alternate capital by the rulers who were ruling with Gadpahra as capital. Let us go the place which is the older than Sagar, presently it is known as Old Sagar. Gadpahra is situated around twelve kilo meters from Sagar on the hill of Bhainsha on Jhansi road. If you come to National highway No. 26 leading to Lalithpur you can get a bus that can take you to Gadpahra or alternatively take the share jeep that are plying between Sagar and Gadpahra.
You will see a Old fort built on a low ranges of Bhainsha hills. Gadpahra is known as most ancient and Siddh kshetra. The place is known as Siddh because of the presence of the very powerful ancient Hanuman Mandir.
This is known from the good old days of the Goud dynasty. This area was captured by Dangis and came under the rules of Dangis. They are said to be descended from Raja Dang, a Kachhwaha Rajput king of Narwar. There is nothing known about the said Raja historically but there is local saying to the effect and Raja Dang had fought Indra. Though many had ruled Gadpahra only three rulers are known Sri Prithvipath, Sri Maharajakumar, Sri ManaSingh. Sri Prathvipath became Jagirdhar of the Mugal Emperor around 1689.
There are two main temples in the mountain. The lake, and the fort of Gadpahra are also worth seeing. The temple of Angat Devi is in the down stream of the mountain. In the rear down the hill there is a small but beautiful lake known as Motidal.
The step that leads you to the Hanuman Mandir is visible from far off. The steps are painted white and saffron on the sides. Once you are in the front of the bottom of the foot steps you can see the Sidh Hanuman Mandir. You have to claim around four hundred to four hundred fifty steps to reach the mandir. While claiming you will hear devotees singing Hanuman Chalisa. On the sides of the steps you will see forest with good tress around. The breeze and the Hanuman Chalisa will play on your mind and give lot of santhi. The Mandir is in the one corner of the front of the old fort. The temple is no big structure; it is just simple but a very big hall with a gombhot over the hall. There is a long verandah that leads you into this hall. The gombhot on the top resembles that of a Mughal architecture. You can see saffron triangle flags flying on all the four corners of the Mandir and also on top of the gombhot.
Once inside the Mandir you will feel the vibration and presence of Holiness within you. The Lord Hanuman is a self emerged one. The murti of Lord Hanuman is pasted with saffron and vermilion. The murti of Lord Hanuman is around six feet in height. Lord Hanuman's right hand is seen raised above His head and giving you ashirwad. Lord Hanuman is seen facing His devotee and giving dharshan to him with His open eyes. The Lord Hanuman's eyes are shedding mercy on His devotees and bless him in full. Once you are in front of the murti you can feel the blessings showered by the Lord on you. There is a general belief that having expressed their wish to Sri Hanuman, nobody returns without there wish fulfilled.
There is festival and Mela during the month of Ashada on the Mah star. On normal Tuesdays there is a heavy rush for Dharshan. On the back of the mandir one can see the old fort. One can see the Shesh Mahal [Glass House/palace] some distance way. The Shesh Mahal is supposed to have been built during the Dangi rulers. If you step down below the mountain from here you will come across the Ankat Devi Mandir. Since the presence of Hanuman, there are plenty of Monkeys in around the mandir and fort. Only on rare occasion does the monkeys snatches the Prasad from the devotees otherwise they take what is offered to them.
Come and visit this beautiful Sagar the city of lakes, and visit the Siddha Sthal Gadpahra Lod Hanuman and get all your rightful wishes fulfilled.
[ed. Aug. 2010
* the author is working in Police Acadamy, Sagar
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