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Eklavya Temple In Gurgaon: An almost forgotten temple now hopes for a turnaround

Temple authorities claim that the popularity of the modest, single room temple, which lies in Khandsa village, has waned in recent years

Written by Sakshi Dayal | Gurgaon |
May 4, 2017 4:09:41 am
Eklavya Mandir, Eklavya Temple, Gurgaon Temple, Eklavya temple in Gurgaon, gurgaon news, india news, latest news, indian express Eklavya’s thumb is believed to be buried here. Manoj Kumar

In Gurgaon, the land of Guru Dronacharya, less that 10 kilometres away from a temple dedicated to him, lies another, built to honour a student he once refused to teach — Eklavya.

Members of the Gurugram Sanskritik Gourav Samiti, which is in charge of maintaining the Eklavya Mandir, are among the happiest about the change in name of the city from Gurgaon to Gurugram, a move that generated much controversy last year.

They claim that the popularity of the modest, single room temple, which lies in Khandsa village, has waned in recent years. The re-naming of the city, and the glorification of the Guru, members of the committee expect, will also work in favour of the temple.

“This temple used to be very popular once, but people nowadays are not even aware of its existence. We have been planning events aimed at creating awareness and increasing footfall, but this is a slow process,” said Priyavarth Bhardwaj, General Secretary of the Gurugram Sanskritik Gourav Samiti.

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Legend has it that the Eklavya Mandir was built “during the time of the Mahabharat”, and stands at the exact spot where Eklavya, who belonged to a low caste, cut off the thumb from his right hand and offered it to Dronacharya as guru dakshina.

Residents of Khandsa believe that the area they now reside in was once Khandav forest, where Eklavya built a statue of the Guru before which he practised archery daily, after the latter refused to teach him, allegedly because he belonged to the Shudra caste. The temple is believed to stand at the very spot where Eklavya’s thumb was buried.

Among the measures taken to increase the popularity of the Eklavya Mandir in recent times is the decision to have a special puja at the temple every year, on January 14, wherein the rituals will be performed by a member of the same caste to which Eklavya belonged. “This day will be celebrated to emphasise equality. We believe Eklavya was rejected because he was a Shudra, and we will get him his rightful place in society,” said Bhardwaj.

In addition, there are also plans for expansion of the temple. Bhardwaj, however, admitted that there has been a comparative, “though not significant”, increase in footfall since the name of the city was changed to Gurugram.

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