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Sitasar – Sita Bathed In This Pond While Staying In Valmiki Ashram

Sitasar is a derelict pond where Mata Sita is believed to have bathed while living in the ashram of Sage Valmiki after she was abandoned by Sri Ram. It is located at Sunam in Sangrur District in Punjab, India. It may once have been a large water tank, watered by a branch of Satluj River or now extinct Saraswati River.

Historical Importance of Sunam in Punjab Where Sitasar is Located

Some scholars hold that once Satluj flowed near Sunam, whereas some others believe that it was Saraswati which flowed here.

Sunam is one of the oldest towns of Punjab. Most of the town is inhabited over the old mound, which yields important relics, particularly after the rains.

Typically, pre-Harappan shards bearing decorations in black and white pigments have been picked up from the peripheries of the mound. That the site continued under habitation during the Indus-Saraswati civilization is indicated by pieces of the typically Harappan perforated jars, pottery bearing papal leaf decorations and terracotta cakes. Grey Ware takes the continuity of the habitation to the early historic period.

Artifacts Retrieved From Sitasar

Sitasar has yielded a hoard of coins buried in a small pot. The hoard contained 33 silver punch-marked coins of Mauryan karshapana series; 27 copper, punch-marked pieces; and a few other copper coins bearing the six-armed sadara-chakra-swastika and other symbols. Antiques are often found from the bed of the tank.

Sunam was a flourishing town during the Indo-Greek and Indo-Scythian periods, as indicated by numerous terracotta figurines.

A hoard of about 13 kg of Kushan copper coins in an individual private collection and hundreds of stray pieces picked up from the mound by others indicate its past prosperity, probably resulting from trade. That after the exit of Kusanas the place was held by Yaudheyas is also indicated by their copper coins.

The discovery of two and a half kilograms of silver coins of Samanta Deva vouches for its being an important town even in the medieval period, to which also belong numerous Hindu and Jain sculptures obtained from Sitasar and other parts of the site.

A huge image of Surya, accompanied by his acolytes Danda and Pingala, as well as his spouses Chaya and Suvarcha; a door lintel showing Garudaruda Vishnu and Brahma seated in a graceful posture on his swan vehicle; Garuda on an architectural piece; a fragment of the pedestal of an image of Vishnu showing Chakra purusha, bhudevi and Garuda; detached pieces of Vishnu’s discus; a lintel with Ganesha as the central piece; Uma Maheshwara, Nataraja, Mahishasuramardini, Parvati, Vidyadhara couples, a schist image of Jaina Tirthankara Neminatha, a fragmentary relief of Sreyamasanatha and numerous other pieces testify to the past existence of Hindu and Jain shrines.

The local Jaina Temple possesses a good number of inscribed Jaina bronzes and manuscripts, many of which have been donated to Jaina Vishwabharati and Ladnun in Rajasthan.

The Sitasar Complex currently preserves some of the important artifacts that were discovered from the pond and nearby regions.

Source - notes taken from Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume IX -IHRF page 514