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Kheri Gujjar – Ancient Site And Center Of Religious Art in Haryana

Kheri Gujjar, located on located on Ganaur - Ahulana Road (NH 1) at a distance of about 25 km north-west of Sonipat in Haryana, was a center of Hindu religious art during the medieval period. The place is around 8 km from Ganaur. The place is famous for Tirath Sat Kumbha.

The present Kheri Gujjar covers only a part of the huge mound, which is about 25 meter high and whose circumference is more than 10 km. It lies on the western bank of the dry bed of what must have once been a mighty river, probably the ancient Yamuna, which now flows about thirty kilometers east of it.

Right on top of the mound to its east now exists the Satkumbha temple in which medieval material like pillars, architectural pieces and even sculptures have been freely used.

This part of the mound is known as Satkumbha and there is a tank by the side of the mound.

Sacred Tank - Festival - Fair Shravan - Kartik Month

It is generally believed by the people that the water of the holy tank possesses miraculous properties and never dries up, not even during the hot summer months.

Thousands of devotees from  all over the region visit this place on Sundays, the last Sunday of Shravan (July – August) and in particular the full moon day of Kartika (November) every year.

Story of Kheri Gujjar - History

A popular legend tells us that it was the capital city of a wicked king, Chakuwa Ben, who perished as a result of the curse of a sage.

The story goes that Chakuwa Ben performed a sacrifice and called a sage named Chunkat to partake of the offering, but the latter refused to do so.

The king ordered Chunkat out of his domain, and the sage cursed both the king and his kingdom, shortly after which the town was swept away by floods.

A local tribe called Venh or Venhwal, derivable from Vainyah, i.e. descendants of Vena, still preserves the name and the story of the mythical king.

The story of Chakuwa Ben and his death as a result of the wrath of a sage leave little doubt as to his identification with Cakravarti Vena, the wicked king who met with his end as a result of his stupidity and impiety at the hands of the sages, described in the Mahabharata and Puranas.

The antiquity of the place may be traced back to the Mahabharata period as is indicated by the discovery of painted grey ware. Archeological relics reveal that the site may have been in a flourishing state during the early historic and the medieval period.

It may have been destroyed during an attack of Sultan Masud in 1036 AD, when he defeated Dipal Har, the governor of Sonipat.

Architectural Discovery At Kheri Gujjar

Images of Hindu deities like Garudavahi and Trivikrama Vishnu, Mahesha, Parvati, Uma Mahesvara, Hari Hara, Brahma, Brahmani, Surya, Ganesa, Mahisasuramardini, Narsimhi, etc., some of them in an unfinished state, have been found, indicating it to be a center of art.

Silver coins of Adivaraha type of Bhoja Pratihara, bull-horseman type of Samantadeva, and Tomara copper coins and terracotta too have been recovered from here.

Source – Devendra Handa ‘Some Unpublished Sculptures from Gujjar Kheri’ (1996). In Research Bulletin (Arts). Vol. XVII, No. 1. Chandigarh: Punjab University.

Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume IV - page 373 IHRF