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Vikir Kshetra – Sacred Area in Prayagraj - Story - Importance

Vikir literally means ‘spread out’ or ‘scattered.’ The area north of the confluence of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna in Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh) is referred to as Vikir Kshetra. This is an important venue during the Kumbh Mela and Magh Mela.

It is said that when Ganga was brought down to the earth, the stream of the Yamuna scattered itself in many directions to welcome Ganga and guide her stream in the right direction.

It is also said that when Brahma began his ten Ashvamedha yajna here, in honor of Veni madhava (Vishnu), he found all the ingredients required for the ritual to be scattered all over the place, hence the name vikir kshetra.

According to mythology, Madhava visited the ashrama of a rishi in the guise of an ascetic and demanded food for himself and his dog. The rishi was engaged in performing rituals for his dead ancestors and could not respond. On the ascetic’s insistence and fearing his wrath, the rishi hurriedly put before him a bowl of food with utmost contempt. The food was found contaminated with insects that crawled out, and the ascetic left in anger. 

Thereafter, every time the rishi cooked food, he found it full of insects. He realized that he had displeased the ascetic how was none other than God himself. He prayed to Bhagavan to appear again, and when Bhagavan appeared as ascetic again, offered Him cooked food. When the hunger of the ascetic was appeased he bestowed grace on the Rishi.

This legend makes the area significant for performing rituals for dead ancestors and highlighting the presence of God in the lowest of the lowly. Yamuna is known to spread itself and is full every year during the days prescribed for performing these rituals.