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Ashwatirtha, also known as Ashwa Tirtha or Asva Tirth, holds significance as a minor pilgrimage site located near Kanyakubja, which is the modern-day Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh, India. Its importance stems from a legend mentioned in the Mahabharata, specifically in the Anusasanaparva 4.17.

According to this ancient tale, Sage Richika sought to marry Satyavati, the daughter of King Gadhi, who was also the father of the renowned sage Vishvamitra. Richika made an unusual demand as a bridal fee: he requested 100 white horses, each with one ear colored black. This request presented a unique challenge, but Richika's faith in divine intervention guided him.

In his quest to fulfill the demand, Richika turned to prayer and invoked the blessings of the deity Varuna, the god associated with the celestial waters and the cosmic ocean. Varuna, pleased with Richika's devotion, granted his plea. Miraculously, the required horses emerged from the sacred waters of the river Ganga at a specific point, which came to be known as Ashwatirtha.

The name "Ashwatirtha" derives from two components: "Ashwa," meaning horse, and "tirtha," signifying a holy place or pilgrimage site. Hence, Ashwatirtha serves as a testament to the divine intervention and the fulfillment of Sage Richika's request through the grace of Varuna.

Over time, Ashwatirtha has become revered among pilgrims and devotees, who visit the site to pay homage to its mythological significance and seek blessings. The legend of Ashwatirtha continues to be cherished as part of India's rich cultural and religious heritage, perpetuating the tradition of reverence for sacred places and divine interventions.