Bhujio, where did it derive its name? There lies a story beyond expectation. Story to intrigue you about the origin of the people who survived in the land of Kutch. Bhuj derived its name from the hill of Bhujio surrounding which lies the city of Bhuj. Now, where did the dungar (hill) derive its name from? Now, let me take you to the story. There is a legend about the Bhujang snake wherein the hill Bhujio derives its name.
he legend about the serpent
Jaisalmer was ruled by Bhatis. Prince of Jaislamer named Bherio came to Pachham – kalo dungar- (well known Black hills of Kutch) not in any ordinary form, but the form of an Eagle along with his friends. There he saw Sagai Sangar. Now who was Sagai Sangar? Sagai Sangar was the princess of Pachham. She was not an ordinary princess. She was the princess who possessed divine powers. With the help of those celestial powers, she had enchanted and controlled 99 cobras. But alas although being so powerful, she could not capture the Bhujang. Bherio was so awestruck by the looks of the Sagai Sangar princess that he proposed to her for marriage. Princess was clever. She gladly agreed to marry on one pre-condition. The condition was to capture the Bhujang. Bherio was intensely heartened by her gorgeousness that he acknowledged her condition without a second thought.
It is believed to date that the descendants of Bherio have the knowledge and power to nullify the snake venom.
King Bhujang was no less and had gigantic powers. Through his sources, he came to know about the agreement between the princess and the Bherio prince. Bhujang ran to Guju Lakhguru for shelter. However, Bherio and Bhujang followed the same, Guru. Bhujang received fantastic advice from Guru Lakhguru. He said, “Only way to escape Bherio is to cross the sea and go to Kutch. Bherio would not able to do anything as he is cursed. He is cursed to lose powers on crossing the sea, so you would be safe there”.
Bhujang entered Kutch through the passage of Nagmati which is today’s Jamnagar and reached Bhujio hill. Now this hill was not novel to him. It was the home abode of his maternal aunt. No sooner, Bherio tracked him and reached the hill. While he was penetratingly searching him, his eyes fell on the stick picked it up, placing it on his shoulders. This stick was nothing else but Bhujang snake. He immediately bit Bherio. Now, since Bherio had crossed the sea, he had already lost his powers and death will not spare him. Sooner, he called upon his disciples and passed on weird instruction. He said, “Do not cremate my body. You all will cook and consume my body. By doing so all my powers will be transferred to you. You have to take revenge for my death by killing Bhujang”. Thereby Bherio lost his life.
Meanwhile, when disciples were preparing to consume the body, Bhujang appeared in the guise of a Brahmin. He stopped the ritual and consumption of the body. However, some powers had already been transferred through the aroma of the cooking. It is believed to date that the descendants of Bherio have the knowledge and power to nullify the snake venom.
Meanwhile, when disciples were preparing to consume the body, Bhujang appeared in the guise of a Brahmin.
Our experience about the Bhujio hill
Bhujio hill is a passive volcano. It is a natural shield to Bhuj city. It has protected the city from massive attacks in the past. It witnessed major attacks in 1721 AD and 1730 AD. When we visited the place, it was silent, divine but you can feel the vibes. Vibes of the place where major hidings, killings and worshipping would have been done. The stairs of the hills are all-natural carved from the hill stone and trust me it is not an easy climb. Climb won’t take much. It takes around 20 minutes but it takes the breath out of you. While climbing I always wondered, men of the past would have been powerful to climb these horrendous steps to fight and hide. Powers are depleting in generations coming and we are becoming weaker and weaker for sure. But, when we reached the top of the hill, it was worth each pant. My heartbeat rose to 165 bpm and I was literary panting like a dog. I had to sit for 5 minutes.
Our divine episode
When we reached, there were a couple of people seen some far away and hardly one or two breathless and relaxing on the steps. Mind the steps because it doesn’t have any holdings at some point and no barricades or support. You look beyond another step and you would lose control. I wouldn’t dare to fight at the cost of my life at each step! When we reached there was one pujari or the local guy sitting out of the blue and counting his beads of mala. He without knowing us asked me to lit Diya and my hubby to offer milk to Bhujang rafdo. Rafdo means the dwelling place of the snake. It is still believed that Bhujang snake lives on the hill. It is the temple of Bhujang dev and Mataji both. We were blessed to be a part of this ritual. Never knew, we would be sanctified enough to do so on the hill that is blessed with powers. Usually, pooja in the temple is done by Bhramins but in this temple, pooja is done by Maheshwari who belongs to the lower cast. This happens to be another tale to be followed for your question Why? But, later.
Bhujio hill was under the power of the Army and locals were prohibited except one day of Nag Panchmi wherein a yearly fair was held. However, after the Earthquake, Bhujio hill suffered massive damage and later on, it was handed over to the local authorities in the year 2003 AD. Bhujio hill has an amazing view from the top. It is 590 feet tall and you can get a picturesque view of the entire Bhuj city from the top. Wind blowing at the top takes away all your worries and tiredness. You can also enjoy the sunset and sunrise from the top of the hill. Advised to visit early morning or in the evening to avoid the scorching heat of Kutch. There are ample of places to visit in Kutch. Bhujio dungar (hill) is the most prominent one.