Kund in India

According to mythological legends from olden scriptures of India, Vedas and Hinduism, and then with the architectural and archaeological observations of existing structures, the Kund, stepped tank, stepped architectural design or the Temple tank already existed or came to being in India with refurbished architecture across Indian subcontinent particularly between 2500 BC and 500 BC. And this practice to be found followed again by several kings at intervals, particularly between 5th and 13th century.

However, the term Kund, its origin, existence and application, and the resultant references are prominent in Puranas, epics, Vedic, cultural, and religious scriptures - references, and therefore no exact date or a period can be established, claimed or challenged for Kund’s prevalence while it is quite a common phenomenon in the Indian culture. Yagna Kund (for rituals and Vedic sacrifices), Brahma Kund (for bathing, with sacredness and medicinal properties) and Snan Kund (for bathing) are three main features and types of Kund.

Generally a Kund with a distinct architecture and design during the [[Indus Civilization]] became a cultural and traditional entity. Kund’s design may also slightly resemble to that of a Roman amphitheatre. To understand the design of a Kund in simple words, with a wide opening at the top level, the Kund descends with reducing area at each level and finally the area narrows itself significantly when the depth reaches the bottom. More often a distinguished Kund would have minimum five to seven levels starting from top to bottom, and a Kund is generally a square or rectangular in its shape, while a few may be oval or round in their shape.

Apparently the Kund stood as a distinct identity of [[Indus Civilization]] and its Architecture. Sites, excavations and findings at Mohenjo-daro, Lothal, Dholavira, Harappa, etc. are live examples for a thorough study, other than a number of places which accommodate a regular or distinguished Kund across India.

In general use, the primary purpose of a Kund has been a “Bath” or a “dip”. Kunds were there for bathing and for bathing during definite rituals, and with a definite purpose. Sometimes, being there at a Kund on a definite day and occasion has been said important, more often said to be holy and auspicious. They can be seen as public bathing amenity or kind of public swimming pools with a special purpose.

Kunds particularly existed and were constructed as a small water body near a river or near a large river. At a few places the Kund would merge with river and the confluence to be considered very special and holy. They can be seen in conjunction with bathing Ghat when it comes to some uniqueness and a defined objective, such as bathing at a Ghat (river bank), at a river or at a Kund during eclipse (solar or lunar), bathing on the day of Amavasya (New moon) or Purnima (Full moon), or on some festival or a particular calendar day.

The Vedic period and the syllabi of Vedas have been closely associated with Mother Nature, Environment, Science, Spirituality, Mathematics and Astronomy. Gradually, the traditions, events and real life stories, beliefs and faith, myths and metaphors with ever changing times, infrastructure, and with impact of external – natural forces left the tradition of Kund to its minimal significance or remembrance. Kunds and especially the Brahma Kunds were embraced more as a religious entity, while Yagna Kund (comparatively very small make-shift brick-clay work) may still remained active symbol in the practice.

A Brahma Kund to carry one, some or all of following legends:

  • A Brahma Kund would have the Brahma as its creator in most cases.
  • A Brahma Kund would have any god or such an event behind its creation and would have power and effect of Brahma’s blessings
  • A Brahma Kund’s location or origin to be very ancient
  • A Brahma Kund’s place would be a sacred ground
  • A Brahma Kund’s water to be considered sacred
  • A Brahma Kund’s water to contain medicinal properties
  • A Brahma Kund would never lose its water
  • A Brahma Kund would never lose quality of its water
  • A Brahma Kund’s water to cure ailments
  • Bathing at Brahma Kund on any or on any special day to be very significant
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