Trip to Mahimapur
On the 28th of April 2013 I went to Amravati, Maharashtra. I like to travel to places, which have some uniqueness in them, and Mahimapur was the right place. My grand mom told me once that there was this really old well which was made by the Asoka’s and she told me about her childhood there and the tales related to it. I was really excited to go there but the only problem was the scorching heat and the 45 degrees temperature. But this could not stop me… We started our journey at 7 AM. The Village is about two and a half hour drive from Amravati. At about 10:30 AM we reached our destination.
At the starting of the village is a gate, which divides into two pathways. The first one leads to the village and the other one leads to the well. (To clear your doubt the well is not the tube well that you might be thinking of. It’s like a palace with doorways, which leads to the water as you go down below.) The gate has two Asoka Chakras on either side, which gave me a confirmation that this was definitely made by the Asoka’s.
There was a steep staircase, which led to again two ways, the first one that ended at a chamber and the other one, which led down to the water surface. I choose to follow the second path. I had travelled 30- 40 feet under the Earths surface to see the water surface. As we are Indians, it is our Janm-sidh Adhikar to make a temple at any place and to dirty the place. I am saying this because the water surface was full of flowers, leaves, polythene bags etc.( that is our trademark). The water looked so dirty and green but people were coming and drinking the water. I was disgusted at first, but when I touched the water and drank it, it felt like heaven as the heat had dried me up and this sweet tasty water had just rejuvenated me. It was so pure. The place definitely needed a cleaning session though. As the sun rays fell on the water, the water became clearer and at a point of time we could actually see what was below the water. To my surprise I found a pile of staircase, which lead to another floor.
I decided to ask the history, geography and everything else of this well but to first go the other path and see what surprise lied there for me. I walked on a plank (because the passage was very narrow and I felt like Indiana Jones*) to reach a chamber with only one window, which faced the water surface area. After looking between the tree twigs and branches I found a room at the other end of the well, but the of the well, but the strangest thing was that there was no way to go there except for getting into the water crossing the other side and climbing the trees which I was definitely not going to do (not because of any fright or something but because of the fact that this well was full of surprises and I dint want to guess what lay under the water). I had now decided to know about this well and mystery behind the room without a way to it.After my expedition, I talked to some lady farmers who were going down to get some water. I asked them about this well and they told me that this well is our fortune. This well gives water to about eight more such villages around us. No matter what ever is the weather the water level remains the same always. I first thought that they were exaggerating but it was actually true as more people told me about this.
“ We are living here in this village for about 6 decades now and way before that and we have heard different stories related to the well. Would you like to hear one?” asked Mr. Kishan lal Mugre, a local panchayat member. “ Yes please.” I said with that glitter in my eyes.
He told me that a long time ago (just like a typical story) there lived a thief. This thief used to steal all the stuff from people and used to throw it in the well. He used to think that no one would ever even think of going deep into the water and try to find his stolen treasure. He fell in love with a girl of the same village and wanted to get married but her parents were totally against all this so they fled away. As the thief could not find any place to live they both decided to stay in a room in the well (with no door or passage to enter it). After a year or so, the girl gave birth to a baby and that is when the people realized that the girl and the thief had been hiding there for a long time. They soon decided to murder both of them and they did so. They killed the girl, thief and the baby. Some people say that the bodies of the three were thrown in the water and others say it wasn’t. But it wasn’t just a story it was a true story. I didn’t believe at first but after a proof I knew that it had really happened!
The villagers called up a team of students from the archeological survey of India and asked them to check this well for the confirmation of the people who had made this well and when they had made it. The Team geared up well and continued to study the structure when one morning the divers( also a part of the research program) hit treasure. Yes! A fortune. The divers dig into a false wall underneath which was all the stolen antique articles. The team excavated further and found out that this well had 30 feet deep water and the rest is just some false wall, which again leads to some three or four chambers. The search continues till date. The treasure that was excavated was given to the government and 5% of it was given to the villagers with the help of which the villagers have made a school for students from 1- 6th standard. This experience was a really interesting one but it hurts me to say and see this that people are so ignorant and careless that they don’t preserve there resources. India is such a rich country in terms of tradition, culture and heritage. And I think we should preserve it and not destroy it.