My quest had begun the very day I had read Diana L. Eck’s Banaras: City of Light. I realized it nearly a decade later. I had to go to Omkareshwar Temple, the nucleus of Omkareshwar Khand, the oldest of the three khandas of Kashi. There’s a photograph of the lone temple on the mound in her book. I captured the image from a similar angle on reaching there, doing with one classic book on Banaras, what I couldn’t do with another. In my own way, I acknowledged my debt to Professor Eck’s work, although I had failed in doing the same with Prinsep’s work in the same trip.
Eck mentions in her book that the temple once used to be at the confluence of Gangaji and the Macchodari Kund, when the monsoon rains had swelled both and the water of the river used to push back through Varuna and enter the city through Rinamochan, Dhanesh etc. That great kund was nearly drained in the beginning of nineteenth century. The mind behind the draining was James Prinsep’s. It’s present diminished form can still be seen in Macchodari Park.
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