We visited Gangani.
A little over an hour’s drive from Joypur in Bankura district ( West Bengal, India) where we were vacationing, The Gangani ravines are known as Bengal’s very own Grand Canyon. A remnant of the last Ice age and the glacial activities at that time (anywhere up to two million years ago), the carved rock formations offer a breathtaking sight. As if to provide some relief to the frozen cliff and ravines, the river Shilabati meanders lazily below.
An interesting Legend links Gangani to the great Indian epic Mahabharata.
It is said that after the Pandava brothers lost the game of dice to their cousins the Kauravas, they were exiled for twelve years in the forests. During this period, they reached these lands which were being terrorized by the demon Bakasura. The villagers had to provide a huge quantity of food along with a human every day to the demon to ensure that the land was not ravaged. On hearing of this, Bheem, the second brother of the Pandava clan, offered to go with the food the following day.
Now Bheem was strong and well trained but it remained uncertain if he could take on the might of the powerful demon. But in the epic battle that ensued, Bheem displayed frightful ferocity and slayed Bakasura. The crumpled land and ravines remain a testimony to that.
I stood there and looked at the ravines and the land formation below.
As I wore the geological lens, I could visualize how the weathering through millennia might have created those interesting carvings and structures which I was witness to.
As I changed the lens and wore the mythological one, I could well nigh hear the roars and sounds of that titanic conflict with the adversaries slugging it out over days.
It is fascinating how our beliefs about what we are witness to can be so much based on the viewing lens we choose to wear.
In Learning…… Shakti Ghosal