According to legend, during the Maha Raas, when Krishna disappeared, the gopis of Braj came to this place in his search. This van is an integral part of the famous Braj chaurasi kos yatra, which camps in this forest.
According to the local tradition once mother Yashoda, with her servants, came to this forest in search of her son Krishna, who was performing raas with gopis . He had not reached home in time that is why mother was in anxiety. Fearing her anger Krishna immediately jumped into the nearby kund and appeared as Hanuman. Mother was happy to have darshans of Hanuman. She worshipped him and went back. Since then the kund is known as Anjani Kund, which is another name of Hanuman.
Every Tuesday and Saturday a huge crowd of Hanuman devotees collect here at the adjoining ancient temple of Lord Hanuman.
Due to decades of neglect and misuse, the Anjani Kund had been reduced to a pitiable state, its banks lying in ruins, its water body stagnant and decaying, reduced to a mere sludge tank and its water source silted up and forgotten.
Chameli Van, in which this kund is located, was also in pathetic condition. Our survey team found out that this forest once had over 125 thousand Kadamb trees. Due to declining sub soil water they all died. Haryana did not do much to revive this.
In 2007 The Braj Foundation mobilized it’s resources, local administration and the community to revive and restore both the sites. So far almost 36 water bodies like Anjani Kund, which had been neglected and forgotten, have been restored through the active efforts of The Braj Foundation.
In December 2007, the restoration of the Anjani Kund began amidst traditional Vedic chanting. In a short span of five months 2 earth mover machines of The Foundation were employed day and night to de-silt and dig the bed of the kund . We dug up to three meters. The digging continued till the water source beneath the kund was unearthed. The fertile silt that came out of the excavation was spread in the adjoining Chameli Van. As a result of which the quality of the soil in the forest improved.
Post de-silting done by The Foundation’s Team, the water retention capacity of the kund has been augmented by more than one hundred times. The Foundation’s technical team explored alternative sources of water to fill this kund. The same was found in Ujjina Canal, which is close to this site. Then this canal was connected to the kund by opening it’s channels. Now the entire water body has been filled with water.
We feel that the filling of Anjani Kund, will prove to be instrumental in restoring the ecological balance of Chameli Van forest which is abode to a rich variety of flora and fauna. The dying Kadamba trees may also get revived.
Restoration work in progress
A portion of the small ghat (embankment) surrounding the water body has been renovated and constructed. The financial support for this whole work came from the CMD of Mumbai based Gannon Dunkerley Group Mr Kamal Morarka, who is also the Foundoing Chairman of The Braj Foundation.
Foundation plans to revive the grandeur of Anjani kund and its home Chameli Van. For this Foundation has mobilized full cooperation from the residents of the village Bhalwana and now approaching the Tourism Department of the Haryana Government to come forward with a joint strategy under PPP model.
The CEO of The Braj Foundation, Mr Vineet Narain in the past had meetings with the then Tourism Secretary of the Haryana Government, Mrs Keshni Anand. With the cooperation and support of the Tourism Ministry, this grand plan for the revival and reconstruction of Chameli van and Anjani Kund can be successfully completed. However devotees of Krishna will have to come forward to offer generous financial support since governments do not keep budgets for sentimental values.
Tourism experts and industry insiders are of the view that if being in the close vicinity of Delhi and at a strategic location on the Delhi Agra highway, this area has immense potential for Cultural Tourism if it is developed with an aesthetic vision. This is what The Braj Foundation is looking forward to do.
Splashing Water in kund after restoration