Sacrilege of the sacred: the plight of Garud Govind Kund

The kund, ironically constructed for water storage, is today a dried up land mass which emits a foul stench emanating from the waste dumped in it.

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Vrindavan, 2020-11-17 (VT): Once believed to be ‘sacred’, the kund adjacent to the Garud Govind Temple has become a garbage dump today. There is no water in it anymore.  One can only see a large pile of trash which is encroaching upon a big chunk of the tank. The remaining area is completely dry, giving a look of a barren land.

Despite having a glorious history, the Govind Kund is in a state of neglect. Being used as the dumping site for temple waste, it has become filthy and emits a strong foul smell.

When the people started getting vocal about this issue, a Mumbai based organization Janta ki Pukar worked on restoring the kund in 2012 by building series of ghats and chhatris with sandstone. The revamped look was inaugurated by Pujya Guru Sharanananda ji Maharaj and Shri Deena Nath Chaturvedi.  The name of the donors is inscribed on a black stone at the entrance gate.

Obviously no plan was chalked out for future maintenance. The stones of the wall started falling apart and the kund that was at one time meant for water storage has now dried up completely. 

Talking to ‘Vrindavan Today’, temple priest Shri Deepak Gautam said, “The massive kund requires regular maintenance after the restoration, and the temple doesn’t have any fund for it. We welcome philanthropists to take part in this seva.”

Braj is historically known for its lush green forests, verdant sacred groves, ponds and serene hills. Most of the sacred groves and water bodies have disappeared due to the lack of maintenance.  In several places the sewage of the villages are released into the water bodies.

These small water reservoirs known as kunds served as important sources of freshwater in the past. They were used for multiple purposes such as irrigation, drinking water and domestic use.

It is said that Nand Baba built 56 kunds in Nandgaon alone to provide drinking water to the large number of cows reared in Braj.

The situation at present differs from the past glory. Due to the rapid urbanization, lack of maintenance and prolonged negligence in post independence times, most of the kunds became silted up, dried and were consigned to gradual extinction.

Vrindavan Today has proposed a two-pronged strategy for their revival and maintenance which must be implemented at the earliest. One of the easiest and most effective ways of of doing this is rain-water harvesting. Additionally, the government needs to find out a way to recycle the sewerage water generated in the villages. Both the treated water and manure produced can subsequently be used for irrigation. These minimal measures will go a long way in saving the water bodies in Braj.

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