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   The Emergence of Kundalpur Tirtha

Bhagbali Pande of Chhatarpur

 

Four very early shrines of the post-reconstruction period at Kundalpur were built by legendary Bhagbali Pande of Chhatarpur 11. Three of the temples contain undated idols of local sandstone, and one of them contains an idol installed by Jivaraj Papdival. One of his temples is on the west side of the lake near the Jal-Mandir. No detailed information about Bhagbali Pande is available. While I have not come across an inscription mentioning him, some old manuscripts still preserved in Chhatarpur mentioned that they were written for him. According to the tradition he was an accomplished scholar and author. His title Pande (Sanskrit Pandit) reflects his scholarly background.

 

Several miracles are mentioned about him 10. It is said that he could make his palki move without any kahars (palanquin bearers). One time during a drought he had caused rain to happen using the power of his mantras. Kamal Kumar Jain 10 mentions that a memorial platform in Chhatarpur named after Chhatrasal; built by Chhatrasal himself was founded during the time of Bhagbali Pande. He is also said to have been respected by Chhatrasal’s court.  Bhagbali Pande and an associate named Balkishun lived in Chhatarpur on Dera Pahari, where five temples built by him still stand. The traditional accounts of Bhagbali Pande would suggest that he was somewhat like a bhattaraka, however no information has been found that would associate him with a known bhattaraka seat.