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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Prithudaka (पृथुदक) is name of a pilgrim mentioned in Mahabharata. Its ancient name was Prithudaka (पृथूदक). Alexander Cunningham[1] writes that Prithudaka gets name after Raja Prithu whose father Raja Vena was cured here.


Prithudaka means Prithu's pool, from daka or udaka water.[2]



Alexander Cunningham[3] writes that....The old town of Pehoa or Prithudaka is situated on the south bank of the Sarasuti, 11 miles to the west of Thanesar. The place derives its name from the famous Prithu Chakra-vartti, who is said to have been the first person that obtained the title of Raja. At his birth, according to the Vishnu Purana,[4] "all living creatures rejoiced," because he was born to put an end to the anarchy which then prevailed over the whole earth. The story of the cure of Raja Vena's leprosy, by bathing in the Saraswati is told in the same Purana. On his death, his son Prithu performed the usual Sraddha, or funeral ceremonies, and for twelve days after the cremation he sat on the bank of the Saraswati offering water to all comers. The place was therefore [p.337]: named Prithudaka or Prithu's pool, from daka or udaka water ; and the city which he afterwards built on the spot was called by the same name. The shrine of Prithudaka has a place in the Kurukshetra Mahatmya, and is still visited.

In Mahabharata

Prithudaka (पृथूदक) (Tirtha) is mentioned in Mahabharata (III.81.122), (III.81.125), (III.81.128), (III.81.129)

Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 81 explains the importance of Prithudaka in verses (III.81.122-29)...."One should next proceed, O king, to the tirtha celebrated over the three worlds, which is called Prithudaka (पृथूदक) (III.81.122)[5], belonging to Kartikeya. One should bathe there and occupy oneself in the worship of the Pitris and the gods. Whatever evil hath been committed, knowingly or unknowingly, by man or woman, impelled by human motives, is all destroyed, O Bharata, by a bath in that tirtha. Bathing there one obtaineth, too, the merit of the horse-sacrifice and heaven also. The learned have said that Kurukshetra is holy; that holier than Kurukshetra is the Saraswati; that holier than the Saraswati are all the tirthas together, and that holier than all the tirthas together is Prithudaka (III.81.125)[6]. He that engaged in the recitation of prayers casteth off his body at Prithudaka (III.81.128)[7] </ref>, which is the best of all tirthas, becometh an immortal. It hath been sung by Sanatkumara and by the high-souled Vyasa, and it is in the Vedas also, that one should, O king, go to Prithudaka (III.81.127)[8], with subdued soul. O son of Kuru race, there is no tirtha which is superior to Prithudaka[9]. Without doubt, that tirtha is purifying, holy and sin-destroying."


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[10] ने लेख किया है .....पृथुदक (AS, p.576): महाभारत में वर्णित तथा सरस्वती नदी के तट पर अवस्थित प्राचीन तीर्थ जिसका अभिज्ञान पेहेवा या पिहोवा (जिला कुरुक्षेत्र, हरियाणा) से किया गया है-- 'पृथूदकम् इति खयातं कार्तिकेयस्य वै नृप, तत्राभिषेकं कुर्वीत पितृदेवार्चने रतः (III.81.122); पुण्यम आहुः कुरुक्षेत्रं कुरुक्षेत्रात् सरस्वती, सरस्वत्याश च तीर्थानि तीर्थेभ्यश च पृथूदकम (III.81.125); पृथूदकात् तीर्थतमं नान्यत् तीर्थं कुरुद्वह, (III.81.128); तत्र सनात्वा दिवं यान्ति ये अपि पापकृतॊ नारा:, पृथूदके नरश्रेष्ठ एवमाहुर मनीषिणः' (III.81.129)-- महाभारत वन पर्वत 83, 142-145-148-149.

शल्य पर्व में भी सरस्वती के तीर्थों के प्रसंग में पृथुदक [p.570]: का उल्लेख है-- 'रुषंगुरब्रबीत् तत्र नयव्वं मां पृथुदकम्, विज्ञायातीतवयसं रुषंगुं ते तपोधना:, तं च तीर्थमुपानिन्यु: सरस्वत्यास्तपोधनम्'-- शल्य पर्व 39, 29-30.

पृथुदक का संबंध महाराज पृथु से बताया जाता है.यहाँ पर आज भी अनेक प्राचीन मंदिरों के अनेक अवशेष हैं. यहाँ काफी पुरातत्व -विषयक सामग्री भी मिली है. महमूद गजनवी और मुहम्मद गौरी ने थानेसर को लूटने के समय पेहेवा को भी ध्वस्त कर दिया था. महाराणा रणजीत सिंह ने यहाँ के प्राचीन मंदिरों का जीर्णोद्धार करवाया था.

External links


  1. Alexander Cunningham:The Ancient Geography of India, p.336-337
  2. Alexander Cunningham:The Ancient Geography of India, p.336-337
  3. Alexander Cunningham:The Ancient Geography of India, p.336-337
  4. "Book; 1-13, Hall's cdition of Wilson'stranslation, i. 183
  5. ततॊ गच्छेत राजेन्द्र तीर्थं तरैलॊक्यविश्रुतम, पृथूदकम इति खयातं कार्तिकेयस्य वै नृप, तत्राभिषेकं कुर्वीत पितृदेवार्चने रतः (III.81.122)
  6. पुण्यम आहुः कुरुक्षेत्रं कुरुक्षेत्रात सरस्वतीम, सरस्वत्याश च तीर्थानि तीर्थेभ्यश च पृथूदकम (III.81.125)
  7. पृथूदकात पुण्यतमं नान्यत तीर्थं नरॊत्तम, एतन मेध्यं पवित्रं च पावनं च न संशयः (III.81.128)
  8. गीतं सनत कुमारेण वयासेन च महात्मना, वेदे च नियतं राजन अभिगच्छेत पृथूदकम (III.81.127)
  9. तत्र सनात्वा दिवं यान्ति अपि पापकृतॊ जनाः, पृथूदके नरश्रेष्ठ पराहुर एवं मनीषिणः (III.81.129)
  10. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.576-577