Digital Dimdima
-By Jayanthi Mahalingam
Down to the sea
The Narmada in Gujarat
A Hill With A View
The Monuments Of Mandu
An Ancient City
An Island In The River
Beyond Hoshangabad
Steeped In Legends
Narmadey Har
The Cult of Thuggee
The Splendour of Marble Rocks
Original Inhabitants
The World Of Verrier Elwin
Tribal Queen
The Jewel Of Kanha
The Narmada In Mythology

 

The Narmada In Mythology

Almost every major river in India has its origins in hoary myth and the Narmada is no exception. A legend relates that a severe drought gripped the earth. The gods and men appealed to Siva for succour. He began a severe penance along with Parvati on the Rksa mountain. The perspiration flowed from his body in such quantities that it became a river which cascaded down the slopes. It then assumed the form of a woman who propitiated Siva. He blessed her, saying that she would be holy and inexhaustible.
Her sprightly movements and sparkling vivacity delighted Siva so much that he called her 'Narmada' or 'the one who gives pleasure' and 'Reva', 'the one who leaps'.
The source of the Narmada lies in the Amarkantak peak, at a height of 1000 metres above sea level, one of the highest in the Maikala range. Amarkantak is located in Shahdol district. The Son and Johilla rivers also originate here but flow eastward.
Amarkantak was once renowned for its natural beauty, nestled in the lap of lush forests, mainly teak and sal. Today indiscriminate tree felling and bauxite mining have destroyed much of the green cover. There are deposits of an estimated 10 million tonnes of bauxite in the area below Amarkantak peak. Shahdol district is also known for its deposits of coal and fire clay. Coal is mined at Sohagpur and the reserves are estimated at around 4064 million tonnes.


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