fair has a legendary background. Gautam Rishi
used to go for a sacred bath in the river Ganga
every morning. For him, this had become part
of his everday life.
Once, the King of sub Gods (Devtas)- Indra asked
Surya (Sun) as to who was the most beautiful
woman on the earth. The Sun parried the question
and said "Most of people are busy in their
work, when I shine during the day and it is
very difficult for me to judge as to who is
ugly and who is beautiful". Indra asked
the same question to Chandradev (Moon God),
who said that Ahilya, the wife of Gautam Rishi
resding at the confluence of Yamuna and Tamsa
was the most beaytiful woman on the earth. Hearing
this, Indra was overtaken by evil and lust and
made up his mind to aquire Ahilya by hook or
Unbecoming the King of sub Gods, as he was,
Indra entered the Ashram (hermitage) of Gautam
at midnight and mimicked the call of a cock.
Unaware of the wicked designs of Indra, Gautam
Rishi set out for bathing in Ganga as usual,
mistaking it as dawn. Finding Ahilya alone at
home as soon as the sage left, Indra knocked
the door and impersonating as Gautam, tried
to bluff her. Ahilya was a pious hearted lady.
She sensed the evil designs of Indra and cursed
him to be a leper with thousand eyes.
Meanwhile, Gautam reached Ganga and entered
the holy water for bath. The river Goddess was
pleased with the punctuality and devotion of
Gautam. She asked him to return home immediately
as his wife was in trouble. The Rishi turned
back in a hurry, leaving his Kamandal (sacred
pot) there. Later, the Goddess Ganga herself
returned the Kamandal, filling it with holy
water, which was set up in the Ashram in the
form of a sarovar (tank). She also gave a boon
that the tank's water will be equal in holiness
to the actual Gangajal and those who have a
holy dip in the tank will earn the same blessing
as one who has a holy dip in the Ganga. Since
then, this place, which is about 8 km on Dehradun-Saharanpur
Road, is a holy bathing place of religious importance.
Thousands of devotees visit the spot in April
and October, when a big fair takes place here.