Welcome to this travel blog which is inspired by the wandering clouds effortlessly gliding through distant lands. Sometimes almost still as if watching the beauty of the earth below and at times rushing to some place far away – as if on an endless travel mission. This is where I share my observations, experiences and thoughts gathered during my travels

Monday, March 19, 2012


The movie 3 Idiots may have made the name Ranchhoddas well known and perhaps cool. However, in Mahabharata, Krishna was called Ranchod because he had ‘run away’ from the battle with Kaalyavan who had gone to Mathura to help Jarasandh. The story goes like this – when Krishna was in a duel with Kaalyavan there came a point when Krishna realized that the only way to kill Kaalyavan would be to burn him. He knew about Baba Muchkund whose ashram was not too far away. Baba Muchkund was known for his long sleep. It was said that anyone who woke Baba Muchkund would be turned to ashes by his gaze. Knowing the powers which Baba Muchkund possessed, Krishna ran away from the battlefield and reached his ashram. Kaalyavan followed and when he did not find Krishna nearby, he kicked Baba Muchkund who was asleep. At that instant, Kaalyavan was burnt to ashes and Krishna won with the help of his wits.

The ashram of Baba Muchkund is located near Dhaulpur, Rajasthan. On the way to the ashram from the town, one passes another point of interest called Pahad wale Baba ki Dargah which sits on top of a peak. In fact, the Dargah can also be seen from the Shergadh fort and I had seen it lit up from the fort the previous evening.

The Ashram was located in a large complex with many architecturally magnificent looking structures and temples surrounding a huge water tank. The tank was lined with many big and small stone Chhatris (umbrellas) and a few were in the middle of the tank. The tank itself was not clean and I could see green moss floating on one side. I reached there at 9.30 in the morning and found the place was empty except a few men bathing and washing on one side of the tank. So this was not a touristy place (although it looked straight from a post-card) but an ordinary place where the local people went about doing their daily activities, I thought. I went around and checked out the carvings, the exquisite doorways, windows and the verandahs, so characteristic of Rajasthani architecture. There were no signs telling how old the structure was but I imagine it must have been constructed a few hundred years ago. I was told that the place comes alive during social and religious festivals.

The Ashram had a huge courtyard and I again saw ordinary sights of old men lying on the ‘charpai’, some sipping their morning tea and others getting their faces shaved. I wondered if they were people who lived there (I mean in such grand settings), were they priests or were they people who were managing the property. Beyond the courtyard was the temple with beautiful idols of Krishna, Radha and Balaram. The quadrangle inside the temple was very plain and it appeared to also be the residence of the priest. The stone platforms on the either sides of the temple were cluttered with household stuff, perhaps belonging to the temple priest. I came out of the temple and saw that the activities around the vast courtyard were going on uninterrupted. Outside, the men were taking luxurious baths in the tank. It looked as if there were two or three frames superimposed on each other presenting a mixed picture- one frame with the mythological story of Ranchchod and the fiery gaze of Baba Muchkund, the second one where the beautiful chhatris, jharokhas and chabutaras were being erected to serve as social and religious meeting points and the third frame of today’s age where people went about their daily chores oblivious to the beauty and splendour around. In the pictures below, you can see that I avoided taking the third frame for obvious reasons.

The tank or Sarovar outside the temple complex

One of the temple structures in the premises

One more temple

The jaalis and the jharokhas

Another view of the tank

The moss is cleaned up before the festivals

Another view of the tank- have carefully avoided the bathing men

View of the tank from the temple courtyard

One side of the vast courtyard 


  1. Beautiful place. Lovely clicks.


  2. Interesting. Haven't heard much of this place, not popularised by tourist agents yet I guess.

  3. It's good to read about this not-so-well-known place. Lovely pictures capturing first and second frames, third frame pictures - they are better left to one's imagination !!

  4. @Niranjan Das - Thanks for your comment.
    @Indrani - Thanks. You are right, there are so many wonderful places one comes across that are unheard of, but sometimes I think it is a good thing.
    @M-cube - Thanks. Had I captured the third frame, I could have shown the contrast.

  5. Its a pretty comprehensive description and very nice pics indeed.
    I belong to Dholpur. Currently i am preparing for Civil Services. In my interview for Civil Services the first question i was asked was, whose statues are placed in the Muchkund temple.
    Sadly, i was clueless, since i havent been there ever :(

  6. It is interesting to know how Baba Muchkund gor that long sleep, which also shows that ancient Indians knew

    Muchkund was a great king of his time. Once Indra(god of wealth in Hindu Mythology)was attacked by Devils. To save himself he sought Raja Muchkund's help. Muchkund travelled all the way from Earth to Heaven and won the battle, which lasted for a few days.

    After the battle was over, Raja was invited to Indra's Court. However, in the court all were silent and seemed to be worried.Nobody was ready to speak to Muchkund. In the end, Muchkund himself broke the silence and asked Indra the reason behind their silence and worry.

    Indra said "we are extremely happy for the victory you have brought for us. However, we are very sad to inform you that back in your kingdom, on Earth, so many years have passed, that your family members, relatives, friends all have vanished, your kingdom itself has vanished. Better stay back here only, we will take care of you. However, the sad king refused and asked Indra, a boon, of an eternal sleep somewhere in his kingdom where nobody could disturb him. If anybody disturbed him and woke him up without any reason, he woud burn at the sight of Baba Muchkund.

    Lord Krishna knew this, and used it to kill Kaalyavan without worriying about he being called a Ranchod.(One who runs away from battle).