The Legend of Vedvyas
It is known from the Topics that the hermitage of sage 'Parasara' was situated on the bank of the Trine confluence of 'Shankh', 'Koili' and 'Saraswati'. The sage use to go to the other side of the river to worship Lord Shiva every day. One day he saw the boatman's young daughter. He was enraptured by her beauty. He took her as his wife. A son named 'Krishna Dwipayana 'was born to her. Later he was called "Vedvyas".
A Holy Place Of Devotion
Vedvyas was the famous author of 'Mahabharata' and eighteen other epics. The birthplace of Vedvyas has been commemorated as a sacred place of pilgrimage. A cave that existed on a hill in the middle of the river of 'Shankh' was called the hermitage of 'Vyas'. It was also called the "Vyasa Cave". As a result of erosion the cave is now inaccessible.
People believe that a tunnel connected the cave with a river. It was called "Vyasa Kund". It lies behind the "Sankirtana Mandap". The colour of the water of Shankh at the confluence is whitish. The water of Koili's is somewhat black but that of Saraswati is sweet and transparent. The tringular plot of land lying between Shankh and 'Koili' is known as Yamuna Plateau ('Dhipa').
The original name of Vedvyas was "Parasara Munda". Now it is buried in oblivion. As this area was surrounded by dense forests and inhabitated by wild beasts, very few brave devotees could go to the confluence to have a holy deep and to worship Lord Siva. There was a narrow road to the river. This road led to the small hill inside the river. With the construction of the bridge in 1972 pilgrims are able to go to the river easily.
The hill adjacent to the river Brahmani is known as "Mahavir hill". The hill lying to the east of the river is called the "Parasara hill". The northern hill and northeastern hills are called as the 'Brahmani' and 'Gautami hill' respectively. There is a cluster of small hills in Shankh.
People believed that these are the wounds of 'Indra' who was cursed for his evil deeds. The Vyas cave lies in the middle of these hills. There was a whirlpool by the side of these hills. This whirlpool with 200 feet in length and 200 feet in width used to kill people. The irrigation department has brought the dangerous place under control. The depth of the Vyas Kund is more than 40 feet and less than 50 feet.
An Abode of Nine Temples
There are nine temples between Vyas Kunda and Vyas gumpha. They are - 'Sri Chandrasekhar Mandir', 'Sri Raghunath Mandir', 'Sri Durga Mandir', 'Sri Hanuman Mandir', 'Jagannatha Mandir', 'Sri Balunkeshwara Mandir', 'Sri Biswanath Mandir' and 'Saraswati Mandir'. They're also many small temples surrounded by dense forests.
For hundred of years. Lord Shiva was being worshipped here under the open sky. Now a beautiful temple has been constructed. The 'Shiva Lingam' is made of soft and precious black stone. But the Balunkeshwara temple is oldest temple of this area.
The Saraswati temple is situated on the West Coast of river Saraswati. Sri Dwarikanathji has constructed this temple recently. The Saraswati water pool was constructed at the source of river Saraswati in 1950. The Vedvyas Trust Board is managing the Vedvyas pilgrimage.
Thousand of pilgrims come to the holy place every day to solemnise marriages, celebrate thread ceremonies and such other rituals. Every year thousands of devotees worship Vyasa Dev on the Full moon day of 'Ashad'. Every year a fortnight long 'Shivaratri' is celebrated. Those who take part in the 'Jagara Yatra' can realise the importance of the place.
Lightening facilities and water supply has been extended to Vedvyas and the adjacent tourist resorts. There is heavy rush for funeral rites in the confluence of the rivers and facilities are also available for such funeral rites. There are 'Vedic Ashrams' and 'Gurukula Ashrams' with adequate facilities for Sanskrit teachings.
Dasarajagarh: The famous Dasarajagarh is situated in Chhend near Vedvyas. The fort does not exist only the ruins are seen. Some ruins of the fort are seen in the confluence of 'Koyal' and 'Shankh' where Brahmani has sprung. It is believed that the king of Dasaraja was grandfather of Vyasa Dev had made his capital here.
Khandadhar: Khandadhar is at a distance of 104-km from Rourkela. It is one of the highest waterfalls of Orissa. The beauty of the sparkling cascade of water falling from a height of 244m is beyond description.
HOW TO GET THERE
Rail: Vedvyas is only at a distance of 9-km from Rourkela Railway Station and 5-km from Panposh.
Road: Rourkela is 470-km from Bhubaneswar and 192-km from Sambalpur by road. The Vedvyas square stands on the road from Rourkela to Sambalpur. Turning towards the east and after walking upto 2-km one will reach the holy Vedvyas situated on the bank of river Brahmani. It is a beautiful picnic spot.