GALTÂ is a sacred place, three miles east of Jaypur, bearing somewhat the same relation to Jaypur as Eklinga does to Udaypur. Ḍhundḍâ was an Asura, or demon king. It is said that Visal Deva of Ajmer, for his oppression of his subjects, and at the curse of a bania’s daughter, an ascetic at Pushkar, whom he forced in the midst of her penances, after his death from the bite of a snake became an Asura, an eater of the flesh of men; “searching,” says the Bard Chand, “he ate men, thence his name Ḍhunḍhâ “—from ḍhûhnḍhuâ ‘to search.’ He was reclaimed from this life by his grandson offering himself as a victim to his insatiable appetite, and afterwards lived in the cave or rather fissure in the rock near the top of the hill at Galtâ, performing penance for his wickedness. From him, or this cave, the rivulet below was named the Ḍhunḍhu, and the country on its banks Ḍhun ḍhuvâra or Ḍhunḍhâr—the native appellation of the Jaypur territory previous to the seventeenth century. In the Purânas it is said that on being attacked by Kuvalâyâsva, the Asura Ḍhunḍhâ—but perhaps not the same as Visal Deva—hid himself beneath a sea of sand, which was dug up by Kuvalâyâsva and his twenty-one sons, in spite of the anger of the monster, who, by his fiery breath, consumed eighteen of them,—a legend which, General Cunningham suggests, may be connected with the vast sandy plains along both banks of the Ḍhunḍhu river, from which the wind raises clouds of smokelike dust.1
- 1. See Tod, Rajasthm, vol. ii. pp. 345 seqq. (Mad. ed. pp. 318 seqq.); Indian Antiquary, vol. I. pp. 278 seqq: Cunningham’s Reports, vol. ii. p. 251.