The Mystical Charms of Basudevkona

A Glimpse into the Temples and Tales

5 min readSep 1, 2023

I have been visiting Basudevkona since I was a kid. Loved its beauty and the peace it brought to our soul. I always wondered why people go to far off places for vacations and family outings. This has always been my & my family’s go to destination.

After spending a few years studying culture & history, I find myself seeing not just people and places but stories and experiences. So, I decided to document Basudevkona to make its riches accessible to maximum people.


Nestled within the heart of Raidih block of Gumla district in Jharkhand, the tranquil village of Basudevkona emerges as a testament to a bygone era, where architecture intertwines with spirituality and myths echo through the ages.

Behind every temple and every stone in Vasudev Kona, there lies a story steeped in mythology. These myths have been passed down orally from one generation to the next, weaving a tapestry of wonder and wisdom.


1. Discovering the Ancient Idol of Lord Vasudev (Vishnu)

The village’s name derives from Lord Vasudev. According to local legends, the idol of Lord Vasudev was found inside one of the caves in nearby hills. The king of Palkot heard about a special statue of Lord Vishnu at Vasudev Kona and wanted it for himself. He placed the idol on the elephant’s back but strangely, the elephant couldn’t stand up. He left the statue there, assuming that it was gods wish to not leave the village.

The villagers, deeply moved by the miracle, built a temple in his honor. The temple is surrounded by multiple idols found in different locations within the village. They include idols of Lord Shiva-Parvati, Lord Ganesha, the two Dwarpalas, Devi Durga, Sesh-Naaga and Garuda ji.

Few years ago, during Navaratri a Jwala (flame) is said to have emerged on its own right in front of goddess Durga. This awe-inspiring phenomenon became a legendary event that echoes through the temple’s history, drawing devotees from distant lands to witness the divine manifestation. What makes this temple even more enchanting is its reputation for transforming wishes into reality.

Here is a small audio clip of village Purohit ji, describing the history of Basudevkona.

2. The Mysteries of the Devadhidev Swayambhu (Shiva) Temple

The Devadhidev Swayambhu Temple stands as a testament to ancient craftsmanship and spiritual devotion. According to local beliefs, was fashioned by none other than Lord Vishwakarma, the divine architect. The entire temple complex rests on a single stone, a feat of engineering that continues to amaze architects and enthusiasts alike.

The place currently serves as a sacred space for various celebrations. A sculpture of Lord Hanuman beside the temple invites a huge fair during Ramnavmi every year. The temple complex includes arrangements for hosting weddings, bhandaras (community feasts), yagyas (ritualistic ceremonies), and akhand kirtans (continuous devotional singing).

These events are a reflection of the village’s unity and unwavering devotion, as villagers come together to celebrate their shared heritage.

Story: The Freedom Fighters, Bakhtar Say and Mundal Singh

Statue of Bakhtar Say and Mundal Singh

The place is also famous for two freedom fighters. They were born into the Rautia caste and were well-known for standing up against the British.

  • Bakhtar Say was born in Nawagarh in Raidih. He was Jagirdar of Basudevkona.
  • Mundal Singh was a Parganait (a traditional village-panchayat level tribal leader of Santhal Pargana) of Pahar Pani village in Gumla district.

In 1812, the King of Chotanagpur, Govind Nath Shah, was ordered to pay Rs. 12,000 in taxes to the East India Company. This burden fell on the shoulders of the peasants, who were struggling to make ends meet. Bakhtar Say, along with the support of Mundal Singh, refused to accept this unjust tax on behalf of the people in Nawagarh. Their refusal caught the attention of the British authorities, and they sent an army to enforce the tax collection. Together, they managed to defeat the British force in battle.

The hills & forests that surround the village

After a month, a large army led by E. Refreez of Ramgarh Battalion arrived in Nawagarh. Being unable to reach Bakhtar Say and Mundal Singh in the cave of Aragadha, British polluted the water of the river stream leading to the cave. After this diplomatic trick, Bakhtar and Mundal decided to go to Raja Ranjit Singh of Jashpur, Chhattisgarh from where both were arrested on March 23, 1812. On April 4, 1812, both were hanged at Fort William in Calcutta.

Their story stands as a testament to the bravery of ordinary individuals who stood up against injustice and oppression, even in the face of overwhelming odds.

Every year Saheed Mela is held on April 4, the martyrdom day of Shaheed Bakhtar Say and Shaheed Mundal Singh. Garhpahar forest being their karmabhumi was chosen as the venue as the instances of the fight can still be witnessed in the form of the cave in which he lived and Rakatbaan hill, the place where they killed the British that took the form of a pond of blood.

Infact , in 2022 Gumla’s town hall was renamed to Bakhtar Say Mundal Singh Auditorium in their honour.

Tales: The protectors of the village

It is believed that the ancestors protect the village via mantras. No negative energy can enter Basudevkona and hurt the natives. Even today, the villagers can sometimes hear the faint but comforting sounds of horses’ hooves in the middle of the night, reminding them of their history and the guardians who continue to watch over their village.

Basudevkona’s temples, myths and stories are not just relics of the past; they are living testaments to the villagers’ enduring faith and cultural pride. The local community takes immense pride in preserving these treasures, passing on the stories and rituals to the younger generation.

So, if you ever find yourself in the vicinity of Gumla, do not miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history and spiritual ambiance of Basudevkona.

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