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My Journey Logs

Andy’s expeditions

The Heritage of the Great Mauryan Empire – Agam Kuan Patna

September 22, 2015

Patna is full of archaeological gems. Till date I had a marvellous time in Patna visiting the host of tourist attracts that this city holds. The Jalmandir, Pawapuri temple, Golghar and the Patna museum were some of the few interesting places that I visited while I was in the city.

Now the time of my returning back home was coming nearer and I didn’t want to miss any of the famous archaeological sites located near or in the city. I am a lover of history and hence the next location that I visited in Patna was the Agam Kuan.
The Agam Kuan is a famous archaeological site in Patna. Huge influx of tourists can be witnessed at this attraction every year. The term ‘Agam’ literally means ‘unfathomable’. Hence as the name suggests the well seems bottomless due to its depth. This structure dates back to the time of Mauryan Empire in Bihar. According to historic records this well was constructed by the great Mauryan Emperor Ashoka with the intention of torturing the enemies. This fact in itself sounds terrifying.

Agam Kuan Patna

Agam Kuan Patna | Image Resource : wikipedia.org

Many historians such as Fa – Hien and Laurence Waddell have mentioned this never ending deep well in their revelations about India. The depth of the Agam Kuan is supposed to be 105 feet. A cleaning operation was undertaken in the year 1990 when the actual depth of the well was revealed to be just 65 feet. The ell is circular in shape and the diameter of this giant well is 20 feet. The upper half i.e. 44 feet of the well is encased in brick and the latter part is secured via a chain of wooden rings.

The surface of the well is very peculiarly designed. It comprises of an enclosure that has 8 hunched windows. A very popular legend regarding the Agam Kuan is that the conqueror Asoka killed his 99 brothers and dumped their bodies in the depths of this well in order to prove his supremacy over the Mauryan Throne.

There are also certain Jain legends attached to this historic monument. It is said that when a monk Sudarshana was thrown by a cruel king Chand into the well he came up floating on a lotus in the water of the well.   

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