Dedhasura Bhai-bahu Kuan: A unique well in Puri symbolising fusion of faiths

Puri: It is very rare to find a well in Odisha where people climb down the stairs to fetch water from it. The ‘Dedhasura Bhai-bahu Kuan,’ a well at ‘Bauli Math’ in Puri is one such rarity and some.

The well’s origins can be traced back to Guru Nanak Dev’s Puri visit. When the founder of Sikhism came to Puri more than 500 years ago, he rested at this place near Swargadwar. It is believed that when his disciples were thirsty and mostly saline water was available in Puri, Guru Nanak ordered his disciples to dig a well. Since then ‘Bauli Math’ along with the ‘Dedhasura Bhai-bahu Kuan’ is believed to be a pilgrimage site for both Sikhs and Hindus.

“Puri is a holy land for many Indian religions and sects. For the Sikhs, ‘Bauli Math’ and the ‘Dedhasura Bhai-bahu Kuan’ is a sacred place. The Sikhs coming to Puri first sprinkle water from this holy well on themselves before going for Lord Jagannath’s Darshan,” said Jagannath culture expert, Surya Narayan Rath Sharma.

It is also believed that the name ‘Dedhasura Bhai-bahu Kuan’ comes from Hindu mythology and signifies the relation between Godess Lakshmi and Lord Jagannath’s elder brother Balaram. According to the mythology, Goddess Lakshmi fetched water from the well by climbing down the stairs as a mark of respect to her brother-in-law (Dedhasura) Lord Balaram.

This mutt is managed by Udasi followers of Guru Nanak’s eldest son Baba Sri Chand. One can find a unique fusion of Hindu and Sikh traditions at this place where Hindu Gods are worshipped along with the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.