How Krishna and Shiva's epic battle of blood gave birth to Tezpur city in Assam

How Krishna and Shiva's epic battle of blood gave birth to Tezpur city in Assam

Tezpur, a city in Assam, is named after a legendary love story and a historic battle. The tale of Usha and Aniruddha, and the subsequent 'Hari-Hara Yuddha,' shaped the city's identity.

Tezpur: Love, battle, legacy Tezpur: Love, battle, legacy
Story highlights
  • Tezpur's name originates from a legendary love story and fierce battle
  • The city evolved into a hub of art, culture, and India's independence movement
  • The tale of Usha and Aniruddha continues to captivate and inspire

The history of Tezpur City is steeped in romance and legend, centered around a dramatic love story that has enchanted people for generations.

Long ago, Tezpur was ruled by a fierce and powerful king named Bana, a devout follower of Lord Shiva. King Bana had a beautiful daughter named Usha, whose charm and beauty were renowned far and wide. To protect his daughter from unwanted suitors, Bana constructed a formidable cave surrounded by a wall of fire, known as 'Agnigarh.'

One fateful night, Princess Usha dreamt of a handsome prince and fell deeply in love with him. Unable to resist her longing to meet him, Usha confided in her best friend, Chitralekha, a talented artist. Chitralekha skillfully painted the prince's portrait based on Usha's vivid description, easing her friend's heartache.

Through diligent investigation, Chitralekha discovered that the prince in Usha’s dream was none other than Aniruddha, the grandson of Lord Krishna, who was an enemy of King Bana. Undeterred by the enmity between their families, Chitralekha arranged for the two to meet. The connection was immediate and powerful, and Usha and Aniruddha married in secret according to Gandharva traditions.

When King Bana learned of this union, he was furious and imprisoned Aniruddha. News of his grandson's capture reached Lord Krishna, who promptly came to his rescue, leading to a fierce and unprecedented battle between Krishna’s army and Bana’s forces. The conflict escalated when Lord Shiva, moved by the devotion of his follower Bana, joined the fray to support him.

The world watched in awe as the armies of Krishna and Shiva clashed in what became known as the 'Hari-Hara Yuddha'—the battle between Hari: Krishna and Hara: Shiva). The destruction wrought by the battle was immense, and the bloodshed was so extensive that the battlefield was soaked in blood.

Eventually, the deities intervened, pleading with Shiva and Krishna to cease the devastation. Moved by their prayers, the two gods ended the war. King Bana, realizing the futility of his anger, consented to the marriage of Usha and Aniruddha.

The aftermath of the battle left such a profound mark that the place came to be known as Tezpur or Sonitpur, meaning 'city of blood.' Despite its tumultuous origins, Tezpur grew into a charming city renowned for its art, culture, literature, and natural beauty. It became a cradle of Assamese literature and arts, witnessing the birth of many eminent personalities and significant cultural milestones, such as the establishment of Assam’s first modern theatre, Ban Rangamancha, in 1906 and the first music school, Jyotikala Kendra, in 1940. The city also played a vital role in India's struggle for independence, marked by the sacrifice of young Kanaklata Baruah in 1942.

Tezpur's rich history, born from a legendary love story, continues to inspire and captivate those who visit or hear its tales.

Edited By: Puja Mahanta
Published On: Jun 24, 2024