Karmanasa river- a river made up of saliva!


Do you know that on the Land of Holy River’s like Ganga and Yamuna, there’s also a cursed river in India? Yes! You heard it right, and there’s a cursed river flowing through the heart of Bihar in India, which is believed to take away all your good deeds. It originates in Kaimur district of Bihar and flows through the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Along the boundary between Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, it has the areas of Sonbhadra, Chandauli, Varanasi and Ghazipur on its left (UP side); and the districts of Kaimur and Buxar on its right (Bihar side).

The villagers believe that the river brings bad luck to them, and why not? As its name itself suggest, ‘Karma’ means deeds and ‘Nasa’, which means destroy, thus literally meaning killing good deeds. But do you know, according to the villagers this river is different from other rivers in India it is not made up of water but saliva! What’s the legend behind it, let’s take a look.

Tale behind the origin of Karmanasa River:

The name of the river means “destroyer of religious merit.” There was a king name Trishanku who was willing to go to heaven alive. He tried very hard and even dared to manipulate Rishi Vishvamitra. The Great Sage used his powers to send him happiness alive, but it wasn’t according to the law, so King of God- ‘Indra’ stopped him in mid sky but The Sage had had his self-respect, so he even didn’t allow him to return to earth and again stopped him in mid-air. Thus, the Trishanku got stuck in mid-air, and his saliva started falling on the ground resulting in a river named Karmanasa. And just like that, the river becomes cursed.

According to another plot of the same story, the sage Vishvamitra, through Tapasya, acquired the power to create a whole new universe. When he set out to create a new world, it aroused consternation in king of gods- Indra. However, he continued, and after creating a copy of our universe, he started creating people and the first being Trishanku whom he decided to send up to rule his new universe. Indra stopped him mid-way. That is how Trishanku ended up head down in mid-air. And the river Karmanasa was born out of the saliva dripping from his mouth. 

What’s the impact?

It is believed that touching the water of the river drips away all your good deeds just as bathing in Ganga takes away all your sins. This belief is practiced to an extent where villagers living near the shore of the river only live on eating fruits and raw vegetables, as cooking needs water they survive solely on fruits.

It is believed that this river is cursed, and whenever it floods, it takes at least one life. Every tree touched by the water of Karmanasa dies in 24 hours. The river flows naturally from Bihar to finally join the river, Ganga. Thus, this river serves as a part of mythology, which is unnoticed by many of us. Believing this river as the cursed river or not is up to one’s perception, attitude, and beliefs. 


Leave a reply