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Karkotak Nageshwar – well of serpents or hidden treasure?

Naag Koop/Naag Kund/ Karkotak Nageshwar which literally means “well of snakes” is situated in Jaitpura area of Varanasi, India. The step well is located on the backside of a small temple and holds religious significance for Hindus. Naag Koop is not much visited by travellers therefore very less to no righteous info is available on the internet.

Karkotak Nageshwar, Naag Kund, Naag koop, naag kuan Varanasi, Secret places in varanasi
Naag Kund containing the holy water

The well was built by the Patanjali and it is said that this is where he wrote the commentary on Panini’s Ashtadhyayi in ancient times. A king renovated the well in 1845, therefore, giving it the shape it holds today.

Karkotak Nageshwar, Naag Kund, Naag koop, naag kuan Varanasi, Secret places in varanasi
Naap koop/Kuan in the center of the Naag Kund

The kund at Karkotak Nageshwar is only opened once in a year on Nag Panchami when a grand fair is organized in this area. People believe that taking a dip in this well on Nag Panchami immunes them from the snake bites and it also has astrological benefits.

Karkotak Nageshwar, Naag Kund, Naag koop, naag kuan Varanasi, Secret places in varanasi

Karkotak Nageshwar, Naag Kund, Naag koop, naag kuan Varanasi, Secret places in varanasi

It is said that 45 meters deep in this well lies a door to the world of serpents. One can often spot young people trespassing and diving into the well to reach the gate. However, the world of serpent might sound out of the fantasy but the door is real. A day before Naag Panchami Preist empties the well to worship the Shivling which remains submerged all over the year and one can see a metal sheet which covers the door.

According to an inscription near the well, the Karkotak Nageshwar well was renovated by a king in 1825 and later by James Prinsep. Which gives the birth to the theories of hidden treasure. India was repeatedly invaded by many dynasties and hiding the treasure was the only way to protect it. Ancient kings used many techniques to safeguard their treasury. It won’t be a surprise if the same was done by the king who staggeringly renovated it.

Karkotak Nageshwar, Naag Kuan, Well of snakes
People worshipping the stepwell on Nag Panchami
Shivling at the bottom of the stepwell near the iron door

However, In our opinion, both the door to serpent’s world and the theory of hidden treasure sound exaggerated and it seems like that iron door is just covering the well so that people can stand there to worship the Karkotak Nageshwar Shivling. But you never know, Especially when it’s about a city which is often called older than history!

What do you think? Please let us know in comments. Also, check out the secret temple of Varanasi

How to Reach Karkotak Nageshwar

The Karkotak Nageshwar is located near Jaitpura police station in Jaitpura area of Varanasi. The best way to reach Karkotak Nageshwar/ Naag Koop is by taking an auto rickshaw/tuk-tuk to the Jaitpura police station and then reaching the Naag Kuan on foot by asking locals.

 

What to See/Nearby Places

  • Ishwar Gangi Pokhra
  • Kabir Chaura Math
  • Azaad Park

 

Nearby Ghats

None

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