ASTIKA (deceased)

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Managed by: Krishnan s g
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Mainpuri, Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh, India

Emperor Janamejaya ascended to the throne ofHastinapura upon the death of his father Parikshit. According to legend, Parikshit, the lone descendant of the House of Pandu, had died of snakebite. He had been cursed by a sage to die so, the curse having been consummated by the serpent-chieftain Takshak.
Janamejaya bore a deep grudge against the serpents for this act, and thus decided to wipe them out altogether. Janamejaya committed genocide of Nagas in northern India. He attempted this by performing a great Sarpa satra - a sacrifice that would destroy all living serpents.
At that time, a learned sage named Astika, a boy in age, came and interfered. His mother Manasa was a Naga and father was a Brahmin. Janamejaya had to listen to the words of the learned Astika and set Takshaka free. He also stopped the massacre of the Nagas and ended all the enemity with them (1,56). From then onwards the Nagas and Kurus lived in peace.
The mass sacrifice was started on the banks of the river Arind at Bardan, now Known as Parham, a corrupt form of Parikshitgarh. A masonry tank said to have been built by Emperor Janamejaya to mark the site of the sacrificial pit, known as Parikshit kund, still exists in Mainpuri district. This is known as Gowdvana. Close to this village a very large and high khera containing the ruins of a fort and some stone sculptures has been found . It is said to date back to the time of Emperor Parikshit. A popular local legend is that as a consequence of the virtues of that sacrifice snakes are still harmless in this place and its neighborhood.

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