Narrow lanes, overcrowded markets, unplanned construction and stray animals. These are the scenes that will greet you as you enter Gurgaon Gaon (originally Gurugram-- teacher’s village), after which the Gurgaon district was renamed on Tuesday.
Located in Old Gurgaon just off Railway Road, the area lacks civic facilities and resembles a semi-urbanised village.
Gurgaon Gaon has a pond near which Guru Dronacharya is believed to have trained his disciples. Once surrounded by lush green trees, the pond is now encroached upon. Long grasses have grown in the pond and drains flow into it.
Also, there is a temple dedicated to Guru Dronacharya. But the temple is in a shamble and has no idol of the guru, though some other places in the city have his statues.
Ishwar Dass Jhamb, president of the temple committee, said they have decided to soon install a statue of Dronacharya and restore the pond.
Parminder Kataria, deputy mayor of Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon who lives in the area, said, “It was a beautiful place surrounded by agricultural fields. Unplanned construction and increase in population has hit it.”
According to the Hindu mythology, the area got its name when Pandavas and Kauravas, princes from the Mahabharata era, donated the land to Dronacharya, the archery teacher to royal families, as ‘gurudakshina’ (teaching fee).
Dronacharya reportedly trained the princes near the pond and lived near it.
“Renaming Gurgaon as Gurugram is good but the government should focus on maintaining this area. Basic facilities should be provided here,” said 74-year-old Attar Singh, who runs a shop nearby.
“People may call it Cyber City but the place has deep historical roots, which should not be forgotten. We love being called citizens of Gurugram,” said Tara Chand, a 71-year-old local resident.
Noted historian Kripal Chand Yadav said facts are needed to prove history.
“Story of Gurugram is not older than 200 years while Mahabharata is 5,000 years old. There is another saying that there was a ‘gur mandi’ (jiggery market) and so the area was named Gurgaon,” Yadav said.