Agam Kuan



Agam Kuan, which literally mean "Unfathomable Well", is another historical monument existing till date from the Mauryan times. It is believed that the famed Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka had built this well to torture the enemies. During 1890s, the British explorer, Laurence Waddell, while exploring the ruins of Patliputra, identified Agam Kuan as the legendary well built by Ashoka for torturing enemies, a practice cited by the Chinese travelers including famed Fa-Hien during 5th and 7th century AD.

The well is believed to be 105 feet deep, but a cleaning work undertaken in 1990s established its actual depth to only 65 feet. It is circular in plain, with a perimeter extending over 20 feet. The well is brick-encased in the upper half of its depth (down to 44 feet) and thereafter, secured by a series of wooden rings. The surface structure, which now covers the well and forms its most distinctive feature, has eight arched windows. The other strong legend over the well is that Ashoka threw 99 of his brothers in this well after killing them, in order to usurp the Mauryan throne. The well also feeds the Jain legends. The most famous of them is about a monk Sudarshana who, when thrown into the well by an atrocious king named Chand, was found floating over its water seated on a lotus.
The place, today has great religious sentiments attached to it. A variety of functions and ceremonies including marriage keeps taking place all round the year around the well. There is a temple next to the well, called Shitala Devi Mandir. It houses the image of Shitala Devi, and the pindas of the 'Saptamatrikas' (the seven mother forms), is widely revered and worshiped for the cures for the small-pox as well as for fulfilling all sorts of desires. The site once contained several ancient and medieval sculptures. Of these, at least one was that of the Yaksha of the Mauryan art-affiliation. Famous British archaeologist, Alexander Cunningham, who had visited the site during 1879-80, wrote :
"When I saw the two statues in the New Indian Museum at Calcutta, I then remembered that a broken statue of a similar kind still standing at Agam Kuan, just outside the city of Patna, adorned with a new head and a pair of roughly marked breasts, so as to do duty for the great goddess Mata-Mai. The Agam Kuan is a very large and very old brick well... The broken figure is said to have been found in this well, and it seems probable therefore that the two statues were also found either at or near the same place."
However, the statue has no existing record as of now. The site is situated at a short distance south-west of Gulzarbagh station. It is barely one kilometer away from the archaeological ruins of Kumhrar Park.

How to Reach : This place is situated on the outskirt of the city, near to Mahatma Gandhi Setu. It is easily reachable by private cabs or autos.

Distance :
Patna Junction ~ 9-10 km
Patna Airport ~ 16-17 km 
Mithapur Bus Stand ~ 11-12 km

Nearby Places :