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Historical Background Of This Divine Place
KANALDA is 12 km north of Jalgaon. It was an extremely undeveloped village with no tar roads or electricity 30 years back. A small village to meet the bare necessities of life. One could find only potatoes and onions and brinjals as far as vegitables were concerned. Bullock-carts were the main form of transport facilities available then. These days it has developed to certain extent. There is electricity and tar roads. But the villge has its own significance and history. In ancient days it was known as Maharshi Kanva Ashram. There is reference to this place in our ancient books namely Ram Charitra Manas and Mahabharata. In the epic Mahabharata written by Maharshi Veda-Vyasa, in the first khand, adhyaya 70,Page 204 and 205, the reference is as follows:-

    " O Rajan (Raja Dushyant)! In the midst of big trees, the sacred river Malini was flowing. The water of this river was sweet and sacred. This ashram was spread out on both the banks of river.
     In this sacred malini river diffrent types of birds used to come and stay. Due to the tapovanam on both the sides, the ashram was even more beutiful. Here poisonous creatures and wild animals uded to stay together in peace. On seeing this Raja Dushyanta was filled with joy and happpiness.
     On the banks of the river, Kashyap Gotra maharshis used to come to stay here.
     Maharshi Kanva used to stay in this ashram and at the same time it was surrounded by great tapasvis and maharshis who had vowed to live a spiritual life. It was an auspicious,pious, holy and isolated place. Raja Dushyant entered i the realm of this pious ashram together with his ministers and purohits."

In ancient times this place was known for its cultural and spiritual life. The maharshis and the students of this place were filled with sattvic samskars. Maharshis used to recite Sam-Veda mantras here and also used to perform vedic-yagnas in brahma - muhurat. The singing of the sanskrit slokas and the vedic recitals made this place look like a second Brahma - Lok. Yagnas, japas, sattvic, vratta, anusthan, tapa, and spiritual discources were the daily routines of the ancient ashram.

The raja Dushyant and Shakuntala was related with this ashram. The great tapasvi Vishwamitra's daughter Shakuntala's story of birth, the bringing up of Shakuntala by maharshi Kanva, the gandharva marriage of Shakuntala and Raja Dushyant, the birth of a son to Shakuntala named Sarvadaman, his courageous strength, dialouge of Raja Dushyanta and Shakuntala, miraculous confirmation of the piousness of Shakuntala by akashvani, and acceptance of Shakuntala by Raja Dushyant together with her son Sarvadaman at the end the Rajyabhishek of their son Sarvadaman who later become popular by the name 'Bharat' after whom our country gets its name Bharat, - all these events are directly or indirectly related to this place.

This very place formally known as Maharshi Kanva Ashram on the banks of malini river is known today as KANALDA village. May be with the passage of time the name Kanva has changed to Kanalda. The river Malini is known today by the name Girija. In their day-to-day conversation people address it as Girna river.
 
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A Legend about these Historical Kanva Caves
There was a Shephered's family living in the village a long time back. Some say that the lineage of this shepherd family is still living in Kanalda village. For a couple of days his cow was not giving him a milk in the evining. Out of curiosity to know the reason, one day he followed his cow to the fields. To his surprise he saw his cow climbing hilloc to enter the Kanva caves. He followed her quickly. The cow reached the deep interior of the caves. On reaching the last cave, the shephered visualised an amazing sight. He saw an ancient rishi dressed in white clothes with a long face, a pointed nose, a jata and a big forehead engrossed in his meditation. By his side was a lake, a hut, a Shivlingam and plenty of green trees. The scenary was just facinating.

The Shephered saw his cow pouring out a milk on the Shivlingam. On seeing this he shouted at the rishi and blamed him for taking away the milk of his cow. He said ,"If you saints take away the milk of our cows then on what shall we poor people survive? Her milk earns our bread and butter."

The saint on being disturbed took cow-dung which was lying there and threw it on the clothes of Shephred. The shephered loosing his temper said,"In this first you are milking away my cow and on the top of it you are throwing cow-dung on me? Take away your cow-dung." Saying so he wiped of the cow-dung from his clothes and left the place with his cow in anger.

To his surprise when he reached home, he found that the little cow-dung that was still sticking to his clothes had turned to gold. he repented for his folly but it was to late.The game was over.

After this incident some of villagers out of greed for gold entered the interior of the caves but lost their sight never to return. After a few incidents of such type, the interior of the caves was blocked leaving only the first four caves open for the public as on today.