By Swami Harshananda
Sthalapurāṇa literally means ‘local legend’.
Every place of pilgrimage, including its temples and sacred spots, has its own ancient story to tell. Such legends are transferred mostly by oral tradition, though the more famous ones have been incorporated in the well-known purāṇas and upapurāṇas. These are generally called sthalapurāṇas. One of the interesting factors to be noted in such sthalapurāṇas is that some renowned personalities from the epics and the purāṇas like Rāma, Hanumān and Kṛṣṇa, the Pāṇḍava brothers and sages like Nārada, Vasistha and Agastya or even great kings like Vibhīṣaṇa, Prahlāda and Bali will have visited almost all the places.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore