The Bold Voice of J&K

Historical Shiv Temple of Basohli

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 Shiv Kumar Padha
The present Basohli town has remained a capital of one of the most famous, developed, prosperous and religious Duggar state of the present Jammu and Kashmir State. According to the available sources all the Rajas of Pal dynasty who ruled Basohli state had been kind and god fearing and had unshakable faith in the religion
( Snatan )In order to inculcate the habit of worshiping God, in the subjects, the Pal Rajas constructed number of temples in the beginning of each street, mohalla, in the bazaar from one end to the other. There were temples in the proximity of the town each in east, west, north and south. The Dhakees, the steps like stone passages to the river Ravi from various parts of the town, had the temples of the gods and goddesses on their either sides enabling the natives to offer Jal (water) and flowers in the temples on their return from a holy dip in the river Ravi. There were, near about, 150 number of small and big temples situated in and in the proximity of the Basohli town before the ponding of the Ranjeet Sagar Dam at Ravi. Owing to a such big number of the temples, disproportionate to the size and dimension of the town, Basohli was famous as a Town of Temples after Jammu city.
Among the main ancient temples of the town, Devi Chamunda, Mata Sheetla, Mata Mahakali and Mata Chanchlo are the Temples of Goddesses where as the local Shiv Mandir, Mahandera, Jata Jut, Gouri Shankar, Rang Raj are the ancient Shiv Mandirs. There are also Temples of God Narsingh, Satya Narayan, Bhagwan Ram, Hanuman and Lord Badri Nath Thakur dwara in the town.
The ancient and historical Temple of Mahadev as some people call it, Shiv or Neel Kanth Mandir has very interesting story which dates back to the Mahabhart time. According to the historical legend the Shiv Ling in the Shiv Mandir is a valuable jewel studded in the armlet of the Chander Vanshi Maha Bharat warrior Bhoori Shrabha. There is a mention about the detailed story given in the Drone Parab. According to the story Arjuna the brother of Pandvas chopped the arm of Raja Bhoori Shrabha with his arrow shot when the later was about to behead Satki Yadav during the war in Kurukshetra. The said invaluable Shiv Ling was studded in the arm let of Bhoori Shrabha. The chopped arm of the warrior remained in the war field till an eagle lifted it with its strong beak and flew away. The weight of the arm, bearing the bulky jewel studded armlet, was too heavy to carry upto long distance for the eagle which consequently fell in to one of the well in Kurukshetra.
After a quite long time, the same eagle took birth as a daughter of a Jheevar in Kishatwar ( J and K ) One day the same young girl had gone to fetch water for her family from the stream. On her way she saw a big eagle flying with a long snake in its beak which, afterwards, slipped from the beak and fell on the ground. Watching all this she was reminded of the full incidence which occurred during her previous birth as a result the girl could not help laughing loudly which the Raja of Kishatwar, strolling in the chogan, took notice of. The Raja enquired about the cause of her breaking suddenly into laughter. The girl narrated the full incident of her previous birth as an eagle and also regarding
carrying of the chopped arm of a warrior with a Shiv Ling made of valuable gem studded in his arm let and then dropping that in the well in Kurukshetra.
In order to verify the truth of the story, the King of Kishatwar went to Kurukshetra and recovered the same Shiv Ling shaped gem from the well and brought to Kishatwar. Raja Installed the Shiv Ling in his own palace and worshipped it for a long time. By the grace of the Shiv Ling the prosperity and peace once again ruled Kishatwar. It was believed during those days that anybody who tried to see his or her face in the most transparent Shiv Ling could see their previous births. Maharani threw the Shiv Ling in the burning fire when she she saw her face like that of a she monkey. From that day the colour of the Ling turned black. Annoyed over the disgrace of the Shiv Ling, whole Kishatwar had to face famine due to the failure of rains and drought. Bhoopat Pal, the first Raja of Basohli had the Darshan of the unique Shiv Ling in his dream which he brought to Basohli after conquering Kishatwar. He married the princess and brought her to Basohli also.
People believe that it is only due to the blessings and upper hand of Mahadev, Neel Kanth Maharaj over the natives,that the town has never faced any kind of natural calamity like, floods, land sliding, famines, epidemics and earthquakes till date. There is no crime related to theft, murder, stabbing and litigation. The people are religious, God fearing, honest, kind and trust worthy. In short Basohli is the place worth living due to the blessings of the gods and goddesses sitting in the four directions and the four corners of the Basohli town.

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