The Bold Voice of J&K

Hudh Mata Trisandhaya Yatras-pilgrimages of spirituality, Faith, Divinity & Diversity

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Omkar Dattatray

Whole of Jammu & Kashmir is the land of festival ,festivities and is the abode of gods, goddesses and saints and seers from the ancient past. One of the annual pilgrimages is the Hudh Mata & Trisandhya Yatras which are held in district Kishtwar and attracts a good number of pilgrims every year. The shrine of Hud-Mata is an abode of Shiv Parivar just like Shiv Khori in the Reasi district. Hudh Mata is the local name of Paarvati Mata. An annual yatra to Hudh-Mata and Tri Sandhiya is held on Haar Shudi Ashtmi {8th day of bright lunar fortnight of Haar} that is 14th July Sunday with great fan fare and enthusiasm.
Earlier it was only a local festival and yatra. Initially, only the people of Dachhan would participate in this yatra, but with the passage of time, it has gained momentum and the people from other areas of Kishtwar district are joining this yatra. Hudh Mata is the local name of Parvati Mata derived from Sanskrit word Hutti or Ahuti pointing to Parvati Mata ,who in her previous incarnation was the daughter of Daksh Prajapati and had resorted to self-immolation in the yagya of her father ,as she could not bear the insult inflicted on Lord Shiva by her arrogant father.
In Nanth Nalla of Dachhan there is a cave where three naturally formed ice Lingams of Lord Shiva, Mata Parvati & their son, Ganesha are a source of attraction to the devotees. From the ceiling of the cave ,milky lime water oozes out of a naturally sculptured udder and teats and in the form of droplets falls on the three Linghams.
It is believed that there previously used to be a Kund inside the cave in which Darshan of the Shiv Parvati or deity as per the wish of devotee ,could be had with the help of the torch light.
Piligrims of Kishtwar and its adjoining area gather at Gori Shanker Mandir Sarkoot Kishtwar and there from travel on buses up to Patimhala and thenceforth on light vehicles to Ikhala 40 kms, away from Kishtwar.
From Ikhala, they travel on foot to reach Sounder village, which is the base camp of the yatra. After the nights halt at sounder ,the pilgrims ,along with the holy mace of Hudh Mata start their onward journey from Radha Krishan temple Sounder to Virrat Mata Mandir Dilgoot travelling a distance of about six Kms.
People from length and breadth of Dachhan throng to welcome the holy mace and join the yatra. After the night stay at Dilgoot ,the picturesque journey towards Nanthnalla is started. Travelling s distance of about 20 Kms ,the pilgrims reach at Gugath the picturesque summer resort of the shepherds of Dachhan for the night halt .Next morning ,the yatra starts for its destination that is shrine of Hudh-Mata about 8 Kms away from Gugath.
The day is Haar Ahudi Astmi. On taking a bath at the holy shrine, pilgrims pay obeisance to Mata, have a Darshan of the Lingums and partake of Prasad and Langar held at the shrine .The yatris ,then proceed to the site of Tri-Sandhiya about 2Kms away to have a bath in its waters. The Tri-Sandhya is a miracle of nature and a gift to humanity .Tri-Sandhya is a wonderful stream flowing down the slopes of a mountain twice or thrice a day is considered as very sacred by the devotees .The main characteristic of this stream is that after flowing down the ravine ,it gets receding and surprisingly from downwards to upwards and finally disappears leaving no trace of water .Astonishingly there is neither a lake/pond nor any glacier at the top of the mountain where from it may originate. Pilgrims come from far off places to find an opportunity for a bath .Some get a chance to bath in the stream which is instantly seen receding upward. The name Tri-Sandhya has been attributed to this stream in the belief that three times a day prayers are performed by this stream to Lord Shiva, Mata Parvati and Brahma who stand nearby in the form of Hudh Mata and Brahma Peaks with river Nanth Nalla flowing in between .Locals say that in ancient times ,Trisandhya would appear three times that is morning ,noon and evening regularly .This seems to be a superstition. The devotees hold this stream in great reverence and a dip in its waters is considered very auspicious .Nearby is an old historical temple Kaikut .It is a Naga temple ,made of deodar wood and stone during the rule of Raja Maha Singh of Kishtwar in the 17th century .Fine carvings on wood and stone sculpture points to the craftsmanship of the period in which it is built .The land in terraces near the temple and the stone walls speak that some civilization existed there in ancient times. On the foot of the peak is a small lake called Brahmsar of icy cold ,fresh and clean water with sky blue color .Taking a dip in the waters of this lake is considered as very auspicious .Pilgrims believe that by having a dip in this lake ,their sins are washed off by the grace of Lord Brahma present there in the form of lofty Brahma Peaks .The tourists circuit of Kishtwar -lkhala-Panjdhara-Nanth Nalla -Tri Sandhya -Bramhsar if developed can attract thousands of tourists of various tastes .The natural beauty of the area is indeed matchless and needs development as a big tourist destination .In short the Hudh Mata and Trisandhya yatra is an arduous and difficult journey as the devotees have to trek many Kms for reaching the shrine of Hudh -Mata and the holy and fascinating stream of Trisandhya .The whole journey and the places are full of scenic beauty attracting to eyes and there is utmost need to develop these pilgrimage places as the places of pilgrim and tourist destination so that it can give employment to local youth. Hudh -Mata and Trisandhya yatra is a difficult spiritual pilgrimage and it reflects the beauty of diversity of our culture and needs development as the places of pilgrim tourism so that the shrine of Hudh Mata and the natural ,holy and astonishing spring of Trisandhya attract a good number of devotees and tourists.
(The author is a columnist, social and KP activist)

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