G L Khajuria
In Jammu and Kashmir, where the terrain and its tracks occupy a unique place they have now lost their pristine grandeur and glory. However, natural springs and water ponds do exist but as far as the quality, quantity and purity of water is concerned,these have been badly polluted except those which exist in the temperate, sub-alpine and alpine zones of Himalayan region.
These sources of water not only provide water for drinking and washing purposes, but also represent cultural and religious ethos of people of a particular region.
Springs of Nagri Parole There are many springs near this area falling in Kathua district. Just 3 to 4 kms down Nagri Parole is a natural spring adjoining an old pirsthan. People suffering from skin ailments get cured after having a dip in this spring. It is believed that this is due to blessings of Pir Baba, but scientifically the water possesses sulphar properties.
Springs at Airwan Airwan or Eravati,either way we name it, is located some 9-10 Kms from Nagri Parole and is the most prominent sacred place of Shakti.
According to Upendra Giri from U.P who looks after these temples of Lord Shiva and other gods and goddesses averred that these temples are centuries old and are of equal prominence as that of Kedarnath and Badrinath. There are two big springs where pilgrims from far away places including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana come for a holy dip on ‘Chaitrachaudish’ in March every year, and pay obeisance to the sacred shrine of Lord Shiva.A big festival is held here as elsewhere in Purmandal and Uttarbahni in Jammu.
On the outskirts of Jammu city, many springs existed which now stand depleted except at “Bhair Devasthan” around 15 kms from Jammu towards Udhampur. lt is a Shakti Shrine where natural spring exists alongside the Tawi. There are fishes in the spring to whom people offer milk and kneaded balls of flour.
Khoon Spring Some 50 kms far from Udhampur, along Dhar road is existing this natural baoli with nectar-clear water. A temple of Lord Shiva also exists there, where people come to pay obeisance.
Basholi-Bani Springs The entire track is having many natural springs linking Bhadarwah and the entire sub Himalayan region. There are many natural springs having crystal-clear water and the local populace subsist on them for their day to day requirement.
Gauri Kund Baollies There is a cluster of springs at Chenani town itself as well as ‘Guari Kund’ which are centuries old. Mata Parvati, Lord Shiva’s consort is said to have bathed here.
Sudmahadev’s Spring This-spring is also named as “Papnashi Baoli” and is of high sanctity as it is believed that a holy dip in this spring washes off one’s sins. An annual mela lasting a couple of days is being celebrated in the first week of June. From Sudmahadev onwards to Mantalai, Bap, Sarar, Latti, Dhoona, Seri, Chari, finally one reaches Suezdhar(the origin of Tawi river). From the base of Suezdhar uphill one gets down to Bhaderwah amidst pines, herbs, shrubs and other medicinal plants.
Kud Spring This spring is having its own importance. Gushes out clear water and is also called “Swami Wala Spring”.The tourists from India and abroad make a short stop here to experience sweetness of water of this spring.
Sanasar Spring: Patnitop is a prominent hill resort on the tourist map of India. Over the remote past, Sanasar was a prominent lake, now stands almost dried.Here exists a natural spring also named as “Viran Spring” whose water is crystal clear and sweet. A centuries old small temple of “Nag Devta” exists here
Batote Spring : Two prominent springs are in existence in this picturesque spot of Batote viz.Amrit and Lal Spring. One feels quite relaxed here after drinking water from these springs.
Tattapani Spring (Kishtwar) : This is a hot spring, also named as tattapani, located in the Paddar valley of Kishtwar. lt has been seen that rice wrapped in a cloth when dipped in it gets boiled just like in hot springs of H.P. (Manikarn Kulu).This spring is barely around 20 kms from Kishtwar in Nagseni range of Sub Himalayan region of Kishtwar.
Tattapani Spring (Atholi-Kishtwar) : This spring is of immense prominence and sanctity and has been referred to as “Sheshnag” in the old scriptures.
Marwa springs (Kishtwar) : These springs are having life-leasing nectar-clear water but are moderately hot and the water is believed to be helpful in treating various diseases, though quite unbelievable in present scenario.
And now on entering Bhaderwah from Pul-Doda, we find vale of Bhaderwah also known as “Chhota Kashmir”. The enchanting valley with high mountains, towering cliffs, uplands and green carpet meadows, lakes, rivers, rivulets and their tributaries has also the distinction of some springs.
Kailash Kund Around 15 Kms from Bhaderwah township is located a mega spring so to say a lake and it is abode of ‘Vasuki Nag Devta”. People from far flung areas within and outside from other states visit this sacred resort in huge number in their colourful attire on “Tridishi” after a fortnight of “RakshaBandhan”.
Gupt Ganga: It is an underground Ganga alongside Neeru rivulet where nectar clear water flows perennially and there are cluster of fishes of varied colours and the people feed these with kneaded balls of flour. A sacred temple of prehistoric time of Mahabharata exists alongside Neeru Nallah and within the temple, there is a huge lingam of Lord Shiva. In and around the vicinity are few natural springs where nectar clear water bubbles out.
Parnala Spring : This spring is having its own prominence with blue greenish water and lies within the Bhaderwah town along other Nallahs and enjoys an equal prominence of purity and sancity.
Cbhabra Spring : This spring is having plentiful of life-leasing crystal-clear water of ample importance.
Suraj Baoli : This is locally spoken as “Ashapati” and is an old sacred pilgrimage centre situated towards south-east of Bhaderwah. Though its history is missing, yet its genesis is from ‘Sanskrit’ version as ‘Suvarnavapi’ viz. Sun’s pond. This lies under snow cover in the lap of mountainous region and water gushes out from the sacred spring once in the year on “Amavasya’ when people from far-flung areas come over here with utmost reverence in “Bhija village” where this sacred spring is situated. The delighted devotees come here to have a dip in it.
Khakhal Spring : “Ban Nagrari” are the two other springs in the same vicinity of Bhaderwah and their nectar-clear water is of ample medicinal value.
Ghatha spring: This spring is of prehistoric period, reported to be of Mahabharta time when Pandhavas spent most of the time in sojourn in this mountainous region.
Udrana spring Located near “Vasuki Nag” temple just on the entrance of Bhaderwah town it is famous among people living in its vicinity.
Fort Spring : This is located near historical fort of Bhaderwah, natural water gushes out which has its own prominence and significance.
Sona Bain : or golden spring with colourful water which remains perennially under snow and as per legend golden balls are reported be there under snow.
Apart from these springs there are other mini springs spread over the entire Bhaderwah enjoying their own prominance, which need to preserved for posterity.
G L Khajuria