A place of shrines and scenic spots

Romesh Mengi
Mujse mat puch meri khubsurti mera naam meri khasiyat byan karta hai.
Reasi ,a city known for its bravery is one of the oldest towns of the J&K State. It was the seat of erstwhile Bhimgarh state, said to have been established by Raja Bhim Dev somewhere in the 8th century. It remained an independent principality till 1822, when Maharaja Gulab Singh the then king of Jammu consolidated the small states. Maharaja Gulab Singh placed General Zorawar Singh the commandant of Reasi as he was very much impressed by his sincerity and loyalty. upto 1948, Reasi was a district of Jammu province, but in 1948 the major part of Reasi was merged with district udhampur, while some parts became part of Poonch.
Reasi is a newly formed district of J&K state. It is located along Chenab river about 30 kms from Katra and 75 kms from Jammu. It is situated in the Shivalik hills and is located at 1528 mtr above sea level.
Tourism :- Reasi attracts a large number of tourists across the globe. There are various religious shrines which attracts a good number of piligrims every year.
Reasi District is well known all over the world for abode of Godess Vaishno Devi, which is visited by over 1 crore tourists every year and the number is increasing on annual basis. Apart from the Pilgrimage of Goddess Vaishno Devi, the area is endowed with many other religious places and also places which are rich in natural beauty, flora & fauna, rivers and rivulets which are yet not explored.
Some famous shrines and tourist places are:
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi
Shiv Khori
Dera Baba Banda Bhadur Ji
Ziarat Baji Ismail Sahib
Baba Dhansar
Siarh Baba
Sula Park
Salal Shiv Gufa
Shri Mata Vaishno Devi:- Vaishno Devi Shrine is located in the lap of shivalik hills and is 13 kms from base camp Katra . The shrine is a famous pilgrimage centre in Jammu and Kashmir state. It is managed by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board since 1986. Every year lakhs of piligrims visit this shrine and the number is rising every year.
Shiv Khori:- Shiv Khori is a famous cave shrine of Hindus devoted to lord Shiva. This natural cave is about 200 metres long , one metre wide and two to three metre high and contains a self made LINGIM which according to the people is unending. The cave abounds with a large number of natural objects having resemblance with Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha and Nandigan. A three day Shiv Khori mela taken places annually on Maha Shivratri and thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the state and country visit this shrine to seek blessing of Lord Shiva. It is managed by Shiv Khori Shrine Board .
Baba Dhansar:- The holy place of Baba Dhansar is located at Karua Jheel near village Karua, 15 km from Reasi towards Katra. As per local a belief, in ancient times, there was a demon who lived near Karua Jheel and commited atrocities on the people of village . The villagers sought the help of Baba Dhansar who happened to be the son of Vasudev(human form of Sheshnag). It is believed that Baba Dhansar prayed to Lord Shiva for help. Lord Shiva arrived and helped in killing the demon.
Ziarat Baji Ismail Sahib:- Ziarat of Baji Mian Mohammed Ismail Sahib is situated at Jandi Morh near Bharakh village in Reasi. It is a place of great faith and worship among all sections of society, irrespective of caste , greed and colour. Thousands of devotees visits the Ziarat through out the year and also participated in the annual urs and sought blessing of Baji Mian Ismail Sahib.
Dera Baba Banda Bhadhur:-Dera Baba Banda Bhadhur is another place of religious importance. Baba Banda Bhadhur was a famous saint soldier of Guru Gobind Singh ji. A gurudwara was also build on the bank of river Chenab in his memory. The place is considered as a major pilgrimage centre for Hindus and Sikhs situated in Reasi and Jammu. People from other parts of the state and country also come to this place for pilgrimage particularly on the festival of Baisakhi.
Baba Jitto Temple:– It is situated in Aghar Jitto village at a distance of approx. 5 km from Katra . Aghar Jitto is named after Baba Jitto the legendary farmer who laid his life to fight oppression by landlords. He was a great devotee of Maa Vaishno and a temple is built here dedicated to him. A three day Aghar Jitto festival is the prime attraction of this place.
Siarh Baba:– Famous for its magnificent waterfall, Siarh Baba is situated about 10kms from Reasi, in village Talwara.The main attraction is nearly 400 ft. High cascading waterfall and an ancient Pragan Nag temple.
Salal Shiv Cave:- The cave is situated in the Thampal area of Salal in Reasi district. The area is tough terrain and nearly 2 hours on foot journey. The cave has a Shiv Lingam similar to Shiv Khori, stone idols of Shiva family, a statue of saints and hanuman. The cave appears to be almost equal to Shiv Khori.
Nau Pindian:- It is another pilgrim stop situated on the Reasi Katra road about 8 km from katra and 17 km from reasi. The shrine has naturally formed nine pindies symbolized the nine avtars of Maha Shakti.
Kalka Mata Temple:– Kalka Mandir a temple of Mata kali is located on the hill top close to Bus stand Reasi. One has to traverse 200 meters distance on foot to reach this temple.
Salal Power Project:– Salal Power Project is also a source of attraction for visitors. It is 20 km away from Reasi surrounded by mountains . It is constructed on river Chenab . The project has a capacity of 690 mw.
Bhim Garh Fort:- This is a historical fort commanded by General Zorawar Singh , the famous Dogra General who repelled Chinese from Ladakh . The fort is build on the bank of river Anji at a hillock.
A number of places in Mahore and Arnas areas of district Reasi are endowed with picturesque beauty and salubrious climate which mesmerizes the viewers and soothes the mind and soul. Some of such places are
Lapritop, Dagantop, Dalantop, Bann, Burja Pathri, Aagsi, Mangnaad, Sonabagg, Tatta Pani, Konsar Naag Lake etc….
Notwithstanding the blessings of natural beauty, the scenic areas of this hilly region are missing on tourist map of Jammu and Kashmir due to more than a decade long phase of militancy and lackluster approach of Government machinery at the helm of affairs.
These areas, which include picturesque Dagan Top, Tatta Pani, Konsar Naag and a number of other attractive spots where the people would love to visit for enjoying the natural beauty, have not been developed for attracting the tourist. Inadequate road connectivity, no accommodation facilities, almost negligible infrastructure and no sincere efforts to develop these spots as tourist destinations are the reasons behind missing of these areas on tourism map.
Dagan Top, situated between Mahore and Gool, has a great potential of attracting tourists like Patni Top but the area is still virgin owing to zero facilities there, particularly the extremely poor road connectivity. The scenic meadows around the Dagan Top area offer huge potential to prop up tourism with all attractions but there is no infrastructure development by the Government.
Around 10 kms from Dagan Top, there is a mysterious spot where a number of life size stone statues are found. The origin of these mysterious statues is unknown and some locals attribute the same to mythical Pandavas of Mahabharata period who carved these stones during their stay here. These statues look alike members of some marriage party equipped with bands and other musical instruments.
Since this area, where these stone statues are located, remains snow bound during the winters and is almost inaccessible for the commoners, a very few people beside locals have knowledge of this mysterious and wonderful spot where a big natural lake named `Sarkati Jheel’is also located. Almost similar but bigger stones with carved images are found at Konsar Naag in Gulabgarh, which is another beautiful place where scenic natural lake and its surroundings attract tourists.
Tatta Pani at Sangaldhan is another attraction of tourists visiting this place for taking a bath at this natural spring of hot water (Tatta Pani) due to which all skin ailments and joint pains are believed to be cured. A number of people from Jammu Kashmir and also from other States visit this spring for holy dip. Government of J&K should have to take necessary steps to highlight and boost these hidden tourist spots.


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