Budhal : A town wrapped in beauty

Taranjeet Singh
The town I am going to introduce you today is Budhal, in District Rajouri, It is a rare gift of natural beauty. Being a hilly area, greenery is seen everywhere. There is a river flowing, which is constantly on the move due to climate change. By coming here, one gets peace of mind.
I had opportunities to visit this beautiful town many times. But due to my busy schedule I never paid any attention to this. A different view of the natural beauty of Budhal can be seen. Sometime ago when I was passing through this town, I had to stop here for some reason. After all, my childhood was spent in this area and it was impossible to know or realize the natural beauty at that stage. Due to the winter season, God covered it with a white sheet of snow to enhance its natural beauty. The mountains and trees were covered with snow. This mesmerizing sight was reaching the heart through the eyes in such a way that my wish to write something reached its peak. The mind wondered if there was anything to be written about the natural beauty and the people. As soon as this question came up, complete picture of writing came to my heart.
Arriving here, one forgets one’s fast paced life for a few moments and feels at ease in the lap of nature. Like Kashmir, nature seems to be kind here. But when we look at the development of the Budhal, even decades after independence we do not see the development that people deserve. It can only be called their misfortune. If our Tourism Department wanted to make it a Picnic spot, It has to make some huts here so that people who come here in their spare time can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the nature.
After climbing some two or three kilometers above Budhal, you will see some long, wide, green fields. In these plains, the hilly people get fodder for their cattle during the summer season. They also get naturally grown vegetables for their consumption. These hilly people also get a variety of herbs for medicinal purposes, whose identity is known only to these people. The livelihood of these simple people and the natural brotherhood attracts us together. The main occupation of the people here is agriculture. In crops maize, rice and wheat are cultivated, walnuts are also grown in large quantities. The nut variety here is considered to be better than Kashmir. Apart from these, pears and apricots are also grown. If horticulture department provides some such resources to the general public then good quantity fruits can be grown here like in Kashmir. With such resources, people can become financially strong.
Speaking of religious places, it is important to mention here that the decorated Gurudwara Sahib has a unique history. When the war of hatred and fratricide started in the year 1947, then some tribes invaded the town. Many Sikh families took refuge in this Gurudwara Sahib to save their lives. As some homes were put on fire people gathered in the garden below the mosque. Fearing to be robbed of their honour, they poisoned their young daughters, daughter-in-laws or killed themselves in some other ways. But did not allow their dignity to be tarnished.
The town which used to be prosperous was turned into a crematorium. All this is reported by S. Jaswant Singh (Budhal wale) who is currently residing in Trikuta Nagar Jammu. Among the lucky survivors of the massacre at that time S. Randhir Singh and S. Mohinder Singh. “It was my heartily wish that a joint memorial be erected at this place for the families of martyrs. Efforts are being made to make this work a reality,” said Jaswant Singh. He said, the martyrs were cremated at the memorial site. At the same time they want to complete the remaining works of Gurudwara Sahib also.