Kashi in Reasi

Romesh Mengi
The melange of culture has gifted the Reasi District with many popular religious places. There are many historical places in Reasi that have been
beautifully and tastefully crafted and have ever since remained the talk of the State and country.
Kansi Patta (Ancient Name Gupt Kashi) village is located in Reasi Tehsil of Reasi district in Jammu & Kashmir. It is situated 10km away from Reasi. The village’s is known for its temple dedicated to the God Shiva. The village ancient name is Gupt Kashi but as the time passed the name changed from Gupt Kashi to Kansi Patta.Its religious importance is considered similar to that of Kashi of Varanasi , believed to be the most pious of all Hindu pilgrimage places.
The temple is located on the way to the world famous Shiva Shrine Shiv Khori and close to famous waterfall of Siar Baba. It has the scenic backdrop of river Chenab and with darshan of Lord Shiva and other deities in temple , one gets very good positive vibration and peace of mind.
Local Mythology
Once there was a devil. He worshipped and prayed Lord Brahma (the creator) and gained the blessings of Brahma. The demon performed penance to Lord Brahma and after obtaining boons harassed the virtuous and the learned .The blessing was made according to the devil’s wish. According to the wish, he asked Brahma to bless him with immortality along with the wish that he will be killed only in “Kashi”. For his long term worship, Brahma was pleased and blessed him according to his wish. He became very powerful and strong. The devil then ran away from Kashi and settled in a village nearby Reasi which was called “Gupt Kashi” at that time. But he was unaware of the original name of the village. He was thinking that now no one will kill him in Reasi as he was blessed to be killed only in Shiv Bhoomi “Kashi”. He started teasing to the locals  and the Rishis-Munis of Kashi patta and Reasi. He troubled and destroyed many holy places and started disturbing normal life of locals. No one could stop him. He gathered army and continued his evil deeds. The locals and Rishis found it difficult to tackle him because he became very powerful after Brahma’s blessing.  The saints assembled and evoked Lord Shiva with their woes and told him the harm caused by the devil. Lord Shiva asked the devil to stop his blatant acts or ready to face death. The devil in return said that he was blessed to be killed only in “Kashi” not in any other place.  Lord Shiva said you don’t know that the  real name of this place is “Gupt Kashi” and he was then killed  by “Shiva” .
According to another local mythology,  Once there was a saint who was living in Lord Shiva City Kashi. He was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. One day, Lord Shiva came in his dream. The devotee asked for the boon for eternal life. Lord Shiva informed him that his death has been predetermined at Kashi. But he can evade it if he moves out of Kashi. Hurriedly the devotee shifted from Kashi to Reasi hoping that death will not touch him. But as the fate would have, he sensed his death nearing. He again prayed to Lord Shiva and asked about this fear. Lord Shiva wittily asked him to enquire about the name of the place he was curreltly residing at. To his astonishment,he came to know from the locals that the place is called Gupt Kashi. Thus not able to evade the eternal life and death circle created by God Himself.
As per the local priest Shani Giri Ji Mahraj , there is another temple devoted to Lord Ganesha. The priest, as the story goes,used to vision lord Ganesha in his dreams continuously for the month. Later, once while having bath in river Chenab,he accidently stumbled upon an idol which resembled Lord ganesha’s face. The idol was then installed in this temple.
The priest also said that there is another story of temple which was linked to General Zorawar Singh. One night while sleeping, General Zorawar Singh saw Lord Shiva in his dream who told him to come to Gupt Kashi and build a temple there .General Zorawar Singh then came to Gupt Kashi and build Lord Shiva temple there . The priest also said that the temple has a unique combination of five things which we rarely find together at one place viz banyan tree, peepal tree ,Shiv temple, cremation ground and pious river Chenab. Locals came in large number to have a  holy dip here on Somvati Amavasya, Shiv Ratri, Baisakhi and others religious days. Locals also perform last rites of their loved ones at this place.
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 views 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.
Gupt Kashi Temple, has a great potential of attracting tourists but the area is still virgin owing to zero facilities there, particularly the extremely poor or we can also say no road connectivity. The scenic meadows around the temple offer huge potential to prop up tourism with all attractions but there is no infrastructure development by the Government.
Construction of road to the temple is the need of hour which may add to the tourist attraction of district Reasi.
Development of Park :- A beautiful park should be developed there for the devotees and children.