R S Jamwal
There stands a majestic tree in the majestic village Manoha (Kothar) in Akhnoor tehsil. The tree has a height of 99 mts approximately and a width of 19 mts. The tree is spread over an area of 3 kanals.
The imposing tree is treat to eyes, as it domineering height creates awe among the onlookers. The tree is said to be 200 years old and has a history behind it.
The village is famous for a Peer Baba who is said to have visited this village some 200 years ago. While wandering across the village, he came in contact with Matyal Biradhari farmers who reared a herd of buffaloes. The buffaloes had no young ones and would not give milk.
When Peer Baba asked for a glass of milk, the household lady told him that she could not give him the glass as buffaloes they have do not yield milk. Realising the situation he asked for an empty vessel. It is said that when Peer Baba patted one of the buffaloes she yielded 4-5 litres of milk.
He then asked them to offer him a glass of milk from the vessel. After having his milk, he advised them not to sell the milk and warned them at the same time that if they did, there will no milk again in the house.
After that he asked them that he wanted to rest a while under a tree. The family members showed him the tree, and took a rest there. As soon as, family members wanted to know whether he wanted anything more, they did not find the Baba there. He had disappeared, leaving behind a small stick under the tree. On the same day, it is said that he met a group of Lavanas alongwith their bulls at Rajouri. He asked them to carry a message to the Brahmin family at Manoha whom he had met sometime ago. He wanted that the family arrange a Dungal on Makarsakranti day in the village. The Lavanas could not acceed to his request.
They told him that they could not do so because their oxen had fallen ill, and it may take them one month to reach the village. Feeling their helplessness, he asked them to shut up their eyes for a moment.
After a while they opened their eyes, but to their surprise found themselves at Manoha village under the tree where he had left his stick.
Since then this tree has grown to this grandeur which creates awe among the people who happen to pass by this.