Make Mantalai as International Yoga Centre

Ayodhya Nath Kerni
Mantalai is a heritage village located at a distance of eight kms from Sudhmahadev, famous for the abode of Lord Shiva. According to scriptures, Goddess Parvati was born to mother Maina. The legend reveals that there was a havan kund which turned into a pond (talai in local dialect). Thus ‘Maina di Talai’ became Mantalai with the passage of time.
Presently, the pond is well maintained. Water gushes out from the centre of the pond; some leakage of water from the constructed pond has been noticed for some time. A large number of devotees visit Mantalai particularly during Malmas month.
Swamy Dhirendra Brahamchari visited Mantalai for the first time on August 22, 1971. He was attracted by the climate, scenic beauty and sacred back drop of the place. He decided to establish a Yogashram at Mantalai. He procured land from locals and created assets to establish a yogashram. He created infrastructure like airstrip, multi storey buildings, roads, vehicles, bulldozers, cranes, road rollers and many more tools and machinery. He was able to start yoga classes initially. He named the Yogashram as Aparna Ashram which is a name for Goddess Parvati. He had a big plan in his mind to develop the place but due to untimely death on June 09, 1994 in a plane crash, the assets and infrastructure so created started deteriorating after his death. The tool and machinery turned into scrap. The unused buildings were also abandoned. The ashram remained under control of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Katra till 2002 and under State Revenue Department afterwards till 2012. The complete was handed over to Patnitop Development Authority during 2012. All this arrangement could not prove well and even status quo of 1994 could not be maintained.
The former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had announced on 25 March 2015 that an International Yoga Centre at the famous pilgrim spot of Mantalai shall be created. This was announced in a Tourism Conference held at Jammu. He further emphasized, “Mantalai will be promoted as a brand Yoga Centre which will have cascading effect on the flow of tourists to the spot. I am sure that once the centre comes up, the flow of tourists to Mantalai will pick up.” The present Government may consider the matter on priority and fulfil the dream of deceased Chief Minister who wished to develop Mantalai and establish a Yoga centre of International standards.
Besides the existing legend regarding birth place and marriage of Goddess Parvati, there is another important fact of Archaeological interest at Mantalai. A portion of the mound containing old earthenware (broken potteries) was damaged while constructing the air strip. The remaining mound still possesses the broken artifacts of clay. The local people link this terrcotta with the marriage of the Goddess. The date of these potteries can be ascertained by conducting a Thermo luminescence Test (TL). TL test is conducted by measuring the accumulated radiation dose. The test is not so costly. The ASI Jammu may take the cognizance and collect the samples from the mound. The samples may be sent to laboratory for TL test of dating which would be useful to know the History of this Duggar Village.
Fast paced life of today causes stress on mind and health. Yoga combats stress and calms our mind. Yoga is not merely an exercise of body; it is a profound form of evolving human beings. Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice. Yoga is a discipline that originated in India and goes back to 5000 years (asht Yoganushasanam”). Yoga has eight limbs called as Yam (moral codes), Niyam, (self purification) Asan (postures), Pratyahar (sense control), Pranayam (breath control), Dharna (concenteration), Dhyan (Meditation)Samadhi (absorption in the universe). The fundamental towards Ashtanga Yoga is quite scientific in nature. Many ailments can be cured by performing continuous yoga. The continuity in yoga is essential to reduce weight and to build up strong as well as flexible body.
Meditation can be practiced with Yoga which makes the life more balanced and enjoyable with discipline. Stress and anxiety are reduced; mood becomes pleasant with practice of Yoga.
The Yoga was being practiced in India and abroad previously also but our P M highlighted the merits of Yoga before the United Nations General Assembly, particularly his address before UNGA on Sep 27, 2014 was very impressive. UNGA and UNESCO recognized Yoga and committed to celebrate International Yoga Day once a year i.e June 21st. the declaration was signed on Dec 11, 2014. The International Yoga Day was celebrated in a big way by 177 countries of the world on June 21, 2015. It may be known that June 21st is the longest day of the year in the northern Hemisphere and shows special significance in many parts of the world.
This year also International Yoga day is being celebrated on 21st June 2016 in many countries of the world. In India also the day is proposed to be celebrated at multi locations.
How good it be if this day is also celebrated at the proposed Yoga centre Mantalai. This complex be handed over to a Agency immediately who could make heavy investments for developing and maintaining Mantalai Yoga Centre. Be it Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board or any other Agency deemed fit to develop the proposed site for International Yoga Centre.