Mela Budi-Sudhi

Rajinder Chand Anthal
On the auspicious day of Guru Purnima, a Mela is held at Budi-Sudhi in Sudhmahadev area to pay respects to Great Rishi Ved Vyas ji Maharaj. This Mela is one of the oldest Melas of Duggar. This year the Mela will be held on 13th of July 2022. Budi-Sudhi is the most sacred place situated at about two kilometres north of Sudhmahadev in the foothills of Dhar Shivgarh. It is a beautiful evergreen valley surrounded by dense forests. This place has been described as “BRAHAT SUDHI” in the PURANS. With the passage of time it is called Budi-Sudhi. A cold water Holy rivulet called “MAHASUR DHARA” originates at this place and flows down to meet holy Devika in nearby area. In this area of Sudhmahadev, RISHI KASHYAP had worshipped hard to bring DEVIKA rivulet on earth from heaven.
Legends say that Maharishi VED VYAS had worshipped at Budi-Sudhi for thousands of years. It is also believed that some chapters of PURANS, MAHABHARAT and some other books were written by Rishi Ved Vyas in the solitary and enchanting atmosphere of this place. Filled with holy vibrations and heavenly looks, this place presents calm and purified atmosphere, ideal for worship, concentration, and writing. It is believed that Ved Vyas Rishi had gained some divine powers and on many occasions the learned men have described him as ‘AVTAR’ of God. Maharishi Ved Vyas had earned the title of ‘Guru’, so his birthday on PURNIMA is celebrated as Guru Purnima from centuries by his followers. In the beginning, the followers/disciples of Guru used to gather at Budi-Sudhi to pay respect and worship their Guru, but slowly the gathering increased in the shape of Mela. Moreover the fairs and festivals have remained important part of the rich religious and cultural heritage of this area. The kings of Chenani and the locals of this area strengthened these events with their financial support to make these prime pilgrimage destinations known in entire Duggar land. In the eighties Swami Sanmugam from South India reached Budi-Sudhi and did some important developments there. It is said that due to some supernatural power at this place the Swami could not stay there for long.
It is said that the local disciples of these Rishis settled in nearby villages like Gouri-Kund, Bachhal, Sudhmahadev and Mantalai who are keeping alive the culture and practices of Vedic research.
On the day of Mela, people of the nearby villages, from Chenani to Dudu reach at this place early in the morning. Thousands of people come from Bulandpur, Marmat, and Rudhar areas of Doda district. They choose hilly route to reach at this place with their women and children singing local songs. Some shopkeepers from nearby areas establish their shops at the Mela site. The people take bath in holy Mahasur Rivulet at this place and worship in small temple there. After holy bath at Budi-Sudhi the people turn down to Sudhmahadev. On the way they take bath at Nadda, Gou-Karan, Sat-Nada and Papnashni bowli for their final worship at Shree Shool Panishwar Shiv Ji Maharaj Temple Sudhmahadev. From a well-established oldest Mela of the past, this Mela has turned to be a local Mela at present due to no publicity of this great religious event of Duggar. Now the Mela is surviving merely on local support and faith of inhabitants. The bridle path to reach at this place is miserably broken and uprooted. The Government should provide better road connectivity to this place. J&K Dharamarth Trust should renovate the old Temple situated at this place so that the devotees reach this place to seek blessings from Great Guru Ved Vyas.
(The author is former Zonal Education Officer)