PINDUBAL | The Holy Confluence of Breng Valley

Vinod Kumar
Anantnag is the southernmost district of Kashmir Valley. In this district there is a beautiful valley known as Breng Valley. It is is located on Anantnag – Kishtwar Road via Daksum. Kokernag is the capital of Breng valley. It is a sub-district town and a notified area committee . There is now a Tehsil Headquarter at Kokernag. The place is known for its flower gardens, pristine fresh water springs and trout farms. It is about 25 kms from Anantnag via NH244 (Anantnag – Kishtwar Road). It is one of the most popular weekend getaways from the state capital Srinagar.
In Nilmatpuraan and Rajtarangini the area of Breng Valley is referred to as Bring Khshetra. Known as ‘ The Golden Crown of Kashmir ‘, The valley is named after the River Bringi ( now turned into a stream ) which is a tributary of famous Vitasta ( River Jhelum ). The valley spans over 40 kms on either side of Bringi. Kokernag is the center of the valley where famous Kokernag Botanical Gardens are located. The valley has been praised by the Kashmiri saint Nund Rishi as ” Breng chhu sonsund preng “, i.e. Breng Valley is the Golden Crown (of Kashmir).
The lush green Breng valley is blessed with many places of religious and historical importance. There is a place in Breng valley (near Wailoo) on Kokernag – Daksum road named as Pindubal which according to religious experts has the mahima (status) equivalent to Gaya of Bihar. During earlier times, there used to be a heavy snowfall in Kashmir during winter months. Breng valley also comes under heavy snowfall areas. The area used to remain cut off from the rest of the world during winters. It is said that Hindus of Breng area used to do pend dhaan (offerings to the deceased people) at Pindubal particularly during winters. The place was called Pendobal in earlier times. With the passage of time the name changed from Pendobal to Pindubal.
There is a holy sangam (confluence) of two streams at Pindubal. One stream comes from Daksum side known as Dodhkol. The primary source of Dodhkol is the glaciers in Sinthan area. Another stream comes from Gadole side known as Gadole Nallah. The source of Gadole Nallah is Mawar Nag. Mawar Nag is an alpine lake situated above Fattan. It is about 50 kms from Kokernag at an altitude of 12500 feet. The valley comprises of attractive meadows and very big and beautiful spring surrounded by mountains. Mawar Nag has crystal clear water. Some water of Mawar Nag flows down via Gadole. It is called Gadole Nallah and is one of the tributaries of Bringi River. Both the streams i.e. Dodhkol and Gadole Nallah meet at Pindubal and thus a sangam (confluence) is created. The river so formed is called Bringi River. Thus Bringi flows from Pindubal onwards. At later stages many tributaries also add waters to the Bringi River. Bringi flows down through many villages including Irkumoo. Bringi is an important tributary of holy Vitasta (River Jhelum).
It is believed that the seat of local Bairva Jumbkeshwar (Jeshtu) is at Pindubal. It is said that there was once a cave at Pindubal in which there was a Shivling. It is also said that the famous tantrik saint of Irkumoo, Swami Alakhram Ji, used to do meditation at Pindubal. It is a very sacred place as per Hindu mythology.
There is a legend that once the entire Breng area was dry and arid. There was not any proper water source. People had to depend upon snowfalls and rains only. People approached Rishi Kashyap for help. On the instructions of Rishi Kashyap a sage called as Bring Rishi camped at Mawar Nag. Due to his saadhna (strong meditation and worshiping of Lord Shiva) he succeeded in creating a water source which flows through Gadole and reaches Pindubal. Since some areas of Kishtwar side were also dry and arid, therefore Bring Rishi blessed that area too. With the result some portion of water from Mawar Naag also flows towards Kishtwar and finally mixes with the mighty Chandrabaagha (River Chenab) at Bandaarkoot after passing through Chingaam, Chhatroo and Mughal Maidaan.
According to Pt. Janki Nath of Irkumoo, people used to do pend dhaan (offerings to the deceased people) at Pindubal. The importance of Pindubal has been revealed to him and to other people of his village by the old people of Irkumoo Biradari such as Pt. Shiv Ji Kak (his father), Pt. Maheshwer Nath and Pt. Tarachand. The same has been endorsed by the late Purohit (Guru Ji) Pt. Kanth Kak of Sagam.
There is a proper mention of Bring Rishi, Bringi and Bring (Breng) area in Nilmatpuran as well as Rajtarangini. The holy place of Pindubal needs to be protected and developed for religious tourism.
(The author is currently working as Assistant Executive Engineer in Mechanical Division (M.E.D.) Rajouri)