Sadhu Ki Bouli Temple

Dr Narinder Paul
Temple at Sadhu ki Bouli is a prominent place of unique religious connotation in Kathua city. At this place, people from all walks of life visit to pay obeisance and seek blessings of lord Shiva and saints living at the place as well. This temple is situated in ward. No. 2 Kathua and is one of the most visited temples of the city. As regards connectivity, two roads link the temple with the city, one from the main city to temple via bridh-ashram road and another from opposite to the Nagri Bus adda through newly established colony.
This temple lies in the scenery rich setting amidst the copious groove of old mango trees and is surrounded by the sumptuous green fields which supplement the prodigious exquisiteness. Paddy crop during Kharif and wheat crop during Rabi season in the adjoining fields when lush green add divineness whereas, tall standing mango trees in the temple premises deliver complete shade, calmness and exceptionality to the place.
The place hosts three temples; one devoted to Lord Shiva, second to Lord Hanuman and third one to Maa Shakti Durga. Lord Hanuman and Durga Temples lie towards left side of the main temple of lord Shiva. Besides, at the entrance of the temple premises, there is Samadhi of the founder of the temple, Brahamleen Swami Shri MaanGiri Ji Maharaj. A magnificent and giant Nandi idol in waiting mode facing the temple of lord shiva adorns the place and seems as if guarding the premises. Devotees start thronging the place much before the dawn. Surroundings remains filled with divineness and mesmerizing with the chanting of the bhajanas of Bhagwan Shiva and Durga in the morning and evening coupled with daily prayers at both the times.
The bouli (water body) besides the main temple of lord Shiva is theplace where devotees take bath before worshipping the Lord Shiva as it is believed to be of great religious significance. On the dykes of the bouli, there are many stone carved deities who reflect the dograculture. The bouli is covered with galvanized tin shed so as to keep it clean and water stream emanating from it flows besides the temple. During cold weather, warm water oozes from it whereas, during summers it is cold. Recently, a new bouli has been constructed in the backside of the ashram within the temple premises. Ashram in the temple premises has living place for the saints who looks after the temple. It also has sufficient place for stay of visiting saints. In the ashram premises a dhuni has continuously been burning for last so many years.
Swami RadheyGiri Ji Maharaj, Mahant of the temple says, “Swami Sri Maan Giri Ji Maharaj had selected this place after he came to Kathua during mid Seventies. This place was chosen for its peaceful surroundings, calm atmosphere and abundance of water. When he started meditating at this place, it was uninhabited and desolate. With the help of locals a thatched hut was constructed for him and he meditated for more than 12 years by staying continuously at this place. At that time a Shiva lingum surrounded by multiple minuscule lingums was there which still exists and was open from all the sides. Temples were constructed during the late eighties. Thereafter, ashram and other facilities were constructed. Swami Ji remained at this place until his soul left for heavenly abode.”
There is a cooking shed in the premises which is used to cook langer and prashad for serving among the devotees visiting the place. Special religious programmes with great fervour are held during Mahashivratri, Navratra and all religious occasions and there remains a heavy rush of devotees. Swami Radhey Giri Ji Maharaj is planning to erect a magnificent temple devoted to Lord Hamunan in the days to come.