Radha Krishan Sharma
Yugdhar is one of the ranges of Himalayan mountain which is about 2080 metres from sea level. It is one metre higher than Nathatop.
Yugdhar range comprises of upper reaches of villages/Panchayats Satyalta, Tandhar, Nagulta, Dhanas, Gharian, Pattangarh, Charat, Pakhlai, Malad Satyalta, Barmeen, etc of tehsils Chenani, Udhampur and Ramnagar of District Udhampur. lt connects all these villages/Panchayats together. lt is about 18 kms from Tehsil headquarters Chenani and about 45 kms from District Headquarters Udhampur . White layer of snow during winters and carpet of green grass during summers makes Yugdhar very charming, attractive and beautiful . The complete mountainous belt of Yugdhar ranges from Dhar Gadian to Pattangarh is covered with large trees of Chir, Kail, Fur, Banj, Teldu, local natural flowers, herbs, etc .
Baba Yug Maharaj Ji
Yugdhar is most famous for Almighty Baba Yug Maharaj ji and also named after Baba Yug .There is a thousand of years old temple of Baba Yug . In the temple, there are Pindees and idol of Baba Yug Maharaj ji, Nagdevta and Mahamaya mata .All the devotees serve “Rot” (thick chapati made of atta, gud and ghee) and”Jaggery” (Gud) as offering to Baba Yug . Now a days people also offer “Halwa” and “Phulian” as prasad to Baba Yug Maharaj . Baba Yug Maharaj ji fullfills the desires of its devotees . The people of surrounding villages Satyalta, Tandhar, Nagulta, Gharian, Dhanas, Pattangarh, Sewna, Karian, Charat, Pakhlai, Barmeen, Malad Satyalta, etc too came there every year for prayers and obtain the blessings of Baba Yug .There is a natural source of water near the temple . Now a water tank and a hall has been constructed out of MLA fund in the year 2013 so that there would be no inconvenience to the pilgrims .
Visit of Rajas/Maharajas
Before 1947 the Raja of Chenani state and Raja of Ramnagar state used to visit there every year to offer prayers and to obtain the blessings of Baba Yug Maharaj .They also did bhandaras (Yagya) . They would pray for the peace, prosperity, development and good health of the people of their respective states. On few occassions even Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh would visit there to obtain the blessings of Baba Yug Maharaj ji.
Other Holy Shrines
There are several other devsthans of Gods and Godesses in the surroundings of Baba Yug temple. These include Pathara Mata, Marada mata, Kalika Mata, Siya Devi, Mahamaya Mata, Pakkaan Devi, Malpa Mata, Dadi Baskaar, Nagon ka pani, etc .
The traditional yatra to Baba Yug temple and other holy places has been going on since time immemorial . The farmers after the cultivation of new crops; i.e; maize, wheat and paddy (rice); first put the prasad to these devsthans. There is a belief that due to this the production increases and rains will be on time. The blessings of Baba Yug Maharaj ji are also on animals. Before consuming the people put the prasad of milk and desi ghee to Baba Yug Maharaj ji .
The yatra to Baba Yug starts from Sewna, Karian, Satyalta, Charat, Tandhar, Nagulta, Gharian Dhanas, Pattangarh, Malad Satyalta . After paying obeisance at Nagon ka Pani Nagdevta mandir, Malpa mata, Narsinghdev mandir, Mahamaya mata mandir, Dadi Ther mandir, Siya Devi, Pakkaan devi temple, Dadi Bhaskaar temple, Kalika mata temple, the yatra reaches Yugdhar temple from different locations . They pay obeisance to Baba Yug Maharaj ji and obtain his blessings . The people arrange bhandaras for the pilgrims . They pray to Baba Yug Maharaj ji for peace, prosperity, good health, happiness, development, growth, common brotherthood of people, country and world .
Mela Baba Yug
The mela of Baba Yug is held on May 31 every year in which thousands of people participate. On this day, the ‘Puja’ of Baba Yug takes place in the premises of Baba Yug. After puja are havan and aarti held . After aarti and havan, every devotee pays homage to ‘Baba Yug ‘. A bhandara is also arranged by the local people of the surrounding villages. Different stalls of eatable articles like sweets, pakodas, tea, etc are also arranged in the mela .
A colourful cultural programme is also held in which children, students, youths, and senior citizens participate and it comprises of Dogri songs, Bhajans, Bhangada, Lambi-Bhakh etc .
No attention paid to Yugdhar
No attention was given to the development of Yugdhar and its surrounding villages . Despite having rich religious importance and charming and attractive beauty, Yugdhar lacks in every sphere of development since Independence.
Many local people approached the administration as well as the local leadership on this issue but they ignored this beautiful tourist spot every time. Due to lack of attention paid, the people suffered in every aspects of growth and development i.e., educational, economical, social, basic amenities like drinking water, electricity, roads, medical facilities, etc . The beauty of Yugdhar is not being by the by the Government. The forest cover of the Yugdhar and surroundings are also in danger but no attention is being paid by the department to protect the natural environment of the Yugdhar .
How to reach Yugdhar
There are two ways to proceed to Yugdhar.
First is from Chenani town and the second way is from Samroli( Aarsian) National Highway:–
The first path to Yugdhar is from Chenani town and it is 18 KMs long .From Chenani town to Badansoo about 14 kms belt , there is road connectivity and the remaining four kms is on foot . In this path one can take the blessings of Pakkaan Devi, a goddess which is situated at Pattidhar. There are several other ancient holy temples which includes Shivji mandir at Tandhar near Chenani bridge Suryaputri Tawi river, etc .
The second way to Yugdhar is from Samroli (Aarsian) National Highway which is about 13 kms long and the whole path is on foot .The advantage is that one can take the blessings of goddesses present in the path . Between Samroli to Sewna, there is Malpa mata temple at Terthiyal, Shivji temple at Sewna . From Sewna to Panchayat Ghar Satyalta, there is Mahamaya temple and Yug devta temple . From Panchayat ghar Satyalta to Yugdhar, one may go through Slather and Kannaat . The Kalika mata and Siya Devi temple come in this way . Other path from Sewna to Yugdhar is through Karrian -Bamaad.
We appeal to the Government being Yugdhar on J&K toursim map and to advertise its beauty in the print as well as electronic media.
(The author is General Secretary Yugdhar Devsthan Development Trust Chenani J&K)
Radha Krishan Sharma