Table of Contents

   Temples Index
   Pilgrim Spots
   Picture Gallery
   Video Gallery
  Download Book

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Places of Sarda pilgrimmage in Kashmir valley

By Dr. Ramesh Kumar

As per religious tradition in Kashmir, Gangashtmi is observed every alternate year as Saradaashtmi. On Gangashtami day, Kashmiri Hindus visited Gangabal lake to immerse ashes of the dead and offer shraddhas. Many of the pilgrims who could not reach Sarada shrine on Saradaashtami, would however visit places connected with Sarada goddess in Valley proper itself. Presently there are five such places in the Valley proper, two of these being in and around Bandipore town itself.

In the Saradamahatmyas, only Sardakunda at the village of Tsatsa, close to Harvan and Sarada at Khuyhom is mentioned. The former is located about one and a half miles from the north-east corner of the Dal Lake. Stein has recorded this Sarada and says, “owing to the place being so near to the city and easily approached by boat, large crowds of pilgrims assemble from Srinagar to pay their devotion to Sarada”. This spring was visited on Sardaashtami day only.

Sarada at Khuyhom, Bandipore is recorded by Pandit Sahibram in his Tirathasamgraha. While Sahib Ram describes its location in village Kulyandi, Prof Buhler mentions the place as Horil, also in Khuyhom. Kashmir’s celebrated historian, Hasan, who lived in 19th century belonged to Khuyham.

In Yachkoot, near Budgam and slightly away from the Pandit locality is a groove of 5-8 Chinars. In the hollow of a Chinar is housed the idol of Sarada goddess. A clay wall encloses the Chinar groove. This served as a local temple. On Chitrashtmi and Navmi, Pandits of Yachkoot and surrounding villages performed havan. Pandits describe the place as asthapan of Saradamaij.

Traditions linked with the origin of the above mentioned places, connected with Sarada worship seem to have been lost in the folk memory. It is only in-case of Sardabal at Kaloosa, Bandipore and at Tikr and Gushi that the tradition is still well preserved.

Sardabal at Kaloosa is located on the right bank of Madhumati. The river on which the historic shrine of Sarada is situated is also known as Madhumati. Kaloosa’s old name was “Kalash”. Sarada asthapan in Kaloosa has a big spring with two shilas on two Celtis (Brimij) trees. There is a fencing of stone wall with a raised platform. The temple on its left was constructed in 1925. Previously Pandits used to perform havan on any day during the year. For the last forty years havan is performed only on the day of Saradaashtami.

The legend describing the origin of Sardabal is not dissimilar to the ones describing the emergence of Venkur and Saadmalinu as places of Ganges worship. Pandit Akalal’s ancestor was a great devotee of goddess Sarada. He visited Sarada on every Saradaasthami. When he grew old, the goddess came to him in a dream. She told him,  “Now you are old. You need not come here. I myself would come and reside at your place”. The devotee was astonished and asked her how would that be possible. She replied, “there would be heavy rains, followed by floods. In a mulberry garden, you have to watch the movement of a crow resting on the branch of a tree. The moment the crow starts flying, you begin pulling the branch of the tree. A spring will emerge, with two small pebbles in it. Take these pebbles home and put these in a puja room, Thokur Kuth, duly cleaned for the occasion. Thokur Kuth is not to be opened for seven days.”

The devotee complied with the divine message, but his strong curiosity drew him to open Puja room only after three days. Pebbles did grow in size  but remained small. These shilas are worshipped in Sardabal temple. As per the tradition prevalent, the goddess told the devotee that he would not have son for seven generations, for not complying with her instructions fully. Pandit Manohar Bhat is the direct descendant of this family.

Gushi and Tikr are the places, where Sarda goddess took rest, while on her way from Lanka to Sardi. In Gushi the sacred site is situated a little above the groove of Rangvor. There is a small walled enclosure, which houses ancient idols. At Tikr on the sacred site there are seven chinars besides a temple, alongwith Sri Chakra.

Source: Kashmir Sentinel




Facebook Account Follow us and get Koshur Updates Video clips Image Gallery
Kashmiri Overseas Association, Inc. (KOA) is a 501c(3) non-profit, tax-exempt socio-cultural organization registered in Maryland, USA. Its purpose is to protect, preserve, and promote Kashmiri ethnic and socio-cultural heritage, to promote and celebrate festivals, and to provide financial assistance to the needy and deserving.

 | Home | Culture & Heritage | Copyrights Policy | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Credits | Contact Us |

Any content available on this site should NOT be copied or reproduced

in any form or context without the written permission of KOA.