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Information Digest
Volume 2
January 2001

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Lalla-Ded Educational and Welfare Trust

Table of Contents

Lalla-Ded Educational Trust
Project Zaan
Information Digest - Vol. 2

Har-van

Places of Worship / Shrines

Sharada

Sharada has been a famous Tirth of Kashmir since ancient times. It is situated on the left bank of Kishen Ganga river, at the confluence of Madhumati. Presently, the place is under the occupation of Pakistan. In olden days, a fair was held annually on 8th day of the lunar fortnight of Bhadun where Shraadh of deceased was also perf.mp3ed.

In Rajatarangini, Sharada has been mentioned during the King Lalitaditya’s times, when followers of the king of Godh (Bengal) came to Kashmir under the pretext of visiting Sharada, in order to kill Lalitaditya. Alberuni has clubbed Sharada with the famous Hindu Tirthas of India and ranked it second only to grand Surya Temple at Multan. People from far flung areas used to visit this Tirth  in good numbers to perf.mp3 Devi’s puja. This proves that Sharada was famous as a Tirth throughout India. Hem Chandra, a Jain scholar refers to Sharada as a temple dedicated to Saraswati. Sultan Zain-Ul-Abidin, the great king of Kashmir popularly known as Budshah (1420 -1470 A.D.) is said to have visited this place in the early years of his reign.

Sharada temple is situated on a hillock. There was a 9 feet wide staircase, consisting of 63 steps, leading from river to the temple.  In olden days, the temple had a wall all around it, which was eleven feet high from inside and much more higher from outside. On south-west side, was a large entrance gate leading into the temple premises. Main temple was situated in the centre of the compound.

The Temple was based on a 24 feet by 24 feet plinth, 5.25 feet above ground. Entrance to the temple was on the west side with a 5.5 feet wide staircase leading upto the Sanctum Sanctorum. There was a 4 feet wide landing at the entrance gate, supported by two pillars. The pillars were 2.25 feet by 2.25 feet square in section and 16 feet high. The Sanctum Sanctorum was 12.25 feet by 12.25 feet square without any decoration. At the centre, is a stone slab 7 feet long, 6 feet wide and 6 inches thick, about which it is said that it covers the Kund, from which Devi appeared to pay a  darshan to the hill. Devotees used to worship this stone slab as well.

Stein compares the architecture of Sharada temple with that of the Kapteshwar temple of Kashmir. The simple style of the architecture and absence of any decoration in the temple makes it amply clear that the temple has been constructed in the second half of the tenth century.

Mattan Tirath (Bhawan)

Mattan is situated on the left bank of Liddar river, about 3.5 kms. away from Anantnaag on Anantnaag-Pahalgaam road. It is also known as Martand. Martand in Sankrit means Sun, so the Asthapan is dedicated to Sun god. Mattan is also known as Vishnu Tirath, because Surya is another f.mp3 of Vishnu.

Mattan is also known as Matsh Bhavan (home of fish). It is because the huge spring at the place breeds lot of fish, which nobody is allowed to catch or eat. The grand Sun temple, Martand, constructed by Lalitaditya (695-731 A.D.) is just three kms. away on a plateau. According to Nilamata Purana, the image worshipped at Bhawan, was that of Kashyap Swami. The image is no more now.

The spring at Bhawan, is rectangular in shape, with its banks pitched with devri stones. The stones look very old, either due to weathering, or may be that the stones were got from an old construction and laid here. The stones are very big in volume and resemble those used on other ancient temples. There is a rectangular temple at the centre of the spring which has a stone image placed inside. The temple is open on all sides and its roof looks like a leaf of Khaasi-Sotsal. A black stone image of  Lord Ganesha is also in the temple.

Just above the spring, there are two small temples at the foot of the plateau. The famous cave, which was believed to be endless, also lies here. Vadgal, however writes that he had himself entered into the cave and it was not too long. The cave is very old and it is presumed that some Bhikshu would have used it for meditation. The temples however are not very old. They carry the Shikhar pattern of architecture, employed only during the Dogra rule.

Mattan Tirath is visited by people even from outside Kashmir, to perf.mp3 Shraadha of the deceased, particularly during the Pitra Paksha. The local purohits keep a record of their yajmans from all parts of the country, who visit the place. Their books can some times give chronological record of entire clans.

Most important thing about Mattan is that the temple, a Gurdwara and an Iddgah are situated at one place. Sikhs believe that Baba Nanak has also visited this place. During Badshah’s time, Mattan was the centre of administrative set-up of the region. It was during this time that sugarcane was grown here on experimental basis.

Vicharnaag

Vicharnaag is a famous and sacred place, situated near Nowshehra, 12 kms. away from Srinagar city. It is said that Lord Shiva, at the time of creation of Universe, counselled with other devis and davatas at this place. ‘Counselling’ in Kashmiri is called Vichar and this is how the place gets its name. Annual fair was held at the place on every15th day of the dark fortnight of Chaitra, when devotees would take bath in the spring.

Vicharnaag is also called Sath Ras Naag because, it is said, there existed seven springs at this place, out of which four are still active. The main spring is 54 feet x 54 feet square in shape. The banks of the spring, are pitched with three feet long and 1.5 feet wide stones. The spring is 8 feet deep and contains an Aasan made of white stones in the centre at its bottom. On the north-east corner of this spring, is embedded a black stone, 2 feet long and one foot wide, engraved with Sharda text. The spring is surrounded by a cement plastered brick fence.

Second spring is on the south-east side of the main spring. It is 15 feet long and 12 feet wide. It has Devri stone steps on all the four sides. Third spring is on the west side of the main spring and the fourth one on its north.

There are two temples at Vicharnaag. The bigger one is located at the north side of the main spring. It has been constructed during the rule of Maharaj Pratap Singh (1885-1925). It is 54 feet long and 15 feet wide, made of stones and Maharaji bricks. It is cement plastered, both from inside and out side. There are four stone images, four shivlings and an image of Nandi.

Second temple is located at the North-West side of the main spring. It has been constructed during the rule of Maharaja Ranbir Singh (1857-1885 A.D.). It is made of Devri stones and has Shikhar pattern of architecture. There is a stone Shivalinga inside.
 

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