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VITASTA ANNUAL NUMBER: Volume XXXV (2001-2002)

Temples & Shrines of District Anantnag with Some Historical Facts
H. L. Jad, New Delhi

1. Anantnag

The town, Anantnag finds its place in Geetaji, that out of springs, "I am Ananta Naga". It has beneath one spring, called Inder Spring. It has two Sulphur springs. That there are about 7 temples in Anantnag (Anantnag Bhawan Complex). Two Shiva Temples, one Radha Krishen Mandir, one Durga Temple, one Ganesh Temple, Sita Ram Temple, Hanuman Temple, four Dharmshallas and one school building. Outside the complex in the town we have three temples - Ancient temples - Devibal, Shiva Temple at Nai Basti, and third at Hara Mohalla. All three temples outside complex were burnt and damaged during riots in February, 1986. All three temples outside complex were badly damaged and rebuilt with assistance of then Governor of J&K Shri Jag Mohan. Now both the Shivala temples outside complex are reported to have been damaged and partially burnt.

2. Martand Tirth (Mattan)

This holy place is just 4 kilometers from town Anantnag. It has chain of springs. It is Surya Tirath. People from all over country come to have dip in holy waters during Mala Mas, Bana Mas. That in whole of valley we have Surya Temple. The Mattan Nag is one of holiest springs. It has a share from Amar Nath ji offerings. About 2 Kilometers above in village Karawah we have Martand ruins (Pandav Larries) which was destroyed by some Muslim Emperor.

3. Vijawahara (Brijbahara)

This holy town is situated about 6 Kilometers from Anantnag town on Srinagar, Anantnag National Highway. It is an ancient town and annual calendar of Hindus would get published by Vijeshour Jantari Karyalia from this place. We have ancient temple on road side which is still under Dharmarth Trust and was damaged in riots of 1986 including Jaya Devi Temple on hill and Shiva Temple in heart of town. For now all temples have been desecrated and damaged. About 2 Kilometers away we have Thajiwara (Chotta Amar Nath) temple. This temple too has been damaged.

4. Gautam Nag

Gautam Nag is just 2 Kilometers away from Anantnag. It is said that Gautam Rishi had his penance here. It was controlled and looked after by Saint Mana Kak Goja and later on Swami Gwasha Kak Ji and in mid seventies by Swami Sarvanand Ji.It has landed property, orchard on hundreds of Kanals, one Dharma Shalla, a spring and one two storied Mandir which was burnt in February, 1986, rebuilt and now Dharm Shalla is reported to have been burnt. F.I.R. lodged in Police Station Anantnag.

Uma Nagari (Bari Aghan)

This Asthapan is situated about 18 Kilometers from Anantnag. It has about 184 Kanals of land irrigated. One orchard about 20 Kanals and about 1000 acres of forest land reserved by Pathan Ruler for Dhooni Baba. It had a beautiful spring Uma Spring constructed by Swami Anandji Maharaj. It was first looked after by Bawa Shiva Nandji Maharaj who had two lions on each side. Later his disciple Bawa Krishanand ji took charge. After his death Bawa Satyanand was in charge as Mahant. He also died in year 2000 at Jammu. It had 3 Dharmshallas which were reduced to ashes after December, 1992. The Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir vide Relief Order No. 237 of 1993 dated 08.12.1993 put conservative estimate of damage to 5 buildings at Rs.15,72,700/-. The pity is, said Uma Nagari has been renamed as Sheikh Pura in revenue and Govt. records. The Dharmshallas were burnt in presence of Police guarding it.

Goswami Gund Ashram

This beautiful Ashram is situated just 12 kilometers from town Anantnag. It has land measuring about 200 Kanals (irrigated by tenants) and has self cultivable 18 Kanals as Orchard. It has beautiful lotus spring. It had one hall two three storied Dharam Shallas, one Shiva Temple, one Kitchen and modern bath and toilet.

It was founded by Swami Tota Kak who was called even by Muslims as "Tota Kuda". Later on he brought one person from Kulgam who was later on named as Swami Atma Ram Ji. Though Swami Atma Ram Ji, at the time when he joined Ashram, was a student of middle class, he became a classic example of a learned person. He was called ocean of learning. Even Yogi's would come from Banaras to have Shastra Arth and go satisfied. He had written so many books though unpublished but burnt to ashes now. Swami Atma Ramji had two disciples, Swami Sarvanand Ji and Swami Nath Ji. They had two disciples Brahamchari Prem Nath and Brahmchari Prithvi Nath Ji. Both of them are living at Bori, Jammu after displacement. The Ashram was known for Sada Barth; one could get meal all times. When morning meals was to be served a call "Hari Hari Maha Purshoo" would be recited meaning if there is any person around, please join us in meals. Till the day they left, the meals were served on ground after recitation of Geetaji. Both Dharmshallas were burnt, temple damaged, Murties stolen or taken away. They had purchased about one kanal of land and constructed 2 rooms; built one temple and two modern baths. They wanted to construct a hall. A Mandli is performed on each Sunday for night. The Ashram was burnt while police was present guarding the same.

4. Vethwatroo (Vetastha)

It is situated one kilo meter from Verinag, Anantnag. It is source of river Vitasta (Jhelum). It has about 23 Kanals in shape of orchards. It was maintained later on by Late Swami Ram Dass. It had two Dharmshallas, three storied. That said Dharamshallas were burnt after december, 1992. It has about 80 Kanals of irrigated land attached to it. Moni Baba would look after the Ashram after Late Ram Dass.

Verinag

It has a beautiful ancient temple in main Moghul Garden and one temple of Shiva on main Parakarima of Nila Nag (main hectagan) spring. That both temples have been damaged in February, 1986 and latter in 1992.

Lok Bhawan

This is called Tirth Raj Asthapan just 8 kilometers from Anantnag town. It has a big spring and temples and Dharmshalla. All temples were burnt, including Dharmshalla in February, 1986. They were rebuilt but again damaged in December, 1992 `Har Bagh' is celebrated on each year and person gets rid of all sins, if he takes a bath in spring on auspicious day.

Mirza Kak Asthapan

Mirza Kak Asthapan at Hangalgund, Kokernag, Anantnag. He was known for prophetic verses and a JAG is performed every year; now Mirza Kak Trust has been formed. They have constructed a temple at Nagrota, Jammu.

Durga Temple at Kakran

It was completely burnt after 1992 riots and was maintained by Dharmarth Trust.

Shiva Bhagwati At Akingam

This small village is still called in revenue records as "Maqan Shiva Bhagwati". It had a beautiful temple, with two storey, Dharamshalla and large chunk of forest land attached to it. This temple was burnt along with Dharmshalla in December, 1992 and confirmed by Govt. and F.I.R. No. 86/92 lodged.

Kulwagishiri Asthapan Kulgam

This ancient Asthapan is situated in heart of town Kulgam about 16 Kilometers from Anantnag town. The Asthapan had beautiful spring, one temple, Dharmshalla and Geeta Bhawan. All have been burnt during December, 1992 riots in presence of Police.

Triporsundari Asthapan at Khana Barnayan Devsar, Anantnag

This Devi Asthapan of Khana Barnayan is situated about 18 kilometers from Anantnag, about 2 kilometers from Devsar town. It had a murti of Tripore Sundari, a temple, a Dharmshalla and Havan Kund construced by Swami Ram Das. All of these were reduced to ashes after December, 1992.

Liddar Syandhai Asthapan

This Asthapan is situated about 24 kilometers from Anantnag on hill top near Kaprun. The place is desecrated and is under occupation of Muslim community.

Trisandhia Asthapan

It is situated about 23 kilometers from Anantnag and 3 kilometers from Kokernag. During Chitra month water used to come after intervals and pilgrims used to take dip when water would come out. Sometimes water would come six times a day sometimes nothing for two days. It is now desecrated.

Gauri Temple at Pahalgam

This temple, which was completely burnt during December 1992, Asthapan at Maugam, A Devi Temple and Dharmshalla were completely burnt. There are more ancient Asthapans and temples but to narrate them all is not possible.

Shillagram Temple

This temple is situated at Shillagram on Anantnag Pahalgam Road, about 13 Kilometers from Anantnag. It was ancient temple and Amar Nath Charre Mubarak used to offer Puja on Shivlingam (Sahastri Mukhi Shiva). This temple was destroyed in 1998 and Shivlingam is still missing. It had thousand eyes.

Karkotnag Shrine

It is on hill top near village Salia, a Dharmshalla was burnt there. It is sacred shrine of Hindus.

Domtabal Asthapan

It is just 2 Kilometers from Kokernag and 16 Kilometers away from Anantnag. Ancient murties have been stolen which are priceless.

Guddar Asthapan

This Asthapan is just 3 Kilometers from Tom Kulgam. This is now in ruins and desecrated.

The temples which were burnt during riote of 1986 and 1992 are annexed herewith.
 

Temples Vandalised in Kashmir after December 6, 1992
Source : - Local eyewitnesses of concerned places

S.No. Name of Temple Location Remarks

Village/Town

1. Vamu Mandir Verinag Ancient idol publicly desecrated and then removed.

2. Temple on the spring Verinag Bumt.

3. Vetasta Mandir (Vetha-Vetur) Verinag Burnt. Temple as ancient as River Jehlum.

2 Dharam Shallas (3 storeyed)

4. Buna Gund Mandir Verinag Burnt.

5. Two Dharamshallas Tehsil Kulgam Known as Khir Bhawani Mandir. Burnt after at Manzgam Mandir removing whole moveable property.

6. Uma Nagri Mandir Brari Aangan See Swami Saymanand's letter.

7. Kantiyani Mandir Kakran Under Dharmarh Trust; blasted and damaged.

8. Mirhama Mandir Kulgam Burnt.

9. Two Shrines Chowalgam Burnt.

10. Kulwagishori Mandir Kulgam Idols desecrated, Dharamshalla burnt.

11. Devsar Mandir Kulgam Burnt.

12. Ancient temple Tripor Sondri Devsar Kulgam Burnt along with Dharamshallas

13. Luka Bhawan Larkipora Three temples and Dharamshallas burnt.

14. Botsar Mandir and Ashram Uttarsoo As per police control room written report, the temple, 8 houses, 2 cow sheds, 2 kothars of Hindus were set on fire.

15. Pahalgam Mandir Pahalgam Temple got gutted partially.

16. Shiva Mandir Sheer Gunj As per police written report the temple, 6 residential houses, 4 cow sheds, were set on fire on 8.12.1992.

17. Ashmuji Mandir Kulgam Burnt along Dharamshalla.

18. One Mandir Chatargul As per police temple was set on fire.

19. Areh Mandir Kulgam Burnt.

20. One Mandir Harad Chanan Police records confirm that militants attempted to set the temple on fire on 11-12/12/92 but was partially damaged.

21. One temple Palhalan (Pattan) During the 9/10 Dec. 1992 militants this.

22. One temple Karihama Burnt.

23. One temple Kreri Burnt.

24. Shiv Vishnov Mandir Baramulla Burnt. Shilputri temple damaged in 1990.

25. Nandkishwar Bairav Nath Sumbal Mandir Police control room reveals it was set on fire on 8-12-1992 but only minor damage took place.

26. Narayan Dass Mandir Tangmarg Burnt.

27. Narayan Bagh Shadipora Police report confirms fire by throwing Shadipora Mandir & Pathshalla grenades.

28. Kunzer Mandir Kunzer Burnt.

29. Karihama Mandir Karihama Burnt.

30. One temple Nowgam Burnt.

31. Bata Gund Mandir Handwara Burnt.

S.No. Name of Temple Location Remarks

Village/Town

32. Chogal Mandir Handwara Burnt.

33. One temple & shed Karan Nagar According to police control room, both gutted.

34. Magarmal Bagh Mandir Srinagar Burnt; in the vicinity of police lines. Srinagar.

35. Karfali Mohalla Mandir Srinagar Damaged.

36. Bairav Nath Mandir Karan Nagar Burnt by mob in broad day light. Nursing Garh

37. One temple Bana Mohalla Burnt by applying fire to varandah adjacent to the temple.

38. Sri Sanatan Dharam Sabha Srinagar As per Radio Kashmir. Kashmir Times, Daily. Buildings Amira Kadal Excelsior and eyewitness message the buildings were set on fire.

Note : Sl No. 1 _ 19 under Anantanag, 20 _ 28 Baramulla, 29 _ 30 Budgam, 31 _ 32 Kupwara and 33 _ 38 Srinagar District

Incidently the eyewitnesses evidence colaborates with the State Police report in many cases.

Temples Vandalised in Feb. 1986

Anantnag District

1. Anantnag Town : Two temples damaged and one looted.

2. Achhabal : One temple desecreated, idols rubbished.

3. Moripura : One temple burnt completely.

4. Sagam : One temple demolished.

5. Naogam : One temple partially burnt.

6. Teelvani : One temple partially burnt.

7. Gautamnag : One two-storeed temple burnt and Dharamshala damaged.

8. Krangsoo : Pujari Baba of a temple beaten.

9. Akura (Mattan) : One temple and its entire property looted, and shed set on fire.

10. Dialgam : One temple heavily damaged by stoning.

11. Salar : One temple set on fire.

12. Aishmuqam : One temple set on fire.

13. Bijbihara Town : Two temples looted; ancient idols, desecrated. (Jai Devi Temple)

14. Wanpoh (Gasipora) : Two temples, and Samadhi of Swami Dama Kak, burnt.

15. Dhanav (Bogund) : Two temples and one Dharamshala burnt.

16. Chogam : One temple stoned; its doors, windows and three pillars broken.

17. Verinag : One temple near the holy spring damaged, doors broken, idols thrown into the spring. Pawan Sandhya, converted into a place for construction of mosque.

18. Larkipora : Three temples of Goddess Durga, Siddha Lakshimi and Shiva completely burnt, idols broken into pieces.

19. Fatehpura : One temple completely burnt alongwith its entrance gate. Ancient Shiva idol broken to pieces.

20. Quill (Pulwama) : One temple damaged partially.

21. Trisal : One temple stoned, compound wall of another temple damaged.

22. Pawan Sandhya converted into a Mosque.

Srinagar District

23. Ganpatar (Srinagar) : Temple heavily stoned.

24. Jawahar Nagar : Shiv Mandir damaged along property.

25. Maisuma : Dashnami Akhara, from where Chhari Mubarak leaves for Holy Amarnath Cave, burnt down.

26. Raghunath Mandir : Damaged by stoning.

27. Tullamulla : One temple in the village burnt.

28. Waskura : The famous temple of Mata Rupa Bhawani partially burnt.

29. Gandherbal : Two temples burnt and two temples damaged.

Badgam District

30. Yachhgam : One temple partially damaged.

31. Badgam Town : Sharda temple damaged.

32. Chadura : One temple damaged.

Kupwara District

33. Tekpora : One temple burnt.

34. Lalpura : One temple burnt.

35. Handwara : One temple damaged.

Baramulla District

36. Baramulla Town : One temple partially damaged.

37. Vankura : One temple fully damaged.

38. Sopore : One temple partially damaged.

39. Bandipora : One temple partially burnt.

total 55 (fifty-five)

Sources :
The Statesman March 5, 1986

The Hindu March 4, 1986

The Telegraph March 4, 1986

The Hindustan Times March 3, 1986 (Editorial)

Kashmir Samiti, New Delhi

The Martand, Srinagar

Countless eyewitnesses



The author is a well known Advocate, presently of Delhi High Court.

Mailing Address : 2A-Pkt. A/9, Kalkaji (Extn.), New Delhi-110019
 
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