Gupt Ganga Tirtha—Bhadarwah (Jammu)

Gupt Ganga Tirtha—Bhadarwah (Jammu)

Chaman Lal Gadoo

Bhadarwah is known as 'Chotta Kashmir'. God has bestowed on Bhadarwah unparalleled charm and fragrance. Ancient Bhadarwah was a sovereign and prosperous state. It had its own colorful and flourishing civilization. Its famous cities were Durga Nagar and Udho Nagar which perished under the red hot material of the volcano that erupted on the nearby Kailash Mountain. A new city of Bhadravart came up, which is presently known as Bhadrot. It is said that a university with capacity of lodging and boarding for about one thousand students existed exactly where present Bhadarwah university campus has been set up. Raja Lakshmi Dev’s, dynasty ruled Bhadarwah up to sixteenth generations and then Nagas took over. Historically, Nagas as a race are not serpents, but a totem, a title or a sub-caste named after many animals in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India. In the epic literature they have been described as the posterity of Rishi Kashyap and Kadru, one of his wives, and in mythology they have been sketched both as humans as well as snakes. According to Harivamsa Purana, Nagraj Vasuki is the Naga sovereign and immortal Naga, having the largest number of worshippers in India. Nagas were strong worshippers of Shiva and ruled many parts of India. The origin of their ruling dynasty is attributed to Navnagas and there were other prominent ruling Nagas also. Naga dynasty rulers shifted their capital to Bhadarwah proper called Nagar. Bhardarwah became part of Jammu and Kashmir State, under Dogra rule, in 1821 AD.

To the east of the town, on the bank of river Neru is an ancient Shiva temple, situated at the mouth of a huge cave. According to Vasuki Purana, when Pandavas performed the Ashumegh Yagna, the 'Sham Karan' horse that would graze upon the meadows in the surroundings of holy 'Sonabain' was taken from Sawan the then king of Bhadarwah. It is generally said, that Pandavas during their exile took shelter in Bhadarkashi, presently known as Bhadarwah. One day they disappeared suddenly. It is believed, that they disappeared through this long cave to some unknown place because that was the day their Agyatvas. living in hidden position, started.

The temple has a tomb like construction and long stone slabs have been used in it. Here Ganga abruptly falls on the Lingam and then disappears. It is a natural phenomenon. The Shiva-Ling of this temple is of huge size and made of black marble. The dome of the temple is made of stones in a circular shape. A stream of pure water flows from inside of the temple and drops on the Shiva Ling day and night. Then this water flows to a "Bawali" (Pond) where Sadhus and devotees take bath. The water of the Bawali is cold in summer and warm in winter. Since the stream of water comes into the temple in a mysterious way, the water of this stream is considered as sacred as the water of the Ganga so it is called Gupt Ganga. Inside the temple, there is a footprint of Bhim, one of Pandava brothers, on a rock. This ancient Shiva temple is greatly revered by Hindus of the state and is a famous historical pilgrimage Centre.


The views expressed in the Article above are Chaman Lal Gadoo’s personal views and is not responsible for the opinions expressed in the above article.

Courtesy: Vidya Gauri Gadoo Research Centre and Sh Chaman Lal Gadoo