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Jammu Kashmir
Thousands converge at Bhadarwah Subar Nag temple
Said-ullah Rangrez
BHADARWAH, Apr 12: Scores of devotees thronged the ancient Subar Nag temple situated in the lush green meadows at a hill top in Bhaderwah tehsil of Doda district on Friday to take part in an annual Nag Yatra festival on the eve of Baisakhi, a symbol of Nag culture in Jammu & Kashmir.

The devotees from different parts of the country throng 700 year old  temple situated in the lush green meadows of Subar Dhar 35 Km from Bhadarwah town, where the presiding deity is a serpent (Subar Nag), with the belief that all their wishes would be granted.

According to the locals, temple situated at a height of 8200 feet from sea level, and with serpents engraved on its walls, is around 700 years old and the tradition of holding the festival has been going on

since 200 years.

Bhadarwah is known and famous for its ancient and unique Nag Culture. Naag Puja is an important aspect of Bhadarwahi culture. The process begins with opening of ‘Dara’ (gate) of Nag temple at Subar Dhar on last day of Chet every year. The temple is closed before onset of winter that experiences heavy snow fall making it virtually impossible to reach the place. On that day a huge procession of devotees belonging to Bhadarwah and its surrounding villages converges at Subar Dhar temple. They perform Puja of Subar Naag and then dance on the sprawling hill amidst blooming mountain flowers and flocks of flying butterflies at the enchanting tune of traditional music played upon large drums and pairs of flutes.

"It is our tradition and we have been coming here for decades. It is our belief that whatever one desires here, is fulfilled by the deity," said Hari Lal, a local devotee.

Even though the temple is atop a hill, the enthusiasm of the devotees is not deterred in any manner. It is widely believed that the desires of the devotees are fulfilled by the Nag (serpent) Lord.

“The Yatra (pilgrimage) has been going on for over thousands of years. People are so devoted that whenever any calamity affects this area, right from Rajputs, Brahmins, Dalits (socially backward community) and even the Muslims undertake this pilgrimage since they have immense faith in it,” said Ajit Sharma, Sarpanch (village Head) of Cinchora Panchayat.

“I came here twice before to attend the Baisakhi festival which is first in India, and as usual have again fell in love with the lush green step meadows surrounded by snow peaked Kailash and Ashapati range of mountains. I feel lucky to come here and would love to visit this place again, said a Muslim tourist Khalid Rasool Angrez.

The devotees come here again after their wishes are fulfilled and offer prayers to the deity. Dozens of sheep were also sacrificed by the devotees it is a custom at Subar Nag (serpentine divinity) temple to sacrifice animals once a devotee’s wish is fulfilled.
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News Updated at : Saturday, April 13, 2013
 
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