Thursday, October 25, 2012


                              (Very old black and white photo of Martand Spring)       



Just about 60 kms from Srinagar city on srinagar - Pahalgham road , lies MATTAN village . This village is also known as BHAWAN or MARTAND TIRTHA. This Tirtha finds mention in Bringesh Samhita ,Neelmat Purana , Rajtaringini and many Hindu scriptures.It is also mentioned that is in Neelmata Purana that "one who bathes and performs Shrada and austerties over here gets the same fruit as he gets at PRAYAG or KURUKSHETRA". Adds Neelmata further that "one who offers Pindas , Milk , Honey , Ghee , Dharba and water to the deceased over here gets the same fruit as giving 100 cows in Charity ."

Legend says that Aditi wife of sage kashyapa of kashmir gave birth to SURYA as her thirteenth child . Syrya built his abode at Martand Tirtha . Legend goes a little further to say that the Two sacred springs inside the Complex called KAMAL KUND and VIMAL KUND (full of fresh water and fish )were used by Aditi for bathing this new born child Surya .The water of Vimal Kund and Kamal Kund ultimately flows out in a small stream locally known as TSAAKA. Legend also has it that the fish in the Pond and TSAAKA represent Yoginees . It is said that PARSHURAM also did penance over here .History has well recorded the visits of Mughal Emperor Akbar and our own king Zain Ul Abdin ( Budshah ) to this Tirtha .

I need to clarify a little . As a matter of fact there are two Sun Temples in this area . One is the The Martand Tirtha temple , well frequented, having two springs with gushing water and a temple complex . Within this complex lies the temple of SUN GOD personified with four arms bearing lotus , Book , Rosary and riding the magnificcient Cart driven by seven horses . This temple is in Mattan village and is a place for performing SHRAADA during Pitra Paksha by Hindus from Northern India essentially from Punjab , Himachal , Haryana and Delhi. Shraada can also be performed any time over here. The other is the 8th centuary Martand sun temple built by King lalitaditya presently in ruins. This is a National Monument and protected by Archeological survey of india . This temple complex is atop the Karewa ( Plateau about 3 kms from the Martand Tirtha ).

I worked in this area for about 3 years and have visited almost every village . I am familiar with colours of the trees in all the seasons over here . I have enjoyed many evenings on the banks of Lidder at Akura bridge . I have witnessed flowers opening up gradullay in the beds of the gardens of Akkad and Sun Temple complex on Ranbirpora karewa (Plateau). The trout fish , The silent and soothing breeze , tossing willows on the banks of river Lidder , Mighty and shady Chinars of Bongam area , Fish going up against the water current in Tsaka stream , The Faquir like naked Autumn Poplars , tree Branches breaking under heavy winter snow or the night long murmur of the Tsaaka stream below my room have built the concept of nature's beauty and bounty in my mind .The Villagers from Nambal , seer , salia , Nanil , Ranbir pora , Achabal , Akkad ,Wantrag ,Hutmura and many more areas who would come to the bank were all simple , god fearing and truthful.During Amarnath Yatra , The Chari Mubarak used to be brought to this place for overnight halt . It was like a village fair . This Yatra would bring groups of Sadhus to this tirtha for overnight stay . locals would also throng to the Tirtha to see some Sadhus standing on one leg , some with 15 feet long hair , some only living on milk , some with black clothes and many just simply naked . Many locals like Mustafa Bodha , Gh Mohd Bodha ,Kartar singh , Anand Ji Razdan , Badri Nath Patwari and family members of Makhan lal Fotedar ( Congress party leader from Mattan based in New Delhi ) and entire purohit fraternity would Join to welcome the Yatris to Amarnath .

The Tirtha complex is near the Main bazar of mattan village . From Spring season to Autumn , One can find Purohits coming from their present places of stay to this Tirtha , ready to perform religious cermonies for any Pilgrim . Before the turmoil in kashmir , they would go to Punjab , Himachal or Haryana to pass winter months . The purohits are kashmiri Brahmins with castes as Sher , Kachru , Musa , sidha , Yogi , Khar etc etc. Most of them used to Maintain BAHEE ( Record ) of the families they dealt with . You could go as back as 200 years and trace your ancestors . You could find their signatrures in these BAHEES .I have seen many VVIPs coming to Mattan and signing BAHEES . Once Rajinder Kumar , Dara singh , Raj Kumar visited the Tirtha together enroute to Pahalgham. The Purohits of this place are well organized and have a powerful Association and are deeply attached to this Tirtha and its Development . They are the preferred purohits at Haridwar as well since most of them are well versed with Hindu KARM KAAND. Shradda is performed inside the Tirtha Complex near the main spring or outside it on the banks of the TSAAKA stream. During the MAL MAAS- BAAN MAAS time , entire area is full of pilgrims from all parts of northwern India .The temple of BHARG SHAAKHA overlooks the Tirtha below . This temple is situated on the hill adjacent to the LalitaDitya Sun Temple ruins . Guru nanak Dev ji has also visited this Tirtha . kashmiri Poet Parmanand ji was from this village . So was Pandit kirpa Ram the religious teacher of guru Gobind singh ji the 10th sikh Guru .A gurudwara has also been built at the place where Guru nanak Dev ji had discourse with Puriohits of Martand . I have uploaded views of the kamal Kund , vimal kund , Tsaaka stream with Shiva lingam at its centre , Purohits basking in the Autumn sun , pilgrims performing shraada at Kamal Kund , Marble image if Sun God in the main temple and a Bazar view of Mattan village for you to enjoy. . Permit me to end this post with a vaakh from  LALESHWARI  OR LAL DED ,   kashmir’s greatest saint poetess ..
I will weep and weep for you, my Soul,
The world has caught you in its spell.
Though you cling to them with the anchor of steel,
Not even the shadow of the things you love
Will  go  with you when you are dead.
( Translation from kashmiri by Prof. Jay lal kaul  )
( Text and Photo by Autar Mota )

Thursday 25th October , 2012  Time 11.45 PM Good Night ..

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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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