Thursday, November 8, 2012





“ Bhaderkaali who rules over the gods , should be worshipped on all the 9th days but he who worships her on that ( 9th ) day , obtains success in his undertaking ”

Neelmat Purana Shloka 675

‘Then on 8th , the artisans having undergone fast , should worship Bhaderkaali______-”

Neelmat Purana Shloka 816 ( 19-a)

Bhaderkaali worship in Kashmir can thus be traced to a period as old as Neelmat Purana . As per Kalhana , the goddess was being worshipped in twelfth centuary by all sections of kashmir’s Aryan society .. In Kashmir the worship of this goddess did not get subdued even during Budhist period .People residing in areas like Handwara , kupwara Gushi ,Tikir , Magam , Bumai , Sopore , Baramulla , and a large population residing in what is now known as occupied Kashmir were Bhaderkaali worshippers. For Khatris of this area , Bhaderkaali happens to be the ISHTAA DEVI. Even Abhinav Gupta the learned shaiva scholar from Kashmir was a Bhaderkaali worshipper.Sarswats living in  karnatka , Maharashtra , Goa  and  Coastal kerala  are also Bhaderkaali worshippers  .

Bhaderkaali shrine under mention and photographed by me in  2009 is about 7 kms from Handwara town in Kashmir . I visited Handwara on 22nd september  2009 and it was only a shopkeeper Ghulam Rasool who suggested that we should visit the shrine .We went via Wadipora village. Unusual but true , the road from Wadi Pora to the base of the shrine is Pucca and black topped .The shrine is reached by climbing about 800 well laid steps . The top is a dense forest falling in Rajwaar range of Kashmir . The Pine and Deodaar  trees and  the surrounding jungle presents eye catching beauty of the area.Presently the shrine is managed and maintained by Army.

Many Muslim  shopkeepers  of handwara still remember Pandit keshav Nath ji  with reverence and regard. Pandit keshav nath lived in Wadipora and  was an ardent devotee of Bhaderkaali goddess. He was a simple but highly spritual man  full of love and compassion .  He looked after the shrine for about half a centuary.As per his wishes he was cremated near the shrine only .A photograph of this saintly pandit lies inside the present shrine sructure .

 The ancient idol of the Goddess  Bhadrakali  was stolen twice (1891 and 1980 )  but was recovered both times from thieves. During migration of Pandits in 1990 , the priest of the shrine kept the ancient  idol in his house fearing another theft and migrated to jammu due to widespread militancy.  Later the idol was placed in safe custody of  advocate Bushan Lal Pandita by a muslim family that purchased house of shrine's priest  Jagan Nath Sharma in 1999 .  The advocate reportedly  carried  the ancient idol to Jammu for safe custody.

I would suggest to read my post "HANDWARA AN OLD TOWN OF KASHMIR "  for more details about  this shrine and the area.

I end this brief write up with a couplet of poet  Bashir Badr.

Jab toot Gayaa Rishtaa -Sar sabz Pahaadon se,

Fir Teiz hawaa jaane - hum ko hai kidhar jaana.

Har mod Pe do Aankhein - Hum se yehi Kehteen hain ,

Jis tarah bhi ho mumkin -Tum Laut ke Ghar Aanaa.

( Bashir Badr )

Away from those Green and lively hills ,

 This wind alone knows where we are being driven  .

O Heart ! every stranger we met  on the road ,

Impelled us to return back by any possible means .

( Text and Photo Autar Mota  Uploaded on 08.11 2012 ..)


Latest information (along with  photographs )  received on 19.03.2018  through my friend V V S Chauhan goes as under ..

"The original ancient  idol of goddess Bhadrkali was installed at the shrine on 18th Match 2018 with the cooperation of Army (  that has been  looking  after the upkeep and maintenance of  the ancient shrine since 1990 ) and Shrine committee members headed by Bushan Lal Pandita advocate."

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