By - Pt. Badri Nath, Pt. Sarwanand , Pt.Vish Nath. ( FORWARDED IN ORIGINAL)

If history is to be believed then  all places of the present-day major sites of  Hindu worship in Kashmir  were re-claimed and  rebuild by the Dogras. Every bit of their infrastructural asset came from the Dharmarth Trust. This includes places of worship like Parbat, Shankracharya, Tulmull, Raghunath Mandir, Ramchandrun, Ghadhadhar, Ganpatyar etc in Srinagar . 

Worship  sites of sacred monuments like Avantipur,  Martand, Pattan, Payar, Bhunyar, Wangath etc where no worship was carried out for centuries were brought to light by the Dogras and subsequently looked after for preservation by the Dogras through their Department of Archaeology, Research and Libraries, that subsequently became the affair of Archaeological Survey of India with greater introduction of Indian laws post 1947.  

If truth be said, Kashmir woke up to modernity in all walks of life from healthcare to education to scholarship, Hindu religious revival, agriculture, horticulture, irrigation  , land settlement, communication, road infrastructure, telegraph and telephone; all came with Dogras but mainly because of the administrative dispensation controlled and influenced  by the British colonial setup. In fact all modernity to Kashmir came under the Dogras and Kashmiris of all denominations particularly Battas heaved a sigh of relief from the dark ages of all kinds of woes and sorrows of the tyrannical Afghans  in the immediate past. 

Technically, after Gulab Singh obtained Kashmir from the British after the 1845 Anglo-Sikh War against the payment of war indemnity of 75 lacs all Kashmir with its entire population and land along with its resources on as is where is basis became the Dogra asset. 

Though it sounds feudal and cruel medieval, it were the Dogras that reestablished the semblance  of Hindu worship in Kashmir. Battas were too poor and helpless to maintain and up keep these revived places of worship. They didn't  have enough to eat or cover their bums after having suffered persecution for several centuries in the past.In the later part of Dogra Rule when Bhattas breathed greater freedom for religious worship, they build here and there neighbourhood temples that were looked after community support and Government  maintenance.  Same is true about temples in Jammu region..

Prior to the ascent of the Dogras on Kashmir throne there were only two temples for worship in Jammu; Katra and Purmandal. All the temples like Raghunath Mandir, Ranbeshwar Temple,  Shiv Temple , Ved Mandir etc are the creation of the Dogras. It was Ranbir Singh who created the first organized nucleus of Temple Foundation for maintenance  and up keep of all temple bodies in Jammu and Kashmir. It may be true that all this is abhorable in modern sense to give Dogras the divine right of claim on Hindu worship institutions, but Battas too have no divine inheritance to such assets.

Being matter of faith, it is better left to modern take on such matters as long as the system in vogue is workable without hurting religious sentiment and without denying Dogras the credit of salvaging the vestiges of old Hindu religiosity in Kashmir. 

Even the   great Kashmir Saivism and everything about it Bhattas claim today was salvaged by  the Dogras from oblivion by ordering systemic search for its lost literature by collecting every shred of its manuscript record from every conceivable  corner  and ignorant possessor. To sum up one can say with some confidence that Bhattas are  Bhattas because of the Dogras. 

They owe them a historical gratitude. Denying that may be a sin.

By - V . K WATTAL 

(M) 09899097197  

(The writer is NCR/UP based and a regular contributor to this Website .) 

Conservation & Preservation Of Kashmiri Pandits Heritage & Temples In Kashmir


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July 25, 2021 at 10:53 AM ×

Great Haritage was Saved By His Highness M.Gulab Singh at that Time . Another Contribution By DrJatinder Singh in U.N General Assembly A Dogra Vir .A proud Moments for Jammuities.My Heartiest Congratulations to HIM .

Congrats bro Unknown you got PERTAMAX...! hehehehe...