Purmandal, a renowned pilgrimage destination in District Samba of J&K UT commonly known as Kashi of North India is located on the banks of holy River Devika in Shivalik hills about 30 kilometers Southeast of Jammu and about 25 Kilometers Northwest of Samba by Road.

Annual footfall of Devotee Tourists are of the order of 8 to 10 lakhs The main source of attraction at the place is Holy River Devika known as Gupt Ganga where devotees prefer to  take a holy dip for cleansing  souls and attaining  salvation.

As per Pouranic versions the marriage of Mata Parvati was solemnized with God Shiva at Chenani SudhMahadev. Immediately after entering into wedlock Maa Parvarti became intolerant because of the presence of Ganga being the co-wife (Soutan) . 

In a mood of annoyance Mata Parvati went underground leaving the household and thus Shiva was left with no option except to go in search and make her agree to return back. 

After a long chase, God Shiva saw Mata Parvati appearing at Udhampur, but when the Goddess observed God Shiva there she again went underground. Thus this hide and seek game continued at places like Jindrah, Sagoon etc. 

Finally she appeared at 5 kmt ahead of Purmandal - 

“Indreshwar Dham” 

Here at “Indreshwar” God Shiva managed to convince Devi Parvati on the assurance that her status will be superior to Ganga in all respects. Devi Ganga will be treating Parvarti as her elder sister. All the sinners of the world will be going to Ganga for washing away their sins but Devi Ganga for washing all those sins washed by the sinners will be going to her (Paarvati) every year. 

In Kaluga anybody taking bath or taking last breath on Devika river banks will attain salvation without performing any Japa or Tapa. On the assurances granted , Maata Parvarti agreed to manifest in the form of a river namely Devika on the condition that wherever she moved God Shiva will accompany her on the river banks. 

Thus God Shiva appeared at eight locations along River Devika in the form of eight Shwet Lingas from Purmandal to Utterbehni. Since Umapati Linga i.e. Purmandal is most common among these eight lingas as such the whole area is called Umapati Kshetar with religious sanctity like that of Kashi/ Haridawar and as such called Chhota Kashi of North India. 

Purmandal a place carrying such a Pouranic background with undoubted religious sanctity is presently prone to undesired pollution relating to air as well as water source. Devika Waters once considered as Ganga Jal generally taken to homes by devotees in bottles filled for use on all important occasions, stand today polluted to such an extent that anybody feels hesitant to even touch the same mainly because of performing cremations in the river bed amid Shiva Temple Complex and ages old heritage structures besides drainage of the used water of the locality to the water body. 

Untrue it may sound but a fact that despite imposition of complete ban on performing of death related rituals including cremations at undesignated locations in Devika River Bed, the same are continuing till date under the very nose of the District Administration as well as the local Police.

Even the Panchayat Representative responsible for making “Swachh Bharat Mission” of the Prime Minister a success seem to be watching the whole show with eyes shut. 

As learnt, the verification / monitoring of the quality of Devika waters as carried out by J&K Pollution Control Board now Committee reveals the quality of Devika waters as Class “B “ with Colour as Odor, i.e. not up to mark mainly due to discharge of untreated sewages to the water body besides burning solid waste being health hazardous to the public. 

Series of notices stand issued to the District Administration, Rural Development Department as well as the Surinsar Mansar Development Authority by JKPCC but nothing on the ground.

Pursuant to all what has been stated above, it is high time for the authorities to come out of the deep slumber and plug all loopholes encouraging pollutions, particularly the cremation of dead bodies beneath Shiva Temple Complex so that the true value of Crores of Rupees being pumped today on developmental activities is realized in reality.  

By Jawaher Lal Baru 
( the writer is a Purmandal based Social activities )


Bushan Parimoo
(The writer is a Jammu based environmentalist and a regular contributor to this Website.)
(Feedback at: blparimoo@gmail.com)

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1 comment:

  1. Very informative elaborate touching every aspect of the holy place,grateful to Live image to bring it in the public domain.


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