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Culture Watch: TOURISM IN KASHMIR

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Culture Watch: TOURISM IN KASHMIR
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7 Oct 2020

Kashmir valley, also referred as “Paradise on earth” is rich in picturesque scenes, snow clad mountains, lush green meadows and high altitude lakes, hence attracting tourists from all over the world with tranquil settings, magnificent views and pristine nature, Kashmir is a perfect holiday destination that should be visited at least once in a lifetime.

Tourism has been synonymous with Kashmir from the time immemorial. Tourism in the valley traversed its course from the time of Mughal monarchy till its present day. Mughal kings and princes laid beautiful gardens, utilized springs, erected forests, encarved cascades and canals, enriched the land with a variety of vegetation and flowers, revolutionisedhandicrafts and skills and left behind them the grandeur of Mughal architecture in their temples and other monuments Kashmir offers heart capturing scenery both for artist and layman, mountains and snowy peaks for mountain lovers, a network of rivers, streams and high altitude lakes and beautiful temples for the devotees. Every spot in Kashmir has a recreational value and amongst all other places Kausar Nag and KheerBhawani Temple also hold important tourist value in the valley.

KAUSAR NAG LAKEC:\Users\G2\Desktop\New folder\New folder\Kausarnag .jpg

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Kausar Nag is a high altitude oligotrophic lake located in the PirPanjalRange in the Kulgam district of Kashmir. The lake is roughly 2 miles long and half a mile at the widest point. The trek to Kausar Nag is via the famous waterfall of Aharbal. The lake is located in a valley that is surrounded by peak on all sides with elevation in excess of 4,000 meters above sea level. Kausar Nag has an elevation of 4,000 meters (13,000 ft) above sea level. Kausar Nag Lake is the ultimate source of Aharbal falls and is felled with picturesque alpine lakes and the eternally peace giving lakes, regarded as a purest spring in the valley. Kausar Nag lake at high up in the mountains away from the snail of the city, where pollution is an unknown word and where beauty unfolds is a never ending panorama. For the photographer it may be the anticipation of capturing on film on ethereal mountain lake afloat with ice floes. The botanist will find himself surrounded by numerous species. There are hill birds for the bud watcher and entire hill side ablaze with flowers for the wild flower enthusiast.

Kausar Nag a high attitude lake full of trout provides a vast field for trekking. For trekkers Kausar Nag is the ultimate paradise. A trek can be rigorous enough to test the endurance or as comfortable, even luxurious. One can go back-packing on one’s own or take on a ‘five star’ trek in mughal fashion with camp cots, tables and chairs bearers in waiting.

Kausar Nag is considered as a sacred spot and the Kausar Nag Lake is revered by the Kashmiri Pandits and is a pilgrimage since ages and wherein Kausar Nag Yatra is undertaken. DistadmRiasi is resp for the Yatra. Prior to terrorism in valley the Yatra used to take place every yr in last week of Jul through the traditional route from Aharbal, however it was discontinued and re-commenced from across the Jammu region. Each year approx. 550-600 pilgrims undertake the Yatra and take a holy dip in the sacred lake also known as ‘Vishnu Pada’ i.e. foot of Lord Vishnu. The lake is surrounded by mtns on three sides referred to as ‘Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh’.    

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KHEER BHAWANI TEMPLE
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Religion has been a powerful force which has caused people to travel to religious centresin many parts of the world Aesthetics, peaceful, isolated lands and unpolluted environs of Kashmir have been providing an ideal atmosphere for the men of GOD since ages. The valley of Kashmir is identified with name ‘Peer Vair’ or ‘ReshVair’. It being a holy land, one comes across a network of ziarats, mosques and temples which are thronged by believers from within Kashmir and outside.

One of the important place recognized for religious tourism is “KheerBhawani Temple”.

KheerBhawani Temple is a temple constructed over a sacred spring. The worship of KheerBhawani is universal among the Hindus of Kashmir, most of them who worship her as their protective patron deity. The temple is situated in Manzgam at a distance of 14 miles east of Srinagar. The term kheer refers to rice pudding that is offered in the spring to propitiate the Goddess which became part of the name of the temple. The peculiarity of this milk Goddess 

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temple is that Hindus must abstain from meat on the days when they visit her. A festival is held annually at the temple.

The history of this temple is as old as the Ramayan. It is said that Mata KheerBhawani was pleased with the devotion of Ravana and appeared before him and Ravana got an image of Goddess installed in Sri Lanka. However, the Goddess become displeased with the vicious and licentious life of Ravana and so didn’t want to stay in Sri Lanka. Therefore, she believed to have instructed Lord Hanuman to get the image from Sri Lanka and install it at the present holy spot in Srinagar. Since then the KheerBhawani temple is considered as the most sacred place of Kashmiripandits and every year many devotees as well as other tourists visit this holy temple to get the blessings of Mata KheerBhawani.

According to the writers and poets “Kashmir is an attraction to be cherished, a land to be explored and a subject to be written about”. And the places such as Kausar Nag, KheerBhawani Temple and many other tourist places make Kashmir an exceptional place which is a treat for the tourists across the world.

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