Sudhmahadev, Jammu & Kashmir
Sudhmahadev is a place in the Udhampur district of Jammu & Kashmir. It is 110 kms from Jammu and its altitude is 1225 meters above sea level. Reaching Sudhmahadev is not a problem as a regular bus service connects it with Jammu. From Jammu, drive upto Chenani on the Jammu Kashmir National Highway and from there take link road towards east and travel for 30 kilometers to reach the Sudhmahadev. One can also come by train up to Udhampur and then can get bus or by hiring private vehicles.
The Sudh Mahadev temple is said to be 2800 years old and with a strong mythological connection. The temple houses a natural black marble lingam, the Trident of Lord Shiva and mace believed to be that of Bheema the second Pandava brother. Devak stream flows nearby where people can take a bath before entering the temple. Mysteriously the Devak stream disappears a few kilometers downstream.
Few Kilo meters before Sudhmahadev, there is a place Gauri Kund. The spring is sacred to the Hindu devotees, as it is believed that the Goddess Parvati had a bath in the waters of the spring before offering her prayers to the Lord Shiva. It is around 1 km from the road and one has to go by foot. People first visit this place and take bath there and then proceed to Sudhmahadev.
At Sudhmahadev there is a spring known as Pap Nashni Bowli. It is believed that taking bath in it relieves man of all his/her sins. After taking bath one proceeds towards the holy temple of Lord Shiva.
After visiting Sudhmahadev further journey of 8 kms brings you to the enchanting hilly resort of Mantalai. Situated at the top of a hill and having tall trees of Deodar giving fresh and cool air. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married there. There is a Shiva temple and beside it a pond. Mantalai was the dream project of Swami Dharender Bhramchari to make it as a famous resort for yoga, health and spiritualism but remained incomplete because of his accidental death.
Every year three days mela is arranged at Sudhmahadev during the month of June or July. During these three days, various arrangements are made by the Department of Tourism and other govt. agencies to provide facilities to the visitors. Adequate transport facilities are also provided from various places by the Govt & private agencies. Adequate security and medical aid arrangements are also made. The various Govt departments put there stalls to provide information about the different schemes for the people. Various cultural programs are also organized; in these the local performers entertain the visitors by showing various local dances and singing folk songs, kud etc.
One can have accommodation in the sarai maintained by the Dharamarth trust and beside this few guest houses are also there. During the mela JKTDC provides temporary tented accommodations. Temporary shops are also established by the people to provide various things and eatables to the visitors. Langars are also arranged by some people to provide free food to the visitors.
The famous food items to eat there are Rajmash Chawal (red kidney beans with Rice) with Desi ghee (clarified butter) & chatni of pudina and anardana. Klari or Klari kulcha is a very famous & tasty local fast food and one must try it. Those who love sweets have Jlabis (rounded sweet) and pure Khoya sweets to eat. Those who love shopping can buy handicraft items from the shop situated near the Shiva temple at Sudhmahadev. It is a great fair which provides lot of joy, entertainment, and spiritual experience in the lap of nature. So one must have experience of it.
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