Address: 120-km Northeast Off The Srinagar Road At Kud
State: Jammu & Kashmir
Location: North India
Altitude: 1225 m
Type of Construction: Ancient
Type of Building: Temple
Dedicated To: Lord Shiva
Sudh Mahadev Temple Jammu Kashmir
The town of CHANHANI, located in the western part of the Jammu holds special significance as it houses a great piece of art - the Sacred Temple of Sudhmahadev. Chaudhari Ramdas of Chanhani and his son Chaudhari Parag Mahajan constructed the temple about 80 years ago. Shri Masu Shahane of Sudhmahadev did the construction of the entrance door of the temple of Sudhmahadev.
This holy spot near Patnitop is situated at an altitude of 1225 mtrs., about 120 kms. from Jammu. The shrine is visited pilgrims on the full moon night of 'Sawan' (July-August) to worship the "Trishul' (trident) and a mace which is said to belong to Lord Shiva. The Devak stream originates at Sudh Mahadev and disappears among the rocks a few kilometres down strean. This is a small temple of Lord Shiva. During July - August a fair is held here with 3 days of music, singing and dancing. It is situated at a distance of 8 kms. from Khud or Patni Top.
The trident housed within the temple,belonged to the asctic God who killed demon there.The temple has a black marble self made 'lingam' and Goddess parvati mounted on Nandi. It has a 'Dhooni'(sacred fire) to commemmorate the spiritual attainments of Baba Roop Nath who is said to have attained Samadhi there. It is said that the Dhooni has been kept burning constantly ever since Baba Roop Nath is said to be residing in the temple. Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple especially during 3-day fair held on the occasion of Jestha Purnima. Before entering the temple the pilgrims take bath in the holy Devika which flows nearby. A popular legend is associated with the Shrine. It is believed that Lord Shiva who was in his samadhi shot his big trishul to protect his consort Uma whose loud cry shook Shiva out of his meditation. Infact Shiva's devotee, Sudheet approached Uma to pay his respectful obeisance. Since he was a demon in his previous birth according to the legend, his demonaic looks frightened her and she made a loud shriek. The trident which Lord Shiva had flung hit Sudheet. Shiva realised his mistake and he offered to resuscitate him. But Sudheet felt that there could be no better life than death given by Lord Shiva Himself. Lord Shiva then gave his command that Sudheet's name will be prefixed to his name at that place. Since then it is called Sudh Mahadev. The broken trident in three pieces, is installed in the temple.
The Asad Purnima Festival
The Shiva temple here attracts many pilgrims during the festival, which takes place in mid June each year. The Asad Purnima festival features three days of music, singing and dancing. The main shrine has a black marble carved figure of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and there is also an interesting inscribed iron trident known as the "Shiva Trishul"; it is believed to have been used by a Mahadeva to kill a demon.
Man Talai, 5-km from Sudh Mahadev is of archaeological interest due to the red earthenware and terra cotta figures discovered here.
Gauri Kund, also 5-km distant, is a small cave associated with Goddess Parvati. Sculptures from Hindu Mythology can be seen at the Pap Nashni Bauli springs. Shiv Garh is the highest mountains in the area. In the month of June, the time between the ?Full moon and Chaudash? is considered to be the most auspicious for this pilgrimage. As per the ancient religious faith, this pilgrimage is known to be the most sacred when undertaken between the ?Punya jayeshth purnima and vayas purnima?. Though, pilgrims come all the year round, but a special fair (mela) is held during the full moon i.e jayeshth purnima to mark the auspicious time. The fair goes on for three days. During Chaudash, the pilgrimage to Gauri Kund, situated 2.5 kms from Sudhmahadev on the banks of Dewak Nadi, is considered to be most sacred. Here in the lap of the mountains, lies the Temple of Uma & Shankar. After taking a bath in the Dewak Nadi, the pilgrims worship Lord Shiva and Parvati in the Temple. After worshipping Gauri Kund, the pilgrims go to Gaukaran, about 0.5Kms from Sudhmahadev. Then they climb up another 2 Kms of mountaineous area to reach another sacred place ?Nada?. In Sudhmahadev, there is a small stream called ?Mitra vavli? or ?Papnashi Vavli?. The huge Shiv Temple houses the three faced idol of God Shulpaneshwar Mahadev, Uma and Ganesh riding ?Nandi?- their Bull. The idol also has the sacred Swayambhu Shivalinga. It is said that Ma Parvati in order to attain Lord Shiva use to worship this Swayambhu Shivalinga after bathing in the Gauri Kund. Tones of water originating from an unknown source fall on this sacred Swayambhu Shivalinga. This Temple is built on the same lines as the series of other Uttarakhand temples in this area.
In the temple premises, there is a Trident (Trishul) that in the local dialect is called ?Gaja?. The sacred Trident has inscriptions in the ancient manuscript that form a major topic of research for the archeological department. According to Roopnath, the first religious head of the temple of Sudhmahadev, ?Amardhuni?, ?Gorakh Nath temple?, the huge idol of ?Bhairava? and the ?Garbha Jun below the Nandi gan? are considered to be great places of worship for the pilgrims. In the entire belt of Chanhani and Sudhmahadev, the great saints and sages sing poems of the romantic tale of the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati in Mantalai. During the annual fair held at Sudhmahadev, religious saints and pilgrim groups sing in the praise of Sudhmahadev. As per religious traditions, these ancient temples were managed by the religious heads also called as ?Pirs or Mahants? who were in turn appointed on the directions of the Kings of Chanhani. After the downfall of the kings, the hold of the ?Pirs? over the management became weak. In 1959-60, the last religious head Pir Dhuni Nath instituted a committee to manage the working of the temple. Shri Salig Ram Shah of Sudhmahadev was appointed the manager of the committee and Shri Shiv Lal Sadathia was made the head. Finally, the management of the temple was handed over to the Dharmarth Trust under the guidance of its sole trustee Dr. Karan Singh. Though one can undertake this pilgrimage to Sudhmahadev all the year round, but as per religious traditions, the days that are considered most auspicious are Maghar Chaudash, Chaitra Chaudash, Rath Yatra, Baisakhi and Shivaratri.