Jammu: Nestled amidst the serene beauty of nature, the Sudh Mahadev Shiva Temple stands as a testament to centuries of devotion and reverence. Situated a mere 42 kilometers from Patnitop and 112 kilometers from Jammu, this sacred haven beckons travelers and pilgrims alike to bask in its spiritual aura.
A tale of divine worship
Legend has it that Goddess Parvati, after cleansing herself at the enchanting Gouri Kund, which lies just a short distance before Sudh Mahadev, would pay her respects to the ancient Shivling within these sacred grounds. This Shivling is believed to be over 3000 years old, steeped in history and devotion. The temple also boasts a striking black marble statue of the local deities, Shiva and Parvati. A revered Trishul (trident) of Lord Shiva is carefully preserved within these hallowed walls.
A pilgrimage to remember
Devotees from far and wide embark on a spiritual journey to Sudh Mahadev, especially during the full moon night of Sawan, when a grand festival unfolds, dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. The temple’s mystical charm is further enhanced by an underground stream known as Devak, considered as sacred as the mighty Ganges. Devak originates in Sudh Mahadev and gracefully disappears among the rocky terrain downstream. The temple also houses locally crafted wooden sculptures, adding to its cultural allure.
What is the story behind it?
As the legends have it, the people here believe that Mata Parvati used to worship Shiva at this temple. While doing her penance, a demon (satan) disturbed her. To avoid any untoward outcome, she approached Shiva for help. Shiva threw a Trishul resulting in his death.
Although Shiva’s fierce action resulted in the death of the demon. However, after killing the demon, Shiva’s Trishul got divided in three parts. All these parts of the Trishul can still be found at this temple.
The first part of the Trishul is buried in the ground and it is believed that it’s length cannot be measured. Apart from it the second and third parts can be seen with some unknown language written on the Trishul.
Comfort amidst nature
For those seeking a tranquil retreat amidst nature, Sudh Mahadev offers accommodation options. Tourist Saraj, managed by J&K Tourism Development Corporation, and Dharamshala, overseen by the Dharamarth Trust, ensure a comfortable stay amidst the natural beauty.
Explore beyond Sudh Mahadev
Venturing further ahead from Sudh Mahadev, you’ll encounter Mantalai (1450 meters) enveloped by lush deodar forests. This locale holds special significance as it is believed to be the sacred site where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati united in holy matrimony. Besides the Shiv temple, visitors can explore the complex established by Swami Dhirendra Brahmchari, featuring a tree-shaped house, an airstrip, a hostel, and other intriguing yet unfinished projects. Nature enthusiasts can also embark on a woodland expedition to Naina Devi, just 5 kilometers from Mantalai, for breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountain landscape.