Kashmir valley has always remained a holy region because of its sacred temples, lakes, springs, caves, mountains, rivers and other places of pilgrimage.
Most of these sacred places are of high religious importance for Hindus in general and Kashmiri Hindus in particular. Kalhan Pandit, the author of Raj Tarangni finds a tirath (Sacred place) after every step in Kashmir.
One of the most sacred tiraths of Kashmir is Pushkar tiraths. It is a holy spring with sweet and extreme cold water.
There are two Pushkar Tiraths in the world, one is at Rajasthan and the second is in Kashmir valley. At both these Tiraths Lord Brahma (Creator) is worshipped. Both these places are situated in the West.
The Pushkar tirath of Kashmir is known to Kashmiri Hindus only and the Hindus of erstwhile (undivided) Jammu and Kashmir. The Tirath yatra of this place is treated as most important and of high religious importance.
As per Nilamata Purana verse number 1396
Venerable sage Kasyapa travelled over the whole earth in connection with holy pilgrimage Pushkara.
‘‘Pushkar Tirath’’ of Kashmir is situated in the west of Kashmir valley in village Pushkar in Tehsil Beerwah, Distt Budgam. The village is named after the name of Tirath Raj Pushkar. The village is situated in between Khag (Beeru) and Ferozpora (Tangmarg).
The literary meaning of Pushkar is (Pokhar) a spring. Puskhar is identified with this spring. Nilmat Puran, Rajtarangni and other historical documents bear a testimony to it. It is said that Kalhana personally visited this tirath. As per his writings, he says thousands of yatris visited this Tirath especially on the auspious day of Pushkar Amavasya, which follows Krishna Janam Ashtami. He writes that as much water flows out of this holy spring which can run a water “Gharat’’.
Presently, the holy spring is of small size but the water is having the same virtues which it had earlier. Prior to migration, an yearly “Hawan’’ was performed by Magam Bangil (Tangmarg) Sabha at the Tirath Raj. Thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the valley used to visit the Tirath Raj on the auspicious day of Pushkar Amavasya. There is no dharmashalla near this Tirath Raj. However due to the sincere and devoted co-operation of local people this need never arose. The local people kept their houses open for yatris and offered milk and other food material to them free of cost.
The yatra starts as soon as Pushkar Amavasya begins, with a holy dip in the holy spring. After the dip yatris start ‘Parikarma’ which starts from the spring and ends at Sangam near village Chhandil Wanigam (Tangmarg). The total distance of the parikarma is about 17 kms. There are 7 stops along the Parikarma.
* Pushkar (Holy Spring)
* Garud Ashram (Natural Water Fall)
* Nagbal (A Holy Spring).
* Hams Dwar (Small Lake)
* Sangam (2-3 Springs, yatris can have ‘‘Sharad’’ at this place).
Local people call this auspicious day of Pushkar Amavasya as Pushkar Divay.
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