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My Pilgrimage to Jwala Ji at Khrew

By Sunil Bhat

November 2011

Stunned to see the level of desecration, my elder son Ayushmaan began clicking his camera towards water point which is the source of the spring at Khrew where devotees would usually take a sacred dip before proceeding for darshan of Holy Jawala Ji temple. The spring as it is today, devoid of any of the splendid idols which were there even when my family last visited this holy shrine some 5 years back. Ayushman washed his face, offered the ritual puja towards non existing idols and asked me in choked voice, “Papa, Murtiyan Kahaan hai?”. Unmindful of the hurt we would have been through at the site of this devastated devasthan which was so aesthetically neat & clean in 1990, many young local Muslim boys started jumping into the water, swimming so acrobatically as if to show that they damn care for any such sensitivity which me and my son exhibited through a stony expression on our faces. So huge was the impact of their nmchalant attitude, that my mere standing near the shores of the spring was becoming unbearable to them. The complete anarchic condition of the Holy base point to my pilgrimage to Mata Jawala Ji at Khrew haunted me all the day. Bu that time I withdrew myself alongwith my family from the spring site, the young kids had overwhelmed the spring so heavily with their jumps and awful swin skirmishes that all the impurities which usually residing at the bottom of such water bodies were floating at the top. Whole site of the spring surroundings gave a pathetic look but for the satirical laugh from the naked youngsters at my hurried exit.

Jwala Ji

Wonderful landscaping of Mata Jawala Ji’s abode atop a hill lock looks magnificent. The maintenance of the temple is being looked after by a security force picket housed in the couple of tiny dharamshala rooms at the top itself.

Lot needs to be done to improve the facilities there. More than 300 steps need to be widened. Metallic support structure (Railings) along the sides of these stair steps is urgently required. Major portion of the sanctum sanctorum is a wooden structure which is fraught with risks. This wooden structure has already lived a considerable period of age. It needs to be changed into present day heavy duty construction material so as to provide stability to the sacred shrine building. There is an urgent need to build a shed/hall and some additional rooms of dharmashala.

Mata Jawala Ji is our Isht Devi and so is She to a large number of Kashmiri Pandit families living throughout the country at present. Every such devotee may visit the shrine at his or her own convenient sojourn dates. May be things would be better next time.

In the evening I rang up one of my colleagues and got the contact number of the President of Mata Jawali Ji Prabhandak Committee Khrew Sh. Maharaj Krishen Raina, who happens to be a close acquaintance of mine.

I requested Sh. Raina to reactivate the Prabhandak Committee so that the property of the shrine is saved from further encroachments. I also requested him to think upon taking certain possible measures where the issues concerning the shrine properties are put in broader perspective before the Prabhandak Committee .

Immediate reactions from the President Sh. Raina were very encouraging. In fact Sh. Raina remarked that he owes his life to the blessings of the Mata and as such would love to undertake any such duty on priority.

So on the initiatives of Sh. M.K. Raina, a meeting of the members of the Prabandhak Committee Jawala Ji temple Khrew was called on 14th August 2011. I was also invited. Many suggestions regarding the facilities which can be upgraded by the involvement of the committee were deliberated upon. I urged the Prabandhak Committee to utilise means so that an effective awareness campaign is launched about the importance and sanctity of Mata Jawala Ji. I also requested them make people aware of the present day conditions of the Devasthan. To utilise the service of more and more innovative people for resurrecting the grandeur of the Holy Asthapan. I have suggested for organising an event (may be a convention) where scholarly people, representatives of Dharmarth Trust, and journalists be involved jointly to evolve a mechanism under a planned project so that the shrine becomes a religious tourist destination in the years to come.

I owe my personnel gratitude to Sh. M.K. Raina for respecting my sentiments and reactivating the Prabandhak Committee. Some initial decisions to start some urgently needed works have been taken. Hope Mata Jawala Ji help all of us in our effort so that grandeour of the Shrine.

Jai Mata Di.

Source: Kashmir Sentinel

 

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