In the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, stands a hill that epitomizes the unity in diversity and religious tolerance of present-day Kashmir. Hari Parbat, literally translating to “The Myna Mountain” also known as Kooh-e-Sulaimaani and Pradyumna Peeth, overlooks the city of Srinagar housing the temple of Sharika Devi, the presiding deity of the city.
The cultural heritage of Kashmir and its religious diversity is depicted in the presence of the following on Hari Parbat -
1) Sharika Temple: Sacred for the Kashmiri Pandits, Shakti is worshipped here as Jagdamba Sharika Bhagwati depicted with eighteen arms. On her birthday, a sacrificial offering called taher-charvan, which is turmeric rice cooked in oil and salt along with cooked liver of a goat, is made. Recently the Muslims adopted this ritual as well, to symbolise brotherhood.
2) Sufi Shrines: The shrines of the Sufi saints Hamza Makhdoom and Shah Badakshi, also stand on the southern slope and side of the hill.
3) Gurudwara: The Chatti Patshahi, Rainawari at Kathi Darwaja, is one of most significant gurudwara in Kashmir. The sixth Sikh guru, Guru Har Gobind, is believed to have preached and stayed here when he passed through Kashmir.
4) Durrani Fort: Emperor Akbar started building this fort in 1590 starting with its outer wall, for a new capital town, but didn’t finish it. The fort was later completed in 1808 by Shuja Shah Durrani. The iconic Kathi Darwaja is the main entrance to the fort.
Legends and historical stories form an important part of the heritage of Jammu and Kashmir. Hari Parbat is no exception to this. The legend goes that Kashmir used to be a lake called Satisar wherein the Nagas resided. A water demon, Jalodbhava, grew there and terrorised the peaceful inhabitants with his cannibalism. A great sage and descendant of Brahma, Kashyap, in a long penance to Lord Vishnu, prayed to rid the lake of its demon. Lord Vishnu drained the valley of its water thus killing the demon. On the sage’s request, the Nagas invited humans to inhabit the valley and apparently, this is when the first human civilisation began in this beautiful untouched land.
Another story goes that, Chand and Mund were two demons who terrorised the people of the valley. The Gods called upon Shakti, who in the form of a Myna (Hari) threw a pebble on the demons which grew into a mountain, known as Hari Parbat today.
Share these mystical stories with your children and family during your visit to the famed hill. Enjoy the scenic beauty of his heavenly land from your houseboats in Dal lake, a unique stay offered by Club Mahindra or stay at R. K. Sarovar Portico, Srinagar, a Club Mahindra affiliate resort. Club Mahindra reviews stand testimony to the high standards of service maintained, irrespective of personal preferences, location and type of living arrangements. To get a glimpse of how our members enjoy their holidays, have a look at these Club Mahindra reviews.