Friday, July 15, 2016

Temple Heritage Series - Naranag

Naranag is situated in district Ganderbal near a village called Wangat. The temple town, was an important religious and trading Center during the Hindu rulers time. The temples believed to be in hundreds and now limited to 7, are situated on the banks of river kanakvahini. In Sanskrit Kanak means gold and vahini means carrier. It is said that the river carried gold pieces and that is how it derived it's name. It is believed that it was also a place for many alchemists to experiment here.

The temples were built primarily by Lalitaditya and has subsequent additions by many kings, prominent one being Avantivarman. The temples are located on the foot hills of Buteshwar range, now called as Butsher by local gujjars. While many people believe that Buteshwar means the God of bhoots (ghosts), the real meaning is the God of timeless time. The entire area is sacred to Hindus of Kashmir, as it on the foothills of the holy harmukh peak. The peak is seen as the manifestation of lord Shiva and has the holy lake gGngabal, the Ganges of Kashmir. The source of kanak vahini. The traditional route for Harmukh pilgrimage started either from Prung via chathargul or bandipora and the end was at Naranag. Due to security concerns, the Yatra now starts and ends at Naranag. The Sodaratirtha referred in the Nilamata Purana is among the scared tiratha in Kashmir Valley presently known as Nara Nag.

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