Monday, August 30, 2010

Moungri Cave Shrines in Panchari Block of District Udhampur

Moungri Cave Shrines in Panchari Block of District Udhampur

The village Moungri is a small village nestling in the Panchari Block of District Udhampur. Number of natural Shrines found in this area, a few of them are discovered while lot of them are still to be explored. 

One such shrine was discovered by a local Advocate, Shri Swatantra Dev Kotwal on the 14th September, 1998. The shrine, known as Shiv Parvati Cave Shrine, is consists of two caves of approx. 20 & 25 feet long. 

The main attractions of the Holy Shrine are nine and half feet high naturally formed rock Shiv Lingam being guarded Shesh Nag, Joint Parvati Lingam on the left along with the Damroo beat at right, Nandi, Shankhas, Amrit Kund and countless images of other deities of Hindu religion.

In the ancient times the village Moungri was known as Sonara. The word Sonara means a land of hundred water springs. In Dogri language, water spring is called Naaras. According to the legend, it was an abode of  Nag Devta (King of the snakes), and once hundreds of natural stone made water springs used to flow. Still at present number of such water springs found in the area.

According to another ancient legend, associated with the Kansar Shrine, a small stone shrine of Lord Shiva was discovered by an irate local villager. To remove the impediment in the process of cultivation, agriculture being the mainstay of the local population, the stone structure was uprooted and flung into the Kansar stream. But as soon as this was done calamity befell on the helpless villagers. Then the shrine was hurried retrieved from the rivulet bed and a temple was erected on a nearby hilltop by the rural folks. The temple still stands as a testimony to their labors,

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