The ignored sister of Kashmir

Scenic beauty of Bhaderwah ( picture credit: @The_Bhaderwah via Instagram)

Recently I saw an interview of the Assistant Director and main male lead of the movie “No Fathers in Kashmir”. They were talking about the locations where they shot the movie and mentioned London, Himachal, Kashmir and then they said “BHADERWAH” – the Chenab valley.

The ignored outskirts of Kashmir, the hills which surround the valley; our Bhaderwah, ignored and beautiful. A few days back someone was talking with me about the beautiful locations of the famous movie “Noorie”. It was shot in Bhaderwah too. Some
officials claimed that permission was not taken to shoot Noorie in Bhaderwah. The directors and producers faced legal actions because of this incident and no one from the film industry came back here.
Bhaderwah’s beauty is still unexplored and getting badly neglected. Betrayed by its very representatives. the Chenab valley project is going on with snail’s speed and people of Chenab valley are facing numerous issues related to roads, education, health but still they are always smiling. Most of the youngsters migrate from Bhaderwah to Jammu for education. Being one of them, it gives me great pleasure to talk about my hometown and a similar heartache to think about the place and its conditions even now.

Bhaderwah main city view (Picture credit The_Bhaderwah via Instagram)

A year back when I was in Bhaderwah I saw some Punjabis enjoying the heavenly weather of Bhaderwah. After every ten minutes, the Sardar ji yelled “Aye, haye swad aa gya” and I was filled with happiness at seeing the Punjabi family marvel in the weather and scenic beauty of Bhaderwah. Though the kid Sardar ji was getting tired because of long trekking but still they were posing enthusiastically for the photos and their “Oye hoye” was filling me with laughter. When the Sardarni ji saw the clouds near her face, she was mesmerized and shocked and she cried with joy. They were telling each other “Let’s stay here forever”, such is the beauty of Bhaderwah.

I recently saw a Mumbaiker come to Bhaderwah and being in awe of the wonderful place yet complaining about the roads. Very few people know about this treasure of Jammu and Kashmir. The irony is that many people who belong to the state of Jammu and Kashmir have never explored this beauty and have only eaten the famous Rajma through their Bhaderwahi friends.

pic credits – thesmalltownrider

Bhaderwah is regarded as the land of Lord Shiva and Nag Devta where Hindu and Muslim communities live together with a great bond of love. Greenery, mountains, hills, rivers, fountains, pines, chinars, almonds, walnuts, apples, wild tulips, beautiful Flora and fauna along with the risky roads is worth exploring.

How many of you know that Bhaderwahi people have translated Geeta, Mahabharata and Ramayana in Bhaderwahi? Chenab valley is the most ignored part of Jammu and Kashmir still it tops in literacy. There are so many historical traces here related to Hindu mythology. The Gupt Ganga in Bhaderwah is believed to be the place where Pandavas of Mahabharata lived while there final journey. From Bhaderwah Pandavas moved to Kashmir according to the religious beliefs. There are routes to Srinagar and Himachal Pradesh from Bhaderwah which are known by only the locals. Bhaderwahi people reach Himachal for the yearly Manimahesh yatra (Lord Shiva) by foot through these routes which are only known by them.

Temple near Gupt Ganga in Bhaderwah ( Picture credit @The_Bhaderwah via Instagram)

Life  is slow and hard here, the mountains and rivers are calm and peaceful. It is famous as “Chota Kashmir” but it is Bhaderwah – the ignored sister of Kashmir, living peacefully believing “Ignorance is bliss”.  But is it?

Scenic beauty of Bhaderwah during winters( Picture credit The_Bhaderwah via Instagram)
(photo credit @The_Bhaderwah via Instagram)

The article is written by Renu Kotwal, a student of Central University