By Sanjeev Nayyar | 2014

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We were at Anantnag till about 6.30 pm. I was keen to go to Verinag because it is from where the river Jhelum starts (was so much in the news as cause of 2014 floods in Srinagar). Itis atleast 30 kms from Anant to Verinag, was pitch dark. We checked into the J&K Tourism Hotel. Lovely rooms but thought Rs 800/ for a double room was high considering it was off season. U see the kund from where Jhelum starts.

End of pic U see three dome like structures. Seen similar domes in Dilwara Temples, Mount Abu. We were told there that temple Shikhara was demolished to prevent Muslim invaders from knowing a temple existed to prevent its destruction. Ditto in Belur Temple where temple was covered with sand. See pic number one of Dilwara Temples Click here

Kund is at base of a hill ie full of deodhar trees. Along the circumference of the kund the structure has niches. Do note as next caption relates to that. ''Rajatarangi?i wrote in the 12th century that Verinag Spring in this text is known by the name of Nilakunda.''

Sculpture that was found in only one of the niches referred to in earlier pic. Lady in namaste posture. Is it correct to presume that similar stone sculptures existed all around the kund. Wish someone could throw light on this and write back.

Left of pic is from the water flows out of the kund into a stream that you shall see later. Rajatarangini wrote ''That (land) is protected by Nila, the lord of all Nagas, whose regal parasol is formed by the circular pond (of the Nilakunda) with the Vitasta''s newly rising stream as its stick. There Gauri, though she has assumed the form of the Vitasta, still keeps her wonted inclination.''

Kund has lots of fish. The lady is feeding the fish with dough. This is a custom that I saw throughout Jammu region and now in the Valley. Nag means ''water spring''.

There is well laid out garden here, at the foot hill is the kund. Early morning pic. According to Wikipedia octagonal tank made by Mughal King Jahangir in 1620. To read Click here

This is what the Jhelum water stream enters into. I wondered how this stream, even when joined by smaller rivers enroute journey to Srinagar, could cause such floods in 2014. Got to know later that rampant constructions over outlet channels built by the erstwhile Maharaja caused the waters to rise 20 to 30 feet. Play with nature at your peril is a lesson that we human beings refuse to learn. To know what possibly caused the 2013 floods in Garwhal read Kedarnath: Wrath of the Devas Click here

Overview of garden at Verinag from J&K Tourism Hotel.

Bottom of pic is river Jhelum, in centre is garden and green roofs that u see at end of pic are the rooms where we stayed. It was very cold in Oct. Rooms were cozy with free flow of hot water. Downside when we reached around 7.30 pm there was no food in the hotel. Sarathi Bishen bought dal from the market and cooked for all of us.

View of garden. Wonder why did not see such a pretty well maintained garden like this in Rajouri, Kishtwar or even Jammu (one near Bahu Fort is not comparable). We used driver Bishen Sharma 9797350725, 9419896745. Vehicle is well maintained and he drives himself. Post the 1800 km drive with us he has now covered the Jammu region exhaustively, Valley he had done earlier. Good guy.

Flowers add color and warmth. To see pictures of Children of Arunachal Pradesh Click here

Some more flowers. To see pictures of Thrissur Puram Festival Kerala Click here

Right of pic just outside Kund is a Shiv Temple that you see. It has a lingam and seemed under active worship. Since temple was locked we did Pranams from outside. To see pictures Shiv Temples in India Click here

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