My Words: My Bhaderwah Journey

Written by Varun  Kotwal

Early in the morning at Jammu,  bags        were  packed, slippers were on,  ready  to drive to my home town Bhaderwah. When I started my car, breeze of snow clad mountains hit me on the face  and dragged out  my nostalgic memories        of missing  Bhaderwah.
My first stop on the way to Heaven on Earth is  a  Petrol pump,  near historic  Hari Niwas, the Palace. While my car was getting fueled  up, my imagination took me to  the days when this beautiful Palace was being built , I  couldn’t stop complimenting the King for this beautiful Palace, pride of Jammu . Suddenly, tank full sound from petrol pump worker put me in my place. Started  my journey once again , moving few kms  from Hari Niwas, I could witness the site of  River Tawi  giving me hope that till she is in Jammu, Jammu is safe . Suddenly to my surprise  a pack of monkeys stared at me with hope of getting something to eat from me and I didn’t break their hopes. When I reached holy Peer Baba on the way, my head bowed   in respect  and  I prayed for peace of my State and the country and safe journey ahead.

bhaderwah journey
Source: Facebook/ Discover Bhaderwah

On reaching Highway, sound of  ‘Wah’ , came out of my mouth.  What a beautiful highway!  I couldn’t stop myself from thanking government of Shri  Atal Bihari Ji who made this highway possible.  My journey  to Bhaderwah may had just began but my longing to meet my land had begun much earlier.  On the way,  first stop is at new bridge over Jajjar Khotli, I still remember days when  all my  school  picnics were destined to   this beautiful place but no such grandeur of that time  is left now, due to negligence of local adminstration. To  move away from such a sad scene, I continued my journey until I reached Maa Chandi temple on the highway and  paid  my respect  at the Darbar.
On the way, I crossed Manthal,  famous for its  achar, (pickles);  Udhampur city which is full of traffic and  I also ate, famous  Mama da nutri kulcha  Wow !, what a treat to my taste buds! My next stop was just few kms away from new Nasri -Chanani tunnel. What a beauty and marvelous gift of engineering to people of  Bhaderwah and Kashmir ! Entering into tunnel was like entering womb of ‘mother earth’ and coming out of it  was like taking new birth. This experience cann’t be explained in words and you have to visit, to have first hand experience of yourself. Finally, I  reached Bataote 80 km away from Bhaderwah,  whole weather changed, totally different from other side of tunnel, rolled down windows of my car,  switched   off  A.C,  temperatures was refreshing, weather was pleasant, driving  became fun, site and scenes of mountains and hills were eye catching, but still  I controlled my feeling and put my heart at right place and became more cautious as driving in hill is risky and deadly if not taken well care off.
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What a beautiful site in fornt of my eyes ! Sign board written in bold letters “Welcome to  District Doda”.  Ah, what a joyful feeling, inner happiness and feeling of contentment engulfed  me . Site of  mighty  Chenab river along side the road  welcomed  me, tall trees of Deodar  on the both side  of road  hugged me, I could not think of any other place as beautiful as My Bhaderwah .  My  people welcomed  me with open heart and opened arms as  it took me six  hours to reach  my place.  I decided to take rest and start over again next day. Next day I visited beautiful lake view  Gatha resort in the heart of  Bhaderwah, beauty at its best,  spent whole of my day in the lap of lake Gatha, next day visited Jai  meadows of heaven . The famous place  of  Bhaderwah  which you can’t skip  on your visit to Bhaderwah. The  Seoj  Dhar  another beautiful creation of God, the most famous tourist destination these  days is snow covered.  Padhri meadows  and Gulli Dana, every tourist and local visit these two places to witness utmost beauty of  Bhaderwah . There are many, many other places to visit in Bhaderwah. List is very long, you should  come and experience yourself and last but not the least don’t compare Bhaderwah with Kashmir. Bhaderwah is not mini Kashmir but it is  big  Bhaderwah, my land, and there can’t be any other place as beautiful as Bhaderwah on this Earth .

(Originally posted in Daily Excelsior )