River Tawi is the lifeline of Jammu. Jammu city developed around her banks. It is the same Tawi, which gave Jammu railway station its name- Jammu Tawi. Here is a folk story about the origin of the Surya Putri Tawi:
- Surya Putri Tawi or Tawishi, as called in Puranas, later came to be known as Tawi. It is said that Pehd Nag, the son of Vasuki Nag (the king of serpents) brought Tawi to Jammu.
- He brought forth the river from Kali Kundi glacier of Bhaderwah to cure his father with the help of Kalika Mata and another illustrious folk-god and legend, Baba Kaliveer.
- Vasuki Nag, in return, handed over the kingdom of Jammu to Pehd Nag.
- The folk tale could arguably be called as historical as Naga kings did rule over parts of North India. It is also a fact that they were worshippers of Serpents.
- Another fact with solidifies the historical authenticity of the story is the presence of Shaivism which was prominent in regions of our state since ancient times.
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- The first incidental mention of the myth of Baba Pehd appears in the historical account of Dogra rulers in Rajadarshani, written in Persian by Ganesh Das Bhadera.
- A large number of Rajput as well as other clans of Jammu region still worship Baba Pehd Devta as well as Baba Kaliveer as kuldevta, or ancestral diety.
- A devsthan, or shrine, of Baba Pehd Devta is situated in Nagrota and is a centre of unwavering devotion of many Dogras.
It is expected of us Dogras to read more about our folk heroes and legends so as we don’t forget our roots.