Baba Buddha Amarnath shrine is one of the oldest shrines of Jammu region. The splendid and holy temple of Baba Buddha Amarnath is located in the village of Rajpura in tehsil Mandi of Poonch district.
This temple is also known as “Chattani Baba Amarnath temple” which stands erect at 290 km in the North-West directionof Poonch. This temple place is blessed with picturesque surroundings, located at 4600 ft. above sea level. The River Pulsata flows by the temple, is considered to be sacred where pilgrims take bath before entering to the temple.
This is a unique Shiva Temple which is located on the foot hill and not on the hill top and secondly the Shivling of white stone is not self-made.
It is a popular belief among the Hindu community that without visiting Baba Amarnath shrine, their Amarnath Yatra cannot be completed. Hindu community living around the temple is loyal and have undying faith towards the temple. They have immense faith in the temple and contribute to maintenance of the famous shrine of Baba Amarnath.
A mythological legend is associated with the river and it has been named after Rishi Pulsata, grandfather of Ravana, it is said that Pulasta Rishi performed his tapasya and thus is known as Pulsata stream.
Like all ancient temples and shrines, Baba Amarnath temple is also enveloped in legends and myths. A famous legend in Hindu mythology held that Lord Shiva enlightened Goddess Parvati about the secret of life and eternity in this holy temple. The other formations of ice found and worshiped in the temple are replica of Shivaand Parvati’s son, Ganesha. People who come to visit this temple for completing the Yatra actually come here to worship a Lingam made of ice stalagmite. Another legend related to this temple held that King Aryaraja in Kashmir worshipped a Lingam made of ice.
In the book Rajatarangini, it is mentioned that queen Suryamathi had gifted sacred emblems like banalingas and trishuls to this temple. There are many manuscripts and ancient texts found in the temple, which gives references of similar incidents. Another legend which is popular among people of the region is that it was in Panjtarni when five elements namely – sky, fire, air, water and earth was left by Lord Shiva. It was here that Lord Shiva performed Tandava dance, which was a symbol of sacrificing the earthly pleasures. After that along with Goddess Parvati, LordShiva entered the holy temple of Baba Amarnath. Amarnath region boasts about the legends and myth of Lord Shiva and Parvati.
Also the legends go as Chandrika Rani of Loran who was a true devotee of Lord Shiva would unfailingly go for her annual pilgrimage to Amaranth beyond Srinagar. One year when she could not undertake the pilgrimage on account of feudal wars in the region, she grew desponded and sad. She was so dejected that she gave up food and water and kept praying to the Lord. Then, Lord Shiva appeared before the Rani in the form of an old Sadhu and told her that Mahadeva has accepted her devotion and shifter below the Loran Mountain on the banks of a stream. The Rani collected a large gathering and set out in search of Amaranth ji. The Sadhu led the devotees to a projection of the Chakmak Rock in the form of a Shiva Linga. The shrine was constructed by the grateful Rani and other devotees at that spot and came to be called Budha Amaranth after the Sadhu.
Every year a ten-day Yatra to the shrine is organized in the most splendid and grand manner that ends on the event of Purnmashi, which is the day of RakshaBandhan. The chhari yatra for the first time was started by Raja Moti Singh of Poonch. During the Yatra days entire region drools in a festive mood while joyously celebrating the festival.