Verinag or Nilanag- A holy natural spring and a source of River Jehlum

The Verinag Spring and Garden lies nearly 80 km to the south-east of Srinagar, in Anantanag district of Kashmir. Kashmir has had many histories, that have been changing with every new ruler. And so does Verinag have. As per Hindu Mythology, the land of Kashmir was once a lake named “Satisar” Lake– the lake of Goddess Parvati. As the legend has it, it was at Verinag that Goddess Parvati was brought into light from netherworld by the mighty trident of Lord Shiva. Originally, the spring Verinag was named as “Nilanaga“, after the name of the son of Kashyap Rishi. It is said that the original form of the spring was circular (in the form of a Kund), which was later changed to octagonal, to suit the taste and style of Mughal architecture under the rule of Emperor Jehangir. As one enters the complex of Verinag, the first observation is holy Shivalangam in one of the arcs (to the left of the entrance). The other arcs around the spring have traces of the stone-carved images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The water of the spring flows down the garden facing it, therefore, adding beauty and grace to the whole structure. Kashmir, as one observes, has traces of God in the form of Shiva and Shakti. The Hindus who resided here were lovers and worshippers of Lord Shiva, primarily guided by the philosophy of “Kashmir Shaivism“, which was later adopted by the Western countries. The revered saint and Shaivite, Sri Swami Lakshman Joo, has been the key for taking Shaivism to the west, which led to the documentation and publication of books and DVDs across world. The recent history of Kashmir (from 1989 and till date)  has given a setback to the Hindus and followers of Hinduism. Once considered the land of spirituality, now lies with fragmented temples and neglected holy places, like Verinag. The state govt. is not so- bothered to restore the sanctity of such historical and holy places, which lay the base of Kashmir. Still, many Hindus visit Kashmir hoping some day their faith and land be restored. Om Namah Shivaya!

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