Kalka Mata Mandir
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Kalka Mata Mandir
The melange of culture has gifted the Reasi District with many popular religious places. There are many historical places in Reasi that have been beautifully and tastefully crafted and have ever since remained the talk of the state and country. While some owe their fame to their elegant structures, many have found glory by being wish-fulfillers. However, there are indeed few places that are known for surviving through a period of demolition and there are still few that remain special for the devotees for no reasons other than faith.
Kalka Mata Mandir, a temple of Mata Kali is located on the hill top close to Bus stand Reasi. This temple is situated in the heart of Reasi in Kalka Nagar, a locality that has derived its name from the temple and is located opposite Govt. Girls Higher Secondary School Reasi. The name Kali means She, who is Beyond Time. She is considered as a berserk form of Durga/Parvati, who is consort of Lord Shiva. Kali Maa is simultaneously portrayed as the giver and destroyer of life. She is the mother of the world and the treasure-house of compassion. She is considered as the primordial mass from which all life arouse.
Kalka Mata Mandir is amongst the oldest and the most revered temples of Reasi. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Kalka or Kali, an incarnation of Durga. Kalka Mata is presented there in the form of a rock. It is believed to be the holy shrine where one gets the blessings of Kalka Mata for the fulfillment of one’s desires. The popular belief is that the Goddess is noted for getting the unmarried girls married, protecting the devotee from enemies, helping businesses flourish, getting employment and in general extending prosperity to all the devotees. Few years ago one has to traverse 200 meters distance on foot to reach this temple. But now the temple is also accessible by private transport and one has to go via Nai Basti chowk to reach the main temple on vehicles. The general belief is that the image of the Goddess Kalka here is a self-manifested one, and that the shrine dates back to Satya Yuga.
Devotees attend the Kalka Mata Mandir throughout the year, but the culmination point of their prayers and celebration comes during the festival of Navratri twice a year. This is a nine-day Hindu festival, in Spring and Autumn during which a large number of devotees visit this holy shrine. Devotees gather and sing various hymns and songs praising the Goddess Durga.
As per the Pandit Bhaskara Nand of Kalka Mata Mandir , the temple was built around 150 years back , when his ancestors came to Reasi from Uttrakhand . The story of kalka mandir backs to British regime , when they ruled the whole India. Pt Jagat Ram was a Subedar in British army. He was from Kelad Village of pauri garhwal district of Uttrakhand. He was going to Quetta ( Now in Pakistan) with arms, ammunition and treasures to deliver it to British Officers present there . But in the mid way , he was robbed by Qwayali robberers. Due to the fear of his death , he ran away from there and came to Jammu. At that time Maharaja Ranbir Singh ruled the Jammu province and it was totally a princely state . Pt. Jagat Ram came to Maharaja Ranbir Singh and begged him to save his life from Britishers as all the treasures, arms and ammunition which they handed him to deliver at Quetta was robbed by dacoits. The maharaja of Jammu took pity on him and provided him with accommodation at Raghunath Temple Jammu.
One night while sleeping, he saw Goddess Kali in his dream who told him to come to Reasi and take care of her temple there . Pt. Jagat Ram told about the entire situation and his dream to Maharaja Ranbir Singh. Its renovation was then restarted during the reign of Maharaja Ranbir Singh son of Maharaja Gulab Singh who ruled the Jammu and Kashmir state . At that time the temple was in very bad condition. But now the temple is beautifully and well crafted. Pt.Baskara Nand also said that nine goddesses present there are in the form of nine pindis.
The temple is a small one, which cannot accommodate more than a dozen people at one time. The Dogra rulers as well as Reasians hold it in high esteem and now a days heavy rush of devotees is seen here daily. During Navratras, the people have to wait for at least 2 to 4 hours or even more for having darshan of the Kalka Mata.
Many local girls visit the temple premises during early in the morning and the pilgrims worship them as kanjaks and pay them sweets, bangles, chunnies and money etc. A number of Langers are arranged by devotees of the Goddess to serve parshad among the devotees. Locals of Reasi have a staunch belief that Kalka Mata has always protected Reasi city from mishappenings..
They further believe that every desire is fulfilled by visiting shrine of Kalka mata. There are some other temples adjacent to the main temple which are built by the local devotees . There is Hanuman mandir, Shiv Mandir, Shani Mandir and Shitla Mata Mandir which are also visited by the devotees in large numbers. One can see the impressive view of Reasi city from the Kalka Mata Mandir. Government of J&K should have to take necessary steps to highlight and boost these hidden religious spots. The scenic spots located in remote mountains would be great attraction for lovers of nature if basic facilities of road connectivity, accommodation and logistics were available.