Who doesn’t love traveling !! Almost every second person loves it and the reason being the great pleasure and a sense of satisfaction it gives. It is full of excitement and adventure either we travel to a picnic spot or to a religious place.
Every year I (CHINTU) and my friends go for darshan of Mata Pringla (some call it Pingla Mata) during the Navratris in the months of March-April. This temple is 60 kms. from our hometown Samba (J&K).
The holy shrine of Pringala/Pingala Mata is situated on a small hillock in village Pinger under Ramnagar Tehsil, about 20 Kms from Udhampur and has been gaining a lot of popularity since last few years. The Holy Shrine is about 6 Kms. from the village Kaua on the Domail-Ramnagar Road. The Shrine consists of a small cave where the divine power lies in the shape of Pindies. The cave of Pingala Mata seems to be a small hole from outside but from inside it can accommodate at least 500 people at a time. Though the journey is tough yet it does not tire the devotees because of scenic beauty throughout. The entire track consists of lush green pine trees which inspire the devotees to move on.
One famous story about this place is,once upon a time, some shepherds of Pinger village used to come to this jungle for grazing their cattle. A girl used to provide them food everyday but had warned them that this must not be disclosed to anyone. As a result of which they never used to feel hungry and never used to take the meals at home. Their parents were worried as to why they do not take meals at home. One day the parents followed their children and kept a close eye on them throughout the jungle. They saw a girl serving food to the shepherds who then disappeared in a nearby cave.
Another story is that, some hunters came to this jungle for hunting and they saw a lion entering the cave. They collected some firewood and burnt it at the mouth of the cave. But within no time the hunters were astonished to see that the lion came out of the cave after piercing the big rock. Then they entered the cave and saw Mata there. Light could be seen coming from this narrow hole in the cave from where the lion had come out.
The holy shrine is situated in a pine forest at an altitude of 1300 meters above the sea level.The holy location is quite far away from human settlement and is a real wonder when we see and experience it. The environment inside the holy natural cave takes you to another level. As per the beliefs, there are all 33 crore deities(gods/goddesses) inside it.
Last year, we also went to Pringla Mata Temple. The yatra starts from Manwal (starting point of the yatra with the “Holy Jyoti”) with great pomp and show. The devotees of Mata move ahead in a procession with a band and Dhol. Some Sevadhars reached at a particular stop in advance where they served water and Halwa-puri to the yatris.
There is no concrete way to reach the temple. On the way one may even have to climb the hills. The distance from Manwal to Bhawan is 16kms (approx.) and we travelled through thick forests and high hills singing the Jaikaras and Bhajans of Mata throughout our journey . After various hurdles and shortage of facilities, we reached PRINGLA MATA BHAWAN where the Mandir committee organized Bhandhara for all the devotees coming for Mata’s darshan.
First we took part in the HAWAN performed by the Pandits and then prayed in the temple inside the Cave and got blessings from Mata Pringla Devi. After performing Darshan of Mata, we all had the Bandhara in the Pandal.
There was a great rush of devotees at the Bhawan. The view of Bhawan was so mesmerizing, looked like as heaven on the earth surrounded with high mountains. The soothing atmosphere, the coolness of wind, the chirping of birds – all adds to the scenic beauty. After taking rest we returned to the base (Manwal) with devotion, enthusiasm, passion all filled in our hearts and souls.
Every year we feel some development is being done but undoubtedly Government really needs to speed up the development work in such kind of our cultural and devotional places where devotees throng in good numbers for Darshan of MATA PRINGLA DEVI with great devotion in their hearts.