Aparneswar Temple, Mantalai: The Birth-place of Mata Parvati in Jammu
The ancient temple of Lord Shiva, also known as Aparneswar is located near Mantalai Lake. This is the place where mother Parvati was born and got married to Lord Shiva.
The main shrine is very small and having an idol of Parvati as kanya. Another set of idols of Shiva and Parvati together and Shiva, Parvati and Ganesha is also found. However, the shiva lingam is the main idol of the temple. There are two idols of Nandi, the bull god facing the shrine. One divine rock (patthar) related to the wedding of Parvati and Shiva can also be spotted in this shrine.
Jammu and Kashmir attracts people from all over the world for its presence of religious temples and striking scenic beauty. Sudh Mahadev Temple and Mantalai Temple in Udhampur district are considered sacred.
It is 42 km away from Patnitop and it is 120 km away from Jammu. A few kilometres farther you will find Mantalai Temple at an elevation of 1450 metres from the ground, surrounded by deodar trees. The surrounding area is peaceful.
During festivals and fairs people visit this temple to just listen to the songs sung by the sages and saints. These songs are dedicated to love shared between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. This temple is of great archaeological significance as red earthenware and terra cotta figures were discovered at this place.
This shrine is quite small and it has an idol of Goddess Parvati as kanya. There are sets of idols of Lord Shiva and GoddessParvati together and also Parvati and Ganesha together riding on a bull called Nandi. Two idols of Nandi face the shrine. There lies a divine rock that is a sign of the marriage. Five kilometres away from the temple you will find a way through the woods to Naina Devi. This spot offers great views of the mountain landscape in the surroundings. The breathtaking views from the hill top make this place worthy of a visit.
It is said that Goddess Parvati was born at the location of Mantalai Temple. It is also believed that Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati here.
Best Time to Visit
Mid-June is considered to be the best time for a pilgrimage during the period between full moon and Chaudash. To make it more sacred, pilgrims are recommended to visit the temple between Punya Jayeshth purnima and Vayas purnima.
The city nearest to this temple is Patnitop. Tourists can avail accommodation facilities here. Budget as well as luxury hotels are available here. Oasis Resort at Patnitop has good staff and the location is great too. The hill side rooms are great options if you want great views. Sushant Hotel at Patnitop is popularly known for its world class service and affordable room rates. Jai Skahan Hotel is purely a budget hotel and offers inexpensive leaving. The hotel staff is friendly and cooperative here.
Other than these a few other renowned hotels are Holiday Inn Hotel, Greentop Hotel, Forest view Hotel and Vardaan Resort. All these hotels are well-known for their quality of service and the extra amenities that they offer to the guests.