The legend of Seetla Mata Temple, Rehoshera, Bhaderwah


Perched on a hillock called Rehoshra on the Eastern side of Chinta valley is the ancient Seetla Mata temple. Till recently, an old time dharamshala also existed here, but when militancy broke militants loaded with communal frenzy burnt the ancient structures without destroying the faith of people in Mata though. A grand temple is on anvil, which will soon come up with money collected from the followers of the Mata. Poojaris who belong to nearby village Sunarthao have been performing worship of the Mata since time immemorial though during harsh winters the pooja has to be abandoned when the hill is covered by heavy snow.

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There is an ancient idol of Goddess Seetla in the temple. People both local as well belonging to adjoining Chamba and Kathua throng in large numbers to pay obeisance to the Mata throughout the year, but the main function is held on 8th Navratra falling in September/October every year when hundreds of lambs are sacrificed and their mutton distributed, cooked and eaten as prashad.

On the nearby Jantroon Dhar about a couple of miles away from Rihoshra is a pond of crystal clear water. It is situated at the highest portion of the hill where chances of water coming from around are bleak. Still the pond remains full of water throughout the year. Surprisingly, there is a thick sheet of grass spread over the surface of the pond and holes have been made in the grass sheet through which devotees hang themselves to have a dip of holy water.

It is believed that fairies bathe in the pond and to hide themselves from human eyes they have woven the grass sheet over the surface of the pond. People in large numbers from the surrounding villages reach for taking a dip in the holy water on full moon day of Sawan( July-August) every year.