Yatra which completes Shree Amarnath Yatra!

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Shree Buddha Amarnath temple is situated at about 25 kilometers on the north east of Poonch city and 245 kilometers from Jammu. This sacred place is located on the confluence of two streams namely Nallah Gagri and Pulasta Nadi. This place is surrounded by snowbound peaks, thick forests (in the eastern side), lush green pastures and crystal clear streams and nullahs. The climate of this spot is very pleasant and cool.

The original temple has been constructed with one big stone. There are four doors in the temple on the northern, southern, eastern and western sides which indicates that the doors of this shrine are open for all the four varnas. There is a natural Shivlinga of white stone (Chakmak) inside the temple. A number of ancient idols collected from nearby villages are also installed in the premises of the temple. The pilgrims first take bath in the holy spring of the temple and then enter the temple for prayers.

Every year, Shree Buddha Amarnath Yatra begins in the months of either July or August. The pilgrims are received by the people of Poonch in a function in the stadium of Poonch. The arrangements for their stay and meal are made by a committee appointed for this purpose. The Chari Mubarak Yatra starts from Dashnami Akhada Poonch towards Swami Buddha Amarnath Mandi two days prior to Raksha Bandhan every year. The yatra reaches the temple by the evening of the same day. The yatra is welcomed by stalls on the way and a fair is organized near the temple premises.

The main religious function is held on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan which is known as Mela Shree Buddha Amarnath Festival. Three days before the Mela, a havan is held at Dashnami Akhada. The procession of Chari Mubarak starts from Akhara in between the chanting of hymns. A beautifully decorated palanquin (palki) carries the sacred mace. Thousands of devotees and hundreds of Sadhus accompany the procession which leads towards Swami Budha Amarnath on foot.

This holy place has great religious importance. It is said that at this very place Lord Shiva had started narrating the Amar Katha to Parvati Ji which ended at Swami Amarnath located near Pahalgam Kashmir. This temple is considered older than the Swami Amarnath Ji of Kashmir. That is why the shrine is known as Swami Budha Amarnath. It is believed that one must visit this sacred place after performing the pilgrimage of Shree Amarnath Srinagar to complete the pilgrimage.

A number of legends are famous in and around Poonch city regarding this ancient temple. As per one legend, sage Pulast (the grandfather of King Ravana of Sri Lanka) meditated at this very place for a pretty long time. He was a devotee of Lord Shiva. The legend goes that Pulast meditated with such a devotion at Mandi that Lord Shiva gave him a Darshan at this very place. In the memory of Darshan of Lord Shiva, Rishi Pulast constructed the temple of Shiva and erected a lingam there. Since Pulast was a great sage and a sculptor, therefore, after his death the people converted this small temple into a shrine. Later on, this shrine took the name of Shree Buddha Amarnath.

The best thing about the sight of the shrine is that the shrine is easily accessible by road. Vehicles stop outside the main gate of the temple and the temple is open for the devotees throughout the year.

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