BHADERWAH - Machail yatra

Machail Yatra

Bhadarwah tehsil in Jammu province are dotted with a number of famous pilgrimage sites. These sites attract thousands of people every year from all over the country. (see video)

One such place which is thronged by devotees in large numbers is the shrine of Chandi Mata or Machail Wali Mata. “Chandi Mata” the goddess of benevolence showers blessing to all irrespective of caste, creed and colour. According to a legend, the Goddess Chandi appeared at Machail long years ago in the shape of Shila (Pindi). The mother came here from her ancient place Mindhal Battas (HP) to bless the simple, ignorant and helpless people of Paddar area. The Machail Yatra is a unique pilgrimage with unique features. Besides spiritual, its social aspect is more effective and impressive where the Goddess asks her devotees to shun social evils for the welfare of society and mankind as a whole.

The Yatra usually commences from Aug 18 every year from Chinote Bhaderwah. The route of the Yatra is Baderwah-Pul Doda-Thatri-Machail. It started as a family tradition by Thakurs from Chinote in 1980s has become a major Yatra in the District. The Yatra culminates in Chandi Mata Mandir in Machail. In Jammu, she has her origin in Mahalaxmi Mandir at Pacca Yatra at Jammu region starts with a religious procession which passes through Jain Bazar, Link Road, Purani Mandi, Raghunath Bazar and Indira Chowk and then joins the yatra at Chinote Bhaderwah.

On the day of Machail yatra, volunteers from Bhaderwah serve (called doing Seva) the yatris in Chandi Mata Mandir.The reach early morning at Chinote where they prepare lunch and prasad for those visiting from Jammu and other regions to join the yatra.

A number of buses carrying hundreds of pilgrims leave from Chinote and pass through Seri Bazaar Bhaderwah where the locals greet the yatris with luck for their yatra. The main stop over or reception stations over en-route are Bhala, Puldoda, Premnagar, Thathri, Kistwar, Paddar, Massu, Chishoti, Atholi Gulabgarh, Layondee, S Kunderpul, Hamooree and thence Machail Mata’s sacred temple. Through out the route religious congregation and Bhandaras are organized to highlight the importance of the yatra.

The holy shrine of the Goddess Chandi is situated at a height of over 8,000 feet above the sea level in Machail village in Paddar surrounded by high mountains, thick devdar forests and attractive meadows and world famous sapphire mines. The most attractive and historical lion astride idols of the Goddess Chandi and Lakshmi Ji made of pure silver are the rare sight and source of inspiration for the pilgrims who come to seek blessing of Mataji. The most important and impressive aspect of the Machail Yatra is the unique holy mace of the Goddess which leads the then pilgrims and provides strength and inspiration enroute.

The miraculous Machail Yatra to the hilly area of Paddar in district Kishtwar, is really a boon for the people who seek blessing of “Mata Chandi”. The pilgrimage has revolutionized the action and thoughts of the general public having faith upon the divine mother. The popular Machail Yatra has its historical, religious importance.

The Chandi Dham Machail has the distinction of the simultaneous appearance of Shiv and Shakti. On the one hand, the Goddess Chandi (Shakti) is blessing her devotees at Machail village while on the other hand God Mahadev Shiva appears on the opposite high mountain in the shape of lingam to provide darshans to the pilgrims on the pious occasion of the Shakti yatra. The mountain is called Shiv Pahad which often remains covered with black clouds. It is a unique union of Shiva and Shakti found at Machail.

The Machail Yatra has strengthened the spirit of religious tolerance, bonds of secularism and mutual brotherhood among the masses which is apparent from the fact that even our Muslim brothers greet the Yatra with due respect where-ever it passes, through their habitations

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