PURMANDAL & UTTAR BEHANI

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» North India
» Jammu & Kashmir
Location : 39-km Southeast, Off The Pathankot Road, Jammu Region, J&K
Main Attractions: Rock Temples Of Purmandal
Presiding Deity: Lord Shiva
Also Popular As: A Picnic Spot

The imposing rock temples of Purmandal nestle in the Shiwalik range and are visible from a great distance. Maharaja Ranbir Singh, known for his patronage of art and learning, had planned to create a unique centre of pilgrimage. He named different spots between Purmandal and Uttar Behani, about 6½-km away, along the Subteranean Dewak River, after the different Teerthas (also spelt as Tirth or Tirthas) of the country.

He started a grandiose project to build a stately shrine at each of these spots. Only a few were completed before he died and his ambitious dream Purmandal ended with him. The ruins of the half finished temples and the material that was collected for the construction are still scattered around the wilderness nearby.

The Exquisite Wall Paintings
Another attraction of Purmandal is the large number of wall paintings on the walls of the old buildings. A huge, white marble bull and an outsize bronze bell beside some artifacts are among the attractions at Uttar Behani.

The temples at Purmandal have been built on a rock and a double basement has been cut out of the rock itself. The Dewak stream that flows at the base of this rock is considered to be very sacred by the Hindus. A hooded stone serpent jutting out of a cistern in the rock in the central shrine is an object of religious attraction, as it is believed to a unique manifestation of Lord Shiva. As the Dewak is believed to flow underground, people dig pits in the bed and bathe in the water that comes out devotees also take this water away with them as a sacred treasure. Nearby are several palatial buildings constructed by Maharaja Rangit Singh, Maharaja Gulab Singh and Maharaja Ranbir Singh.

Purmandal is reached by a regular bus service and is also a popular picnic spot.



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