BY AJAZ AHMAD MIR
The village of Narastan is situated away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located in Tral township in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, the hamlet is around some 50 kilometres from Srinagar.
Because of its breathtaking view it has been recently declared as tourist village.
The village is surrounded by the Himalayas and bound with natural beauty. It is full of scenic beauty and laden with tall pine trees, gushing rivers, meadows and mountains all around.
It has been successful in attracting domestic tourists from different areas. This place is meaningful to me because it is the part of the country where I grew up and is part of my childhood.
“Narastan” derives its name from Narayan Sthan which means place of Narayan. The place of Narastan is famous for its ancient Temple (Narastan Temple), Shrine of Shahi-e-Hamdan (R.A), Peer Panchal Top and the Tarsar and Marsar Lakes.
The Narastan village is famous for its ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is said to be more than 1400 years old. It is about 6 kms from Aripal tehsil.
One can witness gorgeous view of Bradiaangan range from here.
Architecturally, Narastan temple is a place of pride among many ancient temples of Kashmir. It is built with grey limestone and is circular in shape. It is built in Gandhara architectural style. Hundreds of tourists from all over India visit this historical temple throughout the year.
Shah e Hamdan shrine is another beautiful charming place situated on the Eastern side of Narastan village. It is said that Shah e Hamdan, also known as Ameer Kabir Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (R.A), once visited the Narastan and took a rest for a while and planted an Elm tree ( Brenn in Kashmiri language) here which is considered a sacred plant and holy relic by the people.
Besides it, there flows a beautiful spring. An interesting feature of this spring is that it has cold water in the summers and warm water in the winters. The spring contains fresh water to quench the thirst of people.
Peer Panchal Top
The Peer Panchal Top is a sacred religious place in the upper region of Narastan village. It is around 10 kms uphill from Narastan.
On the top of Peer Panchal there are the six Sadats (believed to be descendants of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W ) buried there.
Due to the burial of these Six Sadats the Peer Panchal got its name. Unfortunately the graves of these six Sadats are in bad condition because there is lack of any proper arrangement like the absence of any shed or a roof for these graves.
It needs special attention of the district administration. On the top of Peer Panchal the locals of Narastan have built an embankment around these graves some 40 years ago to protect these graves to some extent for the purpose of maintaining its religious importance.
The top of Peer Panchal is a vast area. From the top of Peer Panchal one can witnesses the panoramic view of whole Nagbaren area. It has many meadows and diversity of flowers.
In fact, it is a verdant place. One has to go by foot to visit the Peer Panchal top because the road facility from Narastan (Wantinard) to Peer Panchal is unavailable. It takes 3 hours by foot from Narastan to reach the peer Panchal Top.
On the way to Peer Panchal, one has to go through many valleys and mountains of Narastan area, some famous places are -- Puchil Nadigg Khoor, Dampathri, Rayildreed, Saki Nad, Gurkhan Hills, Howil Pather and the Hill of Kodihatt.
Brief description of these places:
Puchil Nadigg Khoor
Puchil nadigg khoor is the beautiful place on the way to Peer Panchal. It is about 2 miles away from Narastan. It is a breath-taking place. I used to go there, to enjoy solitude. I liked to go there to lay down on the grass, listen to the wind, kiss the flowers and watch leaves moving.
Dampathri is also a charming place on the way to Peer Panchal. It is about 3 miles from Narastan village. It is a beautiful famous picnic spot in Narastan area surrounded by mountains and laden with the tall pine trees and a beautiful river. After crossing this place comes the forest of Rayildreed, Bakerwall pathri, Sakinad and Gurkhan Hills.
Howil Pathri and the Hill of Kodihatt
After crossing the Gurkhan hills there comes a beautiful place called Howilpathri. It is a verdant valley and also a beautiful picnic spot.
After crossing this valley, there comes the hill of Kodihatt which one has to cross to reach Peer panchal top.
From the top of Peer Panchal one can experience the panoramic view of the Narastan village and the whole Tral area. The two famous lakes, Tarsar lake and Marsar lake are only few kilometres away from Peer Panchal top and around 22 kms from Narastan. It takes around 6 hours by foot to reach Tarsar lake and Marsar Lake from Narastan village. All in all, Peer Panchal is a place with supremely beautiful scenery.
A trip to Peer Panchal is truly a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.
In nutshell the magical place of Narastan is sure to rejuvenate one’s mind and body like nothing else.
Author is a student of Government Degree College, Tral and can be reached at: email@example.com
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.