Chander M. Bhat

Kashmir has over the ages produced Saints, Rishis and Saint Poets who have influenced the course of spiritual and cultural history of this ancient land. Even in the days of political turmoil of the Pathans and the Sikhs they have been born here and have preached the religious tolerance and brother hood. These saints, rishis and saint poets have appeared in different ages and at different places, but they have left their imprint much beyond the confines of time and place.

Nidhan Kak temple at village Haarpur, near Murran, Kashmir
H A A R P U R a small village about 1 km to the South West of village Murran in Pulwama District enroute Deeri village was the last abode of ascetic Nidhan Kak. Nidhan Kak was a resident of Rainawari, Srinagar. Not much is known about the early years of his life. Pandit Anand Koul in his book “The Kashmiri Pandit” writes…………… ‘Nidhan Kak lived at village Murran (Awantipora Tehsil) and died in Samvat 1925’. The exact year of his settlement at village Murran is not known but it is more or less between the years 1836 to 1887. He had come to village Murran to earn his livelihood as the Bhat’s of village Murran were well off. He was employed in Pandit Paramanand Bhat’s (1836-1888) house for doing day-to-day work. During night he used to meditate and held spiritual disciplines (Sadhna) in the “Thokur-Kuth” (Pooja room). He dedicated himself to spiritual activity not known to anyone in the house though being so close to everyone.
Once, Smt. Poshmal, wife of Pandit Paramanand Bhat felt thirsty in the mid night and went to kitchen to quench her thirst. Smt. Poshmal while drawing near to the kitchen where Thokur Kuth fell on the other side got horrified to find the violent fire has engulfed the Pooja room. Immediately she rushed to her room and reported the matter to her husband who in turn got up quickly and rushed towards the Pooja room. He found to his surprise Nidhan Kak in deep meditation and an immense dazzling divine light in his room. Next morning in the early hours, Pandit Paramanand Bhat and his wife fell on the feet of Nidhan Kak and made obeisance. Nidhan Kak to avert the exposure of the truth shifted to Haarpur, where he spent the rest of his life. He selected a place amidst thorns and bushes at Haarpur and practiced ‘Sadhna’. He never allowed and publicity and was not a believer of ostentatious popularity. He was always calm, serene and throughout a bramachari. Nidhan Kak was always free from anger and very soft spoken.

It once happened, Maharaja Pratap Singh alongwith his bodyguards riding on horses were coming from Shopyan (the ancient Mughal road), Maharaja’s horse stopped and spurned to go further. Maharaja called the locals to enquire if there was any saint residing in the nearby area. The locals told him about Nidhan Kak and of his greatness and spirituality. He then straightway proceeded to Haarpur for having a darshan of this great saint. On reaching Haarpur, Maharaja alighted from his horse and went to the muddy hut of Nidhan Kak. He bowed before him and was much impressed by his spirituality. What transpired between them is not known. Maharaja allotted him a jaggir of 96 kanals of land at Haarpur. After reaching Srinagar, Maharaja deputed a few Hindu families from Srinagar to maintain the jaggir presented to Nidhan Kak. After 1947 maximum chunk of land went to tillers and it could retain very little and that too in the personal name of Babu Family, one of the families deputed from Srinagar.
Nidhan Kak’s muddy hut was so small that only one person could sit easily inside it. This muddy hut was built on the bank of small spring “Haarnag” with crystal clear water. After the passing away of Nidhan Kak, a relic “Khadao” (a wooden sleeper) was being worshipped. During the days of turmoil of nineties, the relic was removed by one of the Pandit member of village Murran, Shri Badri Nath who is still residing in village Murran and he continues to venerate and worship them in his Pooja room.

Haarnag, Kashmir
When Nidhan Kak left his mortal body, people of all the religions thronged after hearing the news of His attaining Moksha. The last rites were performed will full devotion. When the pyre was lit, single flame (Jyoti) rose high to the sky like a shooting star. A long stick used in his pyre….half burnt was planted upside down on the spot where his pyre was lit. I is now a full grown “Bran” (Banyan tree) to everybody’s surprise. The spiritualistic greatness of Nidhan Kak was now omnipresent in the form of the said Banyan tree, grown out of a dead burnt and without life, the pyre stick used to consign mortal remains of this great saint to the Panch Tatva.

Nidhan Kak’s death anniversary falls on “Bhemsen Aikadashi” in the month of Magha (January-February).

Nidhan Kak temple closeup near Murran, Kashmir
*Chander M. Bhat Born on March 20th 1960 in village Murran, Pulwama, Kashmir. Poems written in English published in various newspapers and magazines. Articles on various subjects also stand published. Two book in English “MURRAN …MY VILLAGE” and “OCEAN BY DROPS” stands published. Research papers on “Vitasta…. The Sacred River of Kashmir” and “The Splendour that is Amarnath” stand published in leading magazines. A book “Jammu and Kashmir…Origin and History” underway.

Presently working as Assistant Supdt. Posts and posted as Asstt Supdt. Posts (HQ), Udhampur,.

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The picture of Haarnag is simply fabulous and brings back the nostalgic memories. Thanks Chander Bhatji for sending such beautiful pictures of this beautiful Nag,
Added By Deepak Ganju
The article has been presently beautifully. Being a resident of Murran I alongwith my parents used to go to the temple. The article remided me my childhood days. Congratulations Pappuji.
Added By Dr. Neeru Bhat
Beautiful article. Anecdotes presented beautifuly. Great work by the author.
Added By Prof C.L. Saproo
My parents used to tell me the stories relating to this temple. The article is a masterpiece.
Added By Vimarsh Pandita
Articles like this will help us to preserve our culture. These articles should be encouraged.
Added By A.K. Hanjura
This article is an inspiring one and is surely being crafted beautifully by a very intellectual person.
Added By Mr. Tej Krishan Bhat
our heartfelt thanks for enlightining us with your articles from time to time . " A good action is never lost; it is a treasure laid up and guarded for the doer's need."
Added By Sunil Pandita
Very interesting and good article. Such articles should be published and encouraged.
Added By P.N. Pnadita
Author, Chander M. Bhat has landed us in the pious lap of Kashmir once again. His inclusions of photographs compell to shed a drop of tear due to acute nostaligia. Surprisingly, being a resident of a nearby village of Murran, I knew nothing about the seer of Nidhan Kak. Thanks Chander for adding to my knowledge.
Added By Adarsh Ajit
Satisar was full of saints,seers and sages always.We need to chronicle all of them and their deeds for our posterity as Bhat Sahib is doing.Commendable efforts.
Added By pushkar ganjoo
In fact there is tremendous need to document such seers of eminence and the place they belong to. The place you have reffered has been rich in people of eminence. Well done sir.
Added By subhash razdan
Hello sir I am from murran I appreciate your efforts
Added By Nayeem Ahmad