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Kol Kandholi << Back

Kol Kandholi (Nagrota) is situated around 14 kilometers from Jammu. This is considered to be the first Darshan of the entire Yatra to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji. It is believed that Mata Vaishno Devi Ji stayed here for quite some time observing spiritual discipline. She is also believed to have played with small girls and gave them a bowl (known as Kol in the local language) when they felt thirsty. When the girls shook (known as Kandholana in the local dialect) the bowls at a dry place, water gushed out of it. Hence the name Kol Kandholi. It is said that Mata used to play on a swing with local girls. There is still a tree, where devotees have put up a symbolic swing, which is worshipped in memory of those days. The well, which was formed by the water gushing out of the earth, is present too and it never runs dry.

Legend also says that Mata Vaishno Devi Ji stayed here for a long time. At that time the legendary Pandavs (of the epic Mahabharat) were staying nearby in an Ashram with their mothers Kunti and Madri. Mythology claims that the Pandavs were born as Mata's blessings to their parents and they spent a fair part of their early childhood days serving Mata first at Kol Kandholi and then at the Holy Cave. The temple at Kol Kandholi is said to have been built by the Pandavs as a mark of their reverence for Mata.

Here too, the revelation of Mata is in a rock form (Pindi), which is said to have come out of the earth on the day. when Mata left this place on Her onwards journey to -the Trikuta Mountain. Since then She is worshipped here in this Pindi form.

Devotees have also built another temple nearby. It has very beautiful idols of Radha Krishna, Shiv and Parvati with Ganesh, Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati, Ram, Lakshman, Sita and Hanuman and a beautiful and unique rock structure said to be the map of the entire Trikuta Mountain. Another temple nearby has a Shivling with a Nandi outside. Yet another temple adjoining the Kol Kandholi complex has Darshans of Shri Satyanarayan with Lakshmi, Shivling with a Shiv idol and an idol of  the Mother Goddess.

Traditionally people used to stop here for some time (even overnight) and after Darshans proceeded further. Devotees used to organize Bhandaaras (free meals for all) at nearby places. Since the pilgrimage was done on foot or horses, Kol Kandholi served as one of  the most important halts during the journey in olden days.

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