Shri Sheetleshwar Bhairav Mandir, Sheetal Nath, Sathu, Srinagar

Sheetleshwar Sheetalnath is a pre and proto sacred temple of the Kashmir. The existing temple faces west ad in its each and south direction the flow is of the “Chandra-Kulya” known now “Pstoot-Kulya”. In fact, in pre-historical period, the entire place was a high lake and was known as “Ahlaadmatt”, now the name is known as “Gunda Ahalmar”. Neelmata-Purana, the two thousand years old historical document mentions in its description the site of the temple- “Sheetleshwaram Sheetalnatha Vandi ahama Bharvam sadaa” – Here I pay my reverence always to Sheetleshwar Bhairava Sheetalnath. It is well established fact that Sheetaleshwar Bhairava is counted amount the Thirteen Bhairava of Kashmir, whose historical account according to authority of “Aanand-Tantra” – the sacred text of Tantra-literature. Among these thirteen Bhairava, the sacred place of the Sheetleshwar is reverenced most auspicious Bhairava. The “Sheetaleshwara – Mathaatmaya text” the historical account of the place, mentiones its sacred annual ceremony as – “Maagh maa se sete Pakshi Panchmyaam Shubhi Dine Sheetlashvara Bhairvayaagm Sambhavati Mahotsave” – On bright fortnight of Magha-month, the lunar day of fifth, the annual auspicious celebration is performed at locality of Sheetalnath Sathu Srinagar. The royal historian of Sultan Zain-ul-Abiden of Kashmir – Jonaraja mentions the names of Bhairava temples of Hetkeshvra and Sheetleshwara. Thus clearly confirms its importance during fifteenth century of Kashmir when the Kashmir was under the Sultan Rule. The ancient temple was destroyed during the period of Afghan Rule as mentioned by Mr. R. K. Parimoo in his history, after 1990, again the temple and main Hawan Shala, the ceremonial sacred fire place is totally destroyed and its neighbouring people has usurped its eastern position. This is the place and platform where Late Jawahir Lal Nehru, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and Mahatma Gandhi has addressed to Kashmiri people, so Sheetleshwar Sheetalnath is not only a sacred temple but it is platform of free expression of the people of Kashmir. This place has also witnessed the only resistance of modern Kashmiri Pandit Society during infamous “Parmishori Case” in which seven (07) members of our Community laid their lives and hundred of others were injured by the Atrocities of State for the dignity of the Community. Source : Dr. T. N. Ganjoo