Machail Mata ki jai !
The Machail Mata temple is Goddess Durga's shrine located in Village Machail, Kishtwar District of Jammu. The temple is a place of religious importance and worth visiting for the religious experience that it offers. Thousands of people visit the shrine every year though the pilgrimage takes place in the month of August only. A lot of supernatural happenings have been reported by the pilgrims.
The shrine was visited in 1981 by Thakur Kulveer Singh of Bhaderwah, Jammu region. From 1987 onwards, Thakur Kulveer Singh started 'Chhadi Yatra' that happens every year and thousands of people visit the shrine during this time of the year. Since then every year in the month of August, thousands of pilgrims all across the country and especially from Jammu, Udhampur, Ramnagar, Bhaderwah, participate in the religious journey and visit the shrine.
Gulabgarh located 290 km away from North-East of Jammu city, is the base camp. One can easily reach Gulabgarh either by taxi or buses which take approximately 10 hours. The foot journey which is around 32 kms starts from Gulabgarh and takes around 2 days to reach the shrine. They generally do the night stay in the villages Massu or Chasoti that come across where government as well as local people have made sufficient arrangements. Many villagers also organise roadside 'langers' in God faith. The Holy Yatra will start from Mata Chandi Temple Chanote Bhaderwah at 8.30 AM on August 18 via Pasri Adda, Seri Bazar, Udrana, Domail towards Pul Doda- Kishtwar and will reach Kishtwar at around 6.00 PM. The Annual Machhail Yatra to the famous shrine of Chandi Mata is a two-day journey from Atholi via Gulabgarh with a night halt at Chashoti. The famous Machhail Yatra starts from Bhaderwah Doda and ends at Machhail where the famous shrine of Chandi Mata is located. So, “Holy Chhadi”, takes 3 days to reach Machel as it is accompanied with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. Also the helicopter facility is available from Gulabgarh and the helipad is hardly 100 mts from the holy shrine.
- Postal address: “Machel Mata Shrine;PO Gulabgarh;Distt. Kishtwar;Jammu & Kashmir (India)”
- The base camp Gulabgarh can be reached by road 290 KMs from Jammu. From Gulabgrah one has to trek for 32 KMs to reach the Maa Chandi Shrine in Machel. The journey is taken 2 days.
- From Gulabgarh to Machel village pilgrims trek during daytime only. One may get lost if trekking in night.Better to hire a pithu (kulli) for your luggae and small children. He will act as a guide as well.
- If one is trekking with children, women and older person the jouney may take around 20 hours. Then break the journey at Massu or Chasoti VIllage in evening. Request the villagers for shelter and they will happily provide you with very nominal charge. Stay for the night and then start again next day.
- Helicopter service is available in the month of August only from Gulabgarh (base camp) to Machel Helipad.One can also avail helicopetr service from Jammu, but that will be costly, also one will miss many natural landcapes.
- The district administration has started necessary arrangements to make available drinking water, Electricity, Medicare, Transport, Roads, Security, accommodation reroute the holy shrine. In this regard all the concerned departments have been asked to make available all arrangements well in advance.
- It is also advised not to trek in the month of December, January and February due to incessant snowfall. One may get lost or trapped on the way.
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