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Some facts about Durganag
11/21/2015 11:45:19 PM
Durganag is one of the oldest religious places of Kashmiri Hindus, which because of its spiritual sanctity has been attracting saints of highest order from time to time who would stay at this place for their elevation to the highest spiritual order. Inspite of its such a rich back ground, the place is in shambles at this time. Its pristine glory is entirely lost and it has become a commercial centre where unethical happenings bringing disrepute to the community have become order of the day. Earlier, one would consider himself lucky to visit this shrine and have a dip in the water of the holy spring located in its premises.
Highly disturbing reports about improper working of the Trust during last decade are in circulation highlighting stories of embezzlement, misappropriation, erosion of authority etc etc. Desecration of this place by allowing unholy things to happen during this period has brought shame to the community. All out efforts are made to conceal all these facts by those who were part of erstwhile management and continue to be there one way or the other. They have been manipulating that no new Trustee comes into replace earlier Trustees who have either expired or are not eligible to continue as such on various accounts. The Trustees who have made their entry into the Trust facing all odds have with the help of “Seva Dal” unveiled the previous misdeeds which could not happen earlier because working at that time was not transparent and everything was done in a hush-hush manner.
It is therefore high time that some facts about this temple are brought into the public domain to identify the measures that should be taken to restore glory of the place. These facts came to out notice during our visit to the place in the first week of July 2013.
Durganag temple finds a mentions in the Agama Literature of Kashmir as also in Kalahari's Rajtarangni. There are authentic sources of history which reveal the surrounding topographical description of the place. It is situated in between south-west direction of Durga-Gallika presently known as Drugajjan. In the western direction of this temple, there is a place which used to be called as Atri-Gallika, and is known as Ata-Gaji now. The land of this place (Ata-Gaji) belongs to Durganag. It has been forcibly occupied and constructed upon by inmical forces during 1976-77 AD. The great Atri Reshi of saga order had a long devotional penance at this place. In between Drugajjan and Ata-Gaji there stands a small hill lock known at Present as SULAMANTENG According to Rajtrangni king Sandheman of Kashmir used to have long yogic penance at this place
In The 8th Century, AD. the Great Adi-Shankrachariya Visited the valley and was so much over whelmed by its serene environment that in the Anand Lehari composed by him, he has boldly claimed that though in physical terms Kashmir forms forehead of India, the place is in spiritual cosmos. In recognition of this superb and scholastic exaltation, the people of Kashmir at that time nominated Rudra Jyeshata hill, the, northern side of present Shankrachariya hill and. Gopadarihill, its southern side after the name sacred Adhi Shankara, who laid foundation 01 Sharda Math at the end of 1407 AD,
Continuous raids however created total devastation and Shardha Math monks were forced to leave the place. This untold deterioration continued till end of 1861 AD when great Sanyasi Shri Shri 108- Bhaktananda with his disciple Shri Shri 108 Shirasantna Giri Ji Worked hard and re- united the monastery and the sacred place was given a new shape. During this process of rebuilding, a broken idol of Mata Durga was traced and a new temple to house the same was constructed. The ancient Shardha Math thus, got renamed as Durganag. An organization, namely "Shri 1108 Adi Shankracharya Sidha Peetha, Shri Durga Nag Trust (J&K) was founded by Swami Shivaratnand Saraswati" in the year 1939. The temple and its surrounding remained intact till great mahant Swami Shivaratnand Saraswati lived. 1950 on wards its normal nature and spiritual environment started declining. These clues to the historical background have been provided by Prof. T N Gangoo)
Assets of the Trust
According to the preliminary investigations the properties held by the trust are briefly described as under:-
In The Temple Premises: This is spread over approximately 3.5 Kanals of land which contains Temple (2) Holy Spiring (3) Shiva Temple (4) Mathra Devi Ashram (5) Meditation Caves (6) Havan Shala, (7) Langer (8) Samadhi of Swami Shivaratnananda Saraswati, (9) Two Chinar Trees with base and (10) One Memorial in the form of stmbh.
[6] Adjacent to the Temple:- In the year 1998, the trust decided to construct two Yatri Bhavans on the vacant land of about, 4 Kanals adjacent to the temple. The idea being that KPs visiting valley on various occasions should be able to avail affordable accommodation. Each of these Bhavans were planned to have 4 stories and anattic. With dormitories to enable yatries to live in groups to further reduce their cost of living while in Srinagar. The buildings were proposed to be provided with lifts. In order to raise funds to meet the cost of construction, it was decided that ground floor and first floor will be leased out for commercial purposes. This type of construction involved creation of parking space and some shops on the side lines. Constructions have been made and spaces sold out without any regard to the original plans. Three floors in each Bhavan have been used for commercial purpose leaving behind one floor and attic only for yatries. Even the space reserved for the lift has been leased out. Height of it is that guffas [Earlier used for meditation) also stand leased out. Approach to the temple is shrunk by creating space here and there for being leased out. An administrative block has also been constructed leaving limited space for public gatherings of devotees on religious occasions. The purpose of having Yatri Bhavans has also been Lost.
In The Vicinity Of The Temple:-Apart from two double storey buildings housing dhabas and some residential quarters. The trust owns about 38 Kanals of land in the vicinity of the temple which has been leased out long back to 25 parties as I
S. Name of the Tenant Land
No. Held
1. International Motors 9505
2. Mohd Yasin Bhat 1751
3. Vijay Kohli 9523
4. Kiran Dhar 1040
5. Rakesh Kumar 372
6. Vijay Dhar 4672
7. Jan Mohd 2552
8. Usha Amila 47840
9. Raman Kumar 1088
10. Riyaz Ahmed 90
11. Naresh Kumar 3229
12. Ganesh Kumar 4056
13. S.SJamwal 1888
14. Suraj Motors 9715
15. Ashi Ram Batra 28226
16. Ajaz Ahmed Katib 4530
17. N K Vashudeva 2484
18. Dharam Veer Bhatra 15344
19. Barat Motor CD 4284
20. Kashmir Motor Corp 20800
21. Hotel Rocks 3750
22. A.H, Shiekh 1783
23. Chander Mohan 7388
24. Gurdas Ram 10400
25. Ansari Motors 31200
[d] Assets at other places in Kmr.:-Avery high value site (around 33 kanals) belongs to the trust as Sangeen Darwaza Pokhribal. This land is adjacent to Badam Wari and is over looking Dal lake. In the same area about 4.5 Kanals belong to the Trust near Amar Kaul Temple. These areas available to the trust with all legal documentation have To be preserved developed and used for community purposes.
(E) Assets at other-- placed in-Jammu:-
About 5 Kanal and 10 marla^ have been recently purchased by the Trust at Barnai Jammu on which banquet hall, guesthouse, kitchen block etc has been constructed/Payment is also reported to have been made for 22 kanals in the Kot Balwal area, possession where of is yet to be taken.
Organization of the Trust:- All though the Trust has been started in 1939 no deed-to regulale its working was formulated and adopted at time. The first trust deed titled "constitution of Sh. DN Trust" has been registered in the year 1976. A second trust deed has been registered in the year 2007. It is surprising that both these deeds are operative, which creates confusion for smooth functioning of the Trust. Essentially, it is a religious Trust because the prime objectives of the Trust are
(1) to preserve and propagate Sanatan Dharma (2) to use the income raised for religious and charitable purposes and for maintenance and up keep of the temple with its allied structures (3) using the available accommodation for transit and other residential purposes by Sadhus and saints (4) promote undertaking of meditation to reach the higher alecons of self realization etc. Thus it has been rightly prescribed than the trust properties have to be used only by those who believe" in Santatan Dharam.
The trust comprises of 7 members including office bearers. In the previous management apart from the President, the Secretary and Treasurer would be one functionary only. The Trust would be controlled by two trustees only, apparently to facilitate collusion for misdeeds. Subordinate staff has also been functioning abnormally in absence of any defined rules and regulations. Most of this staff has made backdoor entry into the organization an appeasement to meet the vested interests.- The trustees as also the staff are involved in litigations which has put the whole governance in confusion with little or no scope for exercise of controls. However, a ray of hope has emerged with the group of Trustees who have newly entered the organization. Under the guidance of a new president the things will improve and the Trustee will be put back on the rails.
Some alarming facts which have come to the notice are briefly as under:-
n There are charges of misappropriation, embezzlement and mismanagement against the previous Secretary who would also function as Treasurer of the trust The amount involved is reportedly to be of the order of Rs. 5 Crores. Complaint to this effect is reported to have been lodged by other Trustees. Accordingly the secretary cum Treasurer has been charge sheeted to which he has not given any reply so far.
n The trust is not operating bank account for last two years and around Rs. 30 to 40 Lacs are reported to be unutilized, resulting in the loss of around Rs. 7 to Rs 8 Lacs on account of interest on this amount alone.
n Accounts of the Trust have not been audited for the last about three years. Audit of earlier years has also become doubtful as the auditors have denied of having conducted such an exercise or having signed any report in this behalf.
n Reportedly the Trust revalidited some of the Trust deeds which had expired in a most regular manner, obviously for vested interest, otherwise the occasion could be used to modify these deeds to suit the interest of the Trust.
n About 80% of the property has been allotted to the tenants who do not believe in Sanatan Dharma. This, is true about making of appointments also. In this manner a serious violation has been made of the objective of the Trust as enshrined in its Constitution.
n Banquet hall and structures related thereto constructed at Barnai are also in shambles and misused. Similarly nothing is known about the land purchased at this place reportedly for starting an educational institution. The sellers of the land do not acknowledge receipt of any money from the Trust and are denying handing over possession of this land. The erstwhile Secretary cum Treasurer is not prepared to give any explanation in this behalf.
n In the month of June 2013, a senior Trustee from Jammu claiming her self to be the President of the Trust on the basis of the authority given to her by the then Secretary cum Treasurer Visited Durganag with the objective of leasing out some premises in the Yatri Bhawan to one Sardarji alleged the on acceptance of an illegal gratification. Timely intervention of some well wishers did not allow her to succeed in her mission. The case has been registered with the police and the court has also restrained this Trustee as well as the then Secretary cum Treasurer from interfering in the Trust matters. Still surprising is that this lady Trustee while leaving back for Jammu locked one room of Yatri Bhawan and has also taken vehicle of the Trust along with herself using muscle power of her PSO and saying that she has a right on the vehicle because she has served the Trust for a long time. As already pointed our earlier these facts are brought to the public domain so that everybody keep a visual on the properties of the Trust worth hundreds of crores of rupees and for its commense heritage value.
--(Members Shri Mata Durganag Sewa Dal)
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