Mindal Yatra- A journey to faith–Rajni Devi
Mindal is a small village on the bank of river Chanderbagha in Pangi Valley, District Chamba of Himachal Pradesh. It’s about 360 kilometers from Jammu via kisthwar. This small village is famous for a historical temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. The Goddess is locally known as Mindal Mata after the name of the place. Every year, five days Yatra to this place commence between 10th of June to 15th of June. Thousands of devotees from all over the country seek blessings of Mindal Mata during Yatra.
How to reach : To reach Mindal from Jammu, one have to travel first to Gulabgarh in Padder Valley and from there one have to travel to pangi valley in Himachal pradesh through a narrow unsurfaced road which goes parallel to river Chanderbagha crossing the border of Jammu and Kashmir. The Pangi valley is blessed with natural beauty. While traveling through valley by one of the most dangerous road to reach Village Mindal one can find beautiful waterfalls, bushes and climbers laden with flowers, skytouching Deodar trees, snow covered mountains, lush green fields and fiercely flowing water of Chanderbagha.
History of the Place: According to mythical story, the Devi is believed to be appeared as black stone (Pindi) in the hearth (Chulha) of old widow Gungati. One morning while cleaning the hearth (chulha) She found a black stone (Pindi) in the Chulha. She tried to break it but her all efforts were in vain. At night, Kali appeared in her dream and she realized that this black stone is Devi herself. Next morning, she rushed to her sons who were ploughing field nearby and narrated them the whole story that Devi has been shown up at their house in hearth. They didn’t take her seriously and started making fun of her. Seeing this, Devi got agitated and turned them (Sons of Gungati) along with oxen into stones. Gungati then requested Mata to calm down and take her curse back. Mata told her that she can’t take her curse back but she blessed the village Mindal and announced that this remote village will become an important pilgrimage site and will be visited by the devotees of Devi from all corners of world. She also told that with her blessings now onwards only one ox can be used to plough the fields. Temple of the Mindal Mata is wood carved and stood on the roof of the house of Gungati. During five days of annual Yatra there is heavy rush of devotees in this small village Mindal. Devotees offer their prayers to Goddess and seek her blessings. In the temple premises, whole environment become so devotional when devotees sing and dance on beat of traditional local music of drum and flute. All this also promote feeling of oneness among the local community and people visiting the place from different corners of India. If one want to find tranquility with a touch of soulful people and music around then one must visit this place once in lifetime.
Rajni Devi, Jammu