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Mantalai is a legendary place located a few kilometers away from the Gauri Kund Spring in Jammu District of Jammu and Kashmir. Surrounded by lush deodar forests, the place lies at an altitude of 2000 m. Legend says that the place is associated with the marriage of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati. Sudh Mahadev Temple, Krimchi and Patnitop are neighboring places of tourist interest.


Sudh Maha Dev

Believed to be 2800 years old, the temple of Sudh Mahadev houses a natural black marble Lingam, the Trident (Trishul) of Lord Shiva and mace believed to be that of Bheema, one of the five legendary Pandava brothers. This holy temple near Patnitop is situated at an altitude of 1225 m and is about 120 kms from Jammu.

Sudhmahadev has a spring by the name Pap Nashni Bowli. It is believed that taking bath in it relieves a devotee of all sins. After bath one proceeds towards the holy temple of Lord Shiva.

Pilgrims visit the shrine on Historic Sudhmahadev 3 day Festival (Mela) on the full moon night of 'Sawan' (June -July) to worship the Trident (Trishul) and a mace.

During this 3 day festival, arrangements are made by the state government administration to provide facilities to the visitors. Adequate transport is also provided by the government agencies from various destinations. The government also ensures security arrangements. Good health facilities are also made available.

Cultural programs are organized during the 3 day festival; in which the local performers entertain the visitors by showcasing various local dances and singing folk songs.

One can have stay in the temporary tented accommodations provided by J&K Tourism Development Department or even a Sarai maintained by the Dharamarth Trust, beside a few guest houses are also there.

The temporary shops are also established by the people to provide various things and eatables to the visitors. Langars are also arranged by some devotees to provide free food to the visitors.

Some of the famous food items to eat during the festival are Rajmash Chawal with Desi Ghee, Chatni of Pudina and Anardana. Local food specialties include Klari (a milk preparation like paneer) or Klari kulcha and are very tasty and one must eat there. Those who love sweets have Jlabis and pure Khoya to eat. It is a great fair which provides lot of entertainment, natural scenery, joy and spiritual experience.

Another 8 kms from Sudhmahadev is an enchanting hill resort of Mantalai.

Located at the top of a hill and surrounded by tall Deodar trees giving fresh and cool air. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married there. There is a Shiva temple with a pond by its side.


Gauri Kund

Some distance short of Sudh Mahadev is the legendary spring where the Goddess Parvati used to bathe before commencing her daily prayers at Sudh Mahadev. This spring came to be named after her as 'Gauri Kund'.



Krimchi, site of three of the oldest temples of Jammu, can be reached by taking a short detour of about 20 kms along a side road that branches off from the National Highway 1-A, about 8 kms short of Udhampur. The architecture of the temples shows distinct Greek (Hellenic) influences. Some distance further ahead in the hills is Pancheri, a beautiful hill resort.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 June 2010 07:23