Best Religious Places to Visit in Gulmarg
Built in 1480, the shrine is a marvel of medieval Kashmiri architecture. The intricate lattice work on windows and carved deodar pillars captivate you, and you can't take your eyes off the craftsmanship of medieval era workers. Thousands of worshipers, regardless of faith or caste, flock to this sanctuary.
Sincere prayers at this shrine are said to grant the wishes of the needy, especially the wish for a child by childless couples. Plastering a daan is one way to make a wish here (a fireplace made of mud). The daan is said to have been fashioned by Baba Reshi himself, therefore this practice dates back to when he was alive.
The shrine not only serves religion and spirituality, but it also delivers cultural shows. Zare Kasun (the act of shaving a baby's first hair on the head) is done here for newborn babies. As part of shukrana, or gratitude, tehar (specially prepared yellow rice) is distributed. Outside, stalls sell Kenkhe Masaal, Halwa Porath, Basrakh, Tangehache, and Kulche, among other Kashmiri dishes. As a result, it's more than just a religious site; it's a piece of life.
The temple, also known as Mohineshwar Shivalaya, is dedicated to the couple and features a Shiv Lingam and a statue of goddess Parvati. The crimson temple roof against the emerald field creates a stunning contrast, making the temple visible from all sides of town.
The temple has also been in a number of Bollywood films in the past. However, the most notable feature of this Hindu temple is the presence of a Muslim priest. After Kashmiri Pandits departed the valley in the 1990s, Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh, a Kashmiri Muslim, stepped into the shoes of a Muslim pujari when no one else could.
Sheikh's father served as the temple's chowkidar for almost 40 years. Naturally, he felt a connection to it and began doing Aarti in the temple, which he continues to do. A panchgana namaazi (one who offers Namaaz five times a day) provides prasad as devotees throng the shrine. A site that reverberates with communal harmony is a must-see.
Though the church is beautiful in all seasons, its steep roof is covered in a thick coating of snow in the winter, giving the ambiance of the church a sparkling appeal. Also, Christmas is celebrated with zeal at this time of year, with a mix of local traditions and Christian customs, which is why you should pay a visit to the church to immerse yourself in both tranquility and history.