Bhaderwah (J&K), Apr 12 (PTI) As many as 15,000 devotees today paid their obeisance at ancient Subar Nag temple in Bhaderwah of Doda district on the eve of Baisakhi festival.
Located at a height of 12,000 feet from the sea level, the doors (Kewaar) of the temple were opened today on the eve of Baisakhi festival.
A prelude to Baisakhi festival, Subar Dhar Mela, a symbol of Naga culture was celebrated in mountainous Bhadarwah valley with full religious fervor and gaiety.
The ancient festival which marks the beginning of spring in this hilly region, symbolising the ancient Naga culture of Bhaderwah is considered the first Baisakhi festival in the country, as in other parts of the state or elsewhere in the country, the spring festival will be celebrated tomorrow.
The traditional celebrations started early in morning with the opening of doors of the 700-year-old temple at Subar Dhar, 30 Km from Bhaderwah town followed by sacrificing of rams.
Hundreds of devotees converged at hill top meadow surrounded with snow peaked mountains after trekking 12 km steep hill to pay their obeisance to the Lord Subar Nag.
On this occasion dozens of sheep were sacrificed as per ancient custom.
"This festival has not only the religious importance but this is also the most ancient festival of this area. Devotees from the different parts of the valley arrive here with holy mace to have blessings of Lord Subhar Nag.
"The doors of which were thrown open for the devotees this morning," Head Priest of the historic Temple said.
A total of 15,000 devotees, including 9,000 women visited the ancient temple.
"After four months of dull life, during which we mostly remain indoors due to harsh climatic conditions and snow, this festival which marks the new spring season, not only rejuvenates us but also gives us a chance to meet our relatives and friends.
"Besides all our wishes are full filled by Lord Subhar Nag," a young devotee, Sangeeta, said.