Historic 'Jakh pond' in bordering Samba, dying a slow death

Historic Jakh pond in bordering Samba, dying a slow death

Jammu, Historic Jakh Pond, situated along the Jammu-Pathankot national highway, around 21-kilometres from here, is dying a slow death. The Pond, as per the locals, has a religious importance but unfortunately, such a historic location not being paid due attention by the administration. Talking to local residents, it was revealed that 'Jakh Pond', is a place where Yudhistra—the eldest brothers of the Pandvas—during the period of 'Banvasa'—faced a test before Yaksha Prashna. Yaksha Prashna, also known as the Dharma Bka Upakhyan or the Ashkardhama, is the story of a riddle contest between Yudhishthira and a Yaksha in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. When correspondent visited to the spot to unfold the religious history of the place, was taken by surprise on seeing the shabby condition of the surroundings of the pond vis-à-vis, the water, which once used to be of sea blue colour, had turned green and the fishes were found dead. Pertinent to mention here that last year too, hundreds of fishes died in 'Jakh Pond' and the concerned department paid no heed towards it.

People of Jakh and adjoining areas alleged that the fishes died due to dirty water adding that despite repeated requests none of the official from the concerned quarters showed concern over the issue. "We brought medicines by contributing money and cast it in the pond so that the remaining fish can be saved," said Tanetra Singh and added that there is a mythological belief that feeding (Atta Rolls) fishes in the pond on Saturdays, helps one to get rid of evils around but unfortunately, no aquatic life is found these days in the water body. "People are unaware of importance of this place due to which they throw garbage into the pond," said Brij Lal Sharma, a local and alleged that it was also learnt that some mischievous elements also poisoned fishes into the pond. The villagers however, also believed that dumping all type of waste into the pond, angered the 'Devta' 'Yaksha Devta', on whose name it was named as place 'Jakh'. Owing to the verbal Dogri Language the name ripened was 'Jakh' known for its fresh water pond, Temple, Satsang Ghar, Thandi Khui and its Barfi (sweets), this have always been a place of interest for locals and tourists. "After almost a year, small black tad poles can be seen in this holy pond again and may be the nature is trying to restore the lost marine life against the act of humans," Kulwant Singh Jasrotia, a local from adjoining villager expressed. "The Pond is gradually losing its sheen and has shrunk manifold from its original size and if appropriate measures are not taken, it will soon be a history like its historic relevance," rued Jakh residents. He said that in the last one year, the state tourism authority has taken up the development of this place by constructing footpath for evening strollers , washrooms and toilets, placed sign boards to stop visitors from dumping wastes but still lot is to be done. "Every year, crores of people visit Jammu and Kashmir, either to visit to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Shrine, Amarnath Cave, for leisure tourism and if such places are included to their travel itinerary and the place is highlighted by the concerned authorities, better facilities are provided, it will give boost to the tourism," he suggested.

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