Hari Parbat, also known as Sharika Peeth among the Hindus and Koh-e-Maran locally, is a hill overlooking Srinagar. It is the site of the Durrani Fort, built in 1808. It has the famous Shakti Temple on the western slope and shrines of Hamza Makhdoom and Badakhshi on the southern slope. On the southern side of the outer wall there is a Gurudwara which commemorates the visit of Guru Har Gobind.
According to legend, the Hari Parbat hill was once a huge lake inhabited by the demon Jalobhava. The inhabitants called on the goddess for help. She took the form of a bird and dropped a pebble on the demon’s head, which grew larger and larger until it crushed the demon. Hari Parbat is revered as that pebble, and is said to have become the home for all the gods of the Hindu pantheon.
Another version of the myth says that two demons, Tsand and Mond, occupied the fair valley. Tsand hid in the water near the present location of Hari Parbat and Mond somewhere above the present Dal Gate, and both terrorized the people of the valley. The gods invoked Shakti who assumed the form of a Haer (myna) and flew to Sumer, picked up a pebble in her beak, and threw it on the demon Tsand to crush him. The pebble grew into a mountain. Hence was named Hari (myna) Parbhat. Parvati is worshipped as Sharika in Shri Tsakra (an emblem of cosmic energy pervading the universe) occupying the middle part of the western slope of the hill. The hill is also called Predemna Peet.
On the birthday of Sharika Bhagwati, the devotees make a sacrificial offering of `Taher-charvan’ (Taher – rice boiled with turmeric powder and mixed with oil and salt; Tcharvan – cooked liver of goat) to the goddess. This day is celebrated as Har Navum.
- By JKinside
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