Posted on 30th Nov 2017
Remembering the great saint – Nund Reshi (RA)
Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (RA), popularly known as Nund Reshi, with a special focus on his teachings and the path of peace and harmony, some attention must also go to preservation of relics and sites associated with the Kashmir’s Patron Saint.
No doubt people of the Valley still hold the relics and sites of this Saint in high esteem and reverence, but the kind of institutional care and preservation it deserves is clearly missing.
During his journeys through Valley’s hill and dale, Sheikh Noor-ud-Din (RA) visited several places. But many of the sites associated with the Saint have neither been documented nor are properly maintained.
This wonderful heritage needs to be documented and developed for promotion of the pilgrimage tourism.
The famous sites where the Saint is believed to have spent time in meditation, and which have been neglected include Gufabal-Qaimoh, Tismur Pattan, Darigam, Hunchapora, Sheek Rani, Akhal, and Rupwan.
Even though the monumental remains of that period still exist at several of these places, but due to human vandalism and official apathy, the relics and sites associated with this Saint have been deteriorating.
Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (RA), is learnt to have first meditated in an underground cave at Gufabal-Qaimoh in the southern district of Kashmir. He is said to have been 20 when he took refuge in this cave and spent 12 years inside the cave in meditation.
He also planted an Elm tree near the cave. The tree and cave are still found at the site, and people usually visit this site, during Urs days and pray there.
After living in this cave, he said to have searched for more silent and calm places which he could found in dense forests of Pir Panchal and reached Tismur in the same district of Kulgam. Here he spent one more year in meditation.
A miniature stone mortar and pestle are seen outside the Sufi shrine of Tismur and it is believed that the Saint used them in preparing of his food which exclusively consisted of ‘Yopalhak’ and ‘Qaslin-hand’ – wild forest herbs.
Kheejogepora is another important site associated with the Saint. There is a spring attributed to the Saint here and many traditions are related with this spring.
Mukhtamul site is also associated with this Saint. It is near Vecharnag in Srinagar (near Soura). Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (RA) is said to have spent about six months here on a stone slab in meditation.
It is here that Saint is said to have encountered Yavanmachi, a beautiful dancer who come to the Saint to turn him away from meditation. But it is said that the encounter with Saint transformed her completely and she gave up her life of sex and sleaze and became a pious woman.
Similarly, there are other few Reshi sites which have been forgotten altogether.
Today when while Kashmir is commemorating the Saint’s annual Urs, it is time that both people and the authorities also wake up to the need of preserving the sites, monuments and relics associated with this 14th century Saint and pledge to document and preserve his oral and built heritage.