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Swaran Bawli, Doda

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Swaran Bawli, also known as the Golden Spring, is located at the foot of Aashapati Peak in the town of Bhaderwah. The spring holds religious importance, and Hindu devotees believe that a dip in its waters can wash away all sins. During Navratras, a Hindu festival symbolising the triumph of good over evil, celebrated annually in October/November and a large number of pilgrims come here to take a dip in the spring despite it being covered by a thick layer of snow. Legend has it that there once was a golden spring from which an old lady fetched water. One day, when she fell ill, her daughter-in-law went to the spring in her stead.

The daughter-in-law was astonished to see the golden bricks of the spring, and covered it with her white ‘dupatta’ or head sheet. She later returned with her brothers only to see that the white ‘dupatta’ had turned into ice. All their efforts to dig through the ice went in vain, and the golden bricks forever remained hidden. Since then, the spring was said to permanently remain covered in snow. In keeping with the legend, the ice around the spring stays frozen to this day, even during hot summers.

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