Seasonal spring of Wasaq Nag -- waiting to make it to tourism map
Kulgam, Apr 21: While numerous charming springs across the Kashmir valley are already a big draw for the tourists, there are countless others that are yet to make it to the Valley’s tourism map.
One such delightful spring, Wasaq Nag, lies under the foothills of high altitude mountains and picturesque forests of famous Pir-Panjal range at Kund near Qazigund in Kulgam district.
Wasaq Nag is a cold-spring that emerges at the base of Waltengo Nar, which was hit by an avalanche in 2005 that killed at least 180 people. The snow-storm had left behind devastated villages, but now the place has regained its charm and glory.
Those who survived the devastating avalanche revived the stream, along with the Tourism department, so as to make it an attraction for the tourists.
Although the administration has played its part to provide visibility to the area but very less number of tourists visit the place.
Before the Waltengo Nar area was hit by an avalanche, the tourism acted as a cash cow for the area.
In order to give a renewed push to the tourism here, the Tourism department has build few huts and a boundary around the spring, but the place lacks connectivity as the only road that leads to Wasaq Nag from the Kund entry-point lacks black-topping.
Wasaq Nag burbles for only six months in a year and within this time period, the residents of Waltengo Nar rely on the stream for every requirement of water, be it irrigation or for house-hold use.
Locals of Waltengo Nar believe that the spring has a spiritual history.
They associate this spring with a Sufi saint Syed Noor Shah Bagdadi. They believe that “once while the saint was praying, a Hindu seer was sleeping nearby, who had kept a dried pumpkin under his head.
“A few girls who passed by, lifted the lid of the pumpkin, and saw a huge snake coming out of pumpkin and slithering away. The area this snake creeped over got filled with water. The Hindu seer woke up and tried to catch hold of the snake, but Bagdadi stopped him and told him to let the snake move,” says Gulam Mohammad Naiko, a local Imam of Masjid.
“Then and there, the religious saints made an agreement that the spring will burble for six months and for another six months, it will ripple at some other place around Kund,” Naiko adds.
Local residents of Watlengo Nar in Devsar constituency of district Kulgam believe that the spring follows a specific time period of arrival and departure.
They say that during first week of April, when the cold breeze embraces the Waltengo Nar, Wasaq Nag flows back from the place, where it originally emerges during six months of winter.
“The spring emerges around April 15 and disappears around September 15 every year,” says Sheeraz Ahmad, a local shopkeeper of Waltengo Nar.
“Because of the cold water of the spring, no insect, bacteria, germ can survive in the stream. People believe the water of the spring is highly helpful for digestion,” Sheeraz adds.
“We have never suffered from any kind of water-borne disease here. The water of Wasaq Nag is much purer than boiled and filtered water. The water of the spring is beneficial for the instant digestion. Its colour is different from the water of other springs in the Kashmir valley,” says Fareeda Banu, a local resident.
Residents here believe that the water in the spring (Wasaq Nag) is sufficient for 17 villages.