The 600-year-old Naag Mandir sits on top of a hill in Mantalai and is said to be the place where Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. The temple is dedicated to Naag Devta (serpent god), and people come here to worship snakes and offer prayers and sweets to the deity. Surrounded by lush greenery and snow-covered mountain peaks, the temple is visited by thousands of pilgrims during the Naag Panchami festival, when snakes are traditionally worshipped.


Naag Mandir is believed to be one of the oldest temples in the country, and from here, you can enjoy the magnificent view of the Chenab gorge and pine trees. Amongst the devotees is a common belief that praying at this temple fulfills wishes. Thus, people come here and tie a sacred red thread whilst praying to Naag Devta, and those whose prayers are answered, come back and hold a langar (open kitchen), feeding everyone free food.


Photography is strictly not allowed inside the temple. In fact, perhaps to discourage it, a local lore has been making its way among devotees; it says that those who sneak in their cameras and take pictures will be subjected to nightmares. This usually prompts visitors to leave their smart phones and DSLRs behind when they go for darshan (the opportunity to see a deity or holy person).

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