Sinthan Top

Sinthen top is a hill station, a popular tourist destination located in South Kashmir’s Breng Valley (Sub-District Kokernag) in Anantnag district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Bijbehara, old Vejeshwara, is situated some 60 kilometres away from Srinagar on the National Highway. The town is historically well known. Away from this town, only two kilometres is situated the famous place of Semthan. It seems that the word is originally Simhasthaana, i.e. the place of tigers. Near this town, there is a small hillock, though silent but telling a tale of hundreds of years. The name of this hillock is Chakdar (old Chakradhara), i.e. Vishnu. This name is mentioned in Nilmat Purana and Vitasta Mahatmeya also. The famous historian, Jonaraja, has said that a Vishnu temple existed at this place.

The wooden barrier and the structure of the temple could not remain intact for a long time. On the Chakdar hillock, there is a place called Haathi- Dwara, i.e. the gate of an elephant. The Chakradhara temple had been burnt many a time in the past but history is silent about the renovation of this temple, by the public or some king, from time to time.

The Sinthan pass connects Kashmir valley with Jammu Province through Kishtwar. It is 12,500 feet (3,800 m) above sea level and is snow-capped for most of the year. It is located at 33°34'N and 75°30'E at the Anantnag-Kokernag-Kishtwar NH1B Highway, and is 130 km south of Srinagar and 73 km from Anantnag and 48 km from Kokernag. Sinthan Top has no local population. Shepherds from adjoining places like Kokernag, Duksum, and tourists and those working in the tourism industry may stay overnight in tents.

Like other areas of the valley, Sinthan Top is known for its beauty and wonderful tourist attractions. The place is fast growing as one of the top tourist destination in Kashmir. Around 37 kilometers of snaky and uphill drive from Daksum, it offers an adventurous journey. The spot is emerging for mountaineering, trekking and skiing. Sinthan Top is easily accessible from Srinagar, almost 4–5 hours drive by car. Attractions like Kokernag, Daksum and Achabal fall en-route that offer tourists varied choice of resting and makes traveling more pleasant and less tiresome. At the spot called '360 Degree View', one can see areas of both Kashmir and Jammu Divisions. Also the spot itself can be a great resting place for people traveling from Srinagar to Kishtwar or Doda and back. Sinthan Top is the South-East end of Breng Valley (The Golden Crown of Kashmir)and is 48 km from famous Kokernag spring. The nearest hotels are located at Kokernag and Daksum ranging from extremely budget accommodation in private and Government huts to deluxe hotels. One should be able to book a night in a hotel or hut between rupess 1500 to 3500. One can plan to visit Lihinwan and the famous Margan Top in the Margan Valley and Inshan which are located in the same area.

However, when the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb came to know of what had transpired, he had the relic seized and sent to the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer, and had Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai imprisoned in Delhi for possessing the relic.Later, realizing his mistake, Aurangzeb decided to restore the relic to Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai and allowed him to take it to Kashmir.However, by that point, Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai had already died in imprisonment. In the year 1700, the relic finally reached Kashmir, along with the body of Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai. There, Inayat Begum, daughter of Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai, became a custodian of the relic and established the shrine. Inayat Begum was married into the prominent Kashmiri Banday family of Srinagar, and since then, her descendants from the Banday family have been the keepers of the relic.

The relic was reported disppeared on 26 December 1963. There were mass protests all over the state on the disappearance of the Mo-e-Muqaddas (the Hair of the Prophet(SAW)) with hundreds of thousands out in the streets. The Awami Action Committee was formed to recover the relic. On 31 December the prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru made a broadcast to the nation on the disappreance of the sacred relic. The relic was recovered on 4 January 1964