The 2800 years old, Historic Temples Sudh Mahadev is situated in the Chenaini Tehsil of District Udhampur. The Temple of Sudh Mahadev is about 50 kms away from District Headquarter of Udhampur. The temple is one the oldest Shiva Temples of Jammu & Kashmir State.
A popular legend associated with this shrine is as: Once, when Goddess
Parvati was in deep prayer, a demon called Sudheet came to pay
his respectful obeisance. But his demonic look frightened the Goddess and She
made a loud shriek. Her cry revered acted across the mountains surrounding the
valley. Lord Shiva was disturbed by the sound. When He opened His eyes, He saw
the demon, at whom he hurled His invincible Trident (Holy Trishul).
"Har Har Mahadev, SudhMahadev, Bam Bam Bole, Har Har Mahadev, SudhMahadev, Bam Bam Bole, Har Har Mahadev, SudhMahadev, Bam Bam Bole"
As the trident pierced through Sudheet, he began to chant Lord Shiva's name. Lord Shiva realized the mistake, so He offered to bring Sudheet back to life. But Sudheet refused to come back to life telling Lord Shiva that only by dying at His hands would he be able to obtain moksha (Salvation). Moved by the demon's words, Lord Shiva ordered that, henceforth, Sudheet's name would be taken before His own at the place where he was killed. That is how the place where Goddess Parvati used to worship a shivling came to be known as Sudhmahadev.
The shivling and the remains of the trishul can still be seen at the temple. The temple has a Dhooni (Eternal Flame) to commemorate the spiritual attainments of Baba Roop Nath who is said to have attained Samadhi here about several thousands years ago.
In the temple premises, there is a Trident (Trishul) that in the local dialect is called 'Gaja'. The sacred Trident has inscriptions in the ancient manuscript that form a major topic of research for the archeological department. According to Roopnath, the first religious head of the temple of Sudhmahadev, "Amardhuni', 'Gorakh Nath temple', the huge idol of 'Bhairava' and the 'Garbha Jun below the Nandi gan' are considered to be great places of worship for the pilgrims. In the entire belt of Chenani and Sudhmahadev, the great saints and sages sing poems of the romantic tale of the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati in Mantalai. During the annual fair held at Sudhmahadev, religious saints and pilgrim groups sing in the praise of Sudhmahadev. As per religious traditions, these ancient temples were manage by the religious heads also called as 'Mahants' who were in turn appointed on the directions of Finally, the management of the temple was handed over to the Dharmarth Trust under the guidance of its Chairman Trustee Dr. Karan Singh. Though one can undertake this pilgrimage to Sudhmahadev all the year round, but as per religious traditions, the days that are considered most auspicious are Maghar Chaudash, Chaitra Chaudash, Baisakhi and Shivaratri.
It is said that the Dhooni has been kept burning constantly ever since Baba Roop Nath is said to be residing in the temple. Thousands of pilgrims visits the temple especially during the three day fair held on the occasion of Jeshta Purnima (i.e. Full Moon of June).
The holy environs of Sudh Mahadev are known to have been the seat of meditation for Goddess Parvati to attain Lord Shiva (Gaurikund). Gaurikund is around 10 km before Sudh Mahadev. The Shiv temple at Sudh Mahadev enshrines the three pieces of the "Holy Trishul" used by Lord Shiva to protect Goddess Parvati from the demon Sudheet and is very popular amongst pilgrims. This temple is being managed by The Dharmarth Trust chaired by royal Dr. Karan Singh.
Adding to the area around the Shiv temple at Sudh Mahadev, is the mystical volume of ash in the Agni Kund, which remains constant in spite of the regular burning of firewood (24 X 7 X 365) by the temple priests over the years. Another Miracle is the water level in the "Water Kund (Jal Kund)" which has also remained static despite regular offering by devotees over the "Shiv lingam"
Sudhmahadev temple is located on the banks of the holy river Devak (elder sister of Ganga), the unique carvings of Lord Shiva and Parvati add to the fervour, mystique and devotion at the Sudhmahadev temple.
Sudh Mahadev is a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, situated at a height of approximately 1225m. The shrine gains significance especially on the full moon night of Sawan (July - August), when devotees come here to worship the "Trishul" (trident) and a mace, alleged to be of Lord Shiva. There is also a "Devak" stream originating at Sudh Mahadev and vanishes amid the rocks after a few km.