This Yatra follows Mani Mahesh Yatra and starts with Chari from Gatha in Baderwah and then goes to Vasu ki Nag, Ramtund where it stays for the night and then to Kailash. The Yatra takes place in August and ends on the Kailash Kund. It takes 2 hours to cover the periphery of the Kund. Legend has that Ramtund is a mythological places. Legend has that 7 headed snake is seen in Kund. Another Chari reaches The Kailash Kund from Billawer on the same day when the Baderwah Chari reached the Kund. People from Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur come to join Yatra. After one month the same Chari goes to Asha Pathi and reaches there on the day of Amawas. On this occasion there is Dako folk dance for full nights and people from other communities also participate in these functions...
The miraculous Machail Yatra to the hilly and backward micastudded area of Paddar in district Kishtwar, is really a boon for the suffering humanity. The pilgrimage has revolutionized the action and thoughts of the general public having faith upon the divine mother. The popular Machail Yatra is commencing on 18th of August from its base camp Chota Kashmir, Chinote-Bhaderwah with religious furvour and gaiety by dint of its historical, religious and natural importance.
The holy shrine splendid temple of the Goddess Chandi is situated at the height of over 10,000 feet above the sea level in Machail village surrounded by high mountains, thick devdar forests and attractive meadows adjacent world famous sapphire mines area. The most attractive and historical lion ridden idols of the Goddess Chandi and Lakshimi Ji made of pure silver and white marble inside the temple are the rare sight and source of inspiration for the pilgrims.
The holy place of Machail Shrine is about 250 kilometer away from Jammu city while 31 kilometer journey of the pilgrim age with night halts at Massu, Chishoti and the Machail villages is covered on foot. The Sankirtan and gun-gan of the Goddess continues at halting stations till late night. One of the unique features of this Yatra includes non-remembrance of home, kith and kin's by the pilgrims during pilgrimage.
For the first time in the history of popular annual Machail Yatra, the yatries have been permitted by the Yatra Management "Serve Shakti Sewak Sanstha to undertake pilgrimage from 10th of August itself to avoid rush and have glimpses of the Goddess. It is deemed necessary to mention here that the scene of the holymace (Charrimubarkh) departure from its base camp is worth seeing and immemorable rather. Thousands of the devotees who thronged at Chinote on the occasion chants and dance to the tunes of devotional songs and tears roll down from the eyes of the spectators and the participants out of emotions. It looks like a bride is departed to her in laws house. The bazaars and roads are decorated with raising of colourful gates and buntings to receive and welcome the yatra at different places with offering fresh fruit, sweet water and the other eatables like halwa-puri, chai and channa etc. as a token of love and respect to the divine mother. It is an admitted fact that who so ever joins this pilgrimage once wishes to visit the shrine again and again to satiate his spiritual thrust, such is the impression and effect of this unique pilgrimage on the human mind.
Infact, the Machail yatra has strengthened the spirit of religious tolerance, bonds of secularism and mutual brotherhood among the masses which is apparent from the fact that the people even our Muslim brethren greets the Yatra with due respect where-ever it passes, through their habitations. The most important and impressive aspect of the Machail yatra is the unique holy mace of the Goddess which remains ahead of the pilgrims and provide strength and inspiration to the pilgrims enroute.
According to the legend, the Goddess Chandi appeared at Machail long-Iong ago in the shape of shila (Pindi). The mother came here from her ancient place Mindhal Battas (HP) to bless the simple, ignorant and helpless people of Paddar area. The Machail is a unique pilgrimage with unique features. Besides spiritual, its social aspect is more effective and impressive where under the Goddess asks her devotees to shun social evils like smoking, drinking and abusing each other for over all welfare of society and the mankind as a whole. By the grace of the mother majority of the pilgrims succeed in this objective with the blessings of the Goddess. Domestic problems of the devotees are also solved by the Chandi Mata by dint of "Dhooptalna programme" called 'man ki bat boojhna'. Most of the newly wedded couples reach Machail with a desire of male child first.
The main reception station of famous Machail yatra include Bhala, Puldoda, Premnagar, Thathari, Kishtwar, Athdi Paddar, Massu, Chishoti and Machail where religious congregation and Bhandaras are organized to high light the importance of religion and the yatra. The distance of about 200 Kms of the yatra from its base camp up to Gulabgarh Paddar is covered by bus in 3 days due to tremendous response and well come accorded to the pilgrimage enroute almost at every village and markets located on the road side. Moreso, it is perhaps the only pilgrimage where a pilgrim has nothing to spend as the unique system of boardings, lodging and langers are available free of cost enroute. Besides local people also welcome pilgrims in their houses from the core of hearts and offer every possible facility within their reach to the pilgrims free of cost treating them as guests of the Goddess Chandi.
"Earlier, the yatra used to reach its destination Chandi Dham Machail, on the eve of a local festival called 'Naghui' when doors of the historical Chandi temple were thrown open for Darshan of the Goddess after remaining closed throughout the year as per ancient tradition and faith. On the occasion, the local populace including Budhist Clad in multi colour traditional dress greets the holymace and the pilgrims with enthusiasm and thus grace the occasion with their colourful appearance. The devotional songs and holy couplets sung and chanted in local Padri language beautify the holy dances throughout the day. Besides Sankirtan, Karsewa, Yagya havna are also performed by the devotees for peace and satisfaction to the ultra modern society which is full of tension today. But now, in view of the Independence Day celebration and security of the pilgrims the reach of the yatra has been delayed by two or three days.
The Chandi Dham Machail has the distinction of the simultaneous appearance Shiv and Shakti of at its credit. On the one hand, the Goddess Chandi (Shakti) is blessing her devotees at Machail village while on the other hand the God Mahadev Shiva abruptly appears on the opposite high mountain in the shape of lingam to provide darshans to the pilgrims on the pious occasion of the Shakti yatra. The mountain is called Shiv Pahad which often remains covered with black clouds. It is a unique union of Shiva and Shakti found at Machail only and nowhere else in the country.
It is an historical fact that a great Duggar warrior, General Zorawar Singh on his way to conquer Gilgit first bowed his head before the Goddess to get her blessings on reaching Machail. The Goddess instructed her senior disciple to accompany Zorawar Singh to Gilgit and came back with flying colours by the grace of the Goddess and this fact stands reflected in the Aarti of Machail Mata.
It is necessary to mention here that the founder/originator of this unique pilgrimage is a President Award winner, Police Officer, Thakur Kulbir Singh Jamwal of Bhadarwah who has became a living embodiment of the Goddess Chandi. He is called MATA by the local people and replies almost all the secret and personal questions of the people by the grace of the Goddess irrespective of caste, colour and creed whosoever approaches him for solution of his domestic and official problems.The Yatra is manned and conducted by a state level registered social-cum-spiritual organization, 'Sarve Shakti Sewak Sanstha' first of its kind ever formed in the State. The district and divisional administration also extend its helping hand to the Sanstha by way of deputing medical and wireless teams, Yatra Officer, security staff and deployment of pilgrims vehicles to make the Yatra a grand success.In view of increasing number of pilgrims year after year, much more arrangements of boarding, lodging and deployment of vehicles etc. are needed to be made on the pattern of Swami Amarnath Ji Yatra to facilitate the pilgrims enroute hilly area. The Machail Yatra is continuously becoming popular day by day and is assuming the status of the second biggest pilgrimage is the State, where more than 50 thousand pilgrim pored at Chandi Dham Machail at a time.