SARTHAL MATA TEMPLE (KISHTWAR)
Sarthal Mata Temple, also known as Athra Bhuja Devi temple, is a cave temple having a single piece black statue of 18- armed goddess, an incarnation of Goddess Durga. This idol was brought from the valley of Kashmir in 14th century. At a distance of 18 km from Kishtwar, it is located in a lush wooded hilly trekking site. Every year an annual Yatra has been organized by the Shri Sarthal Devi Shrine Management Council during Ashar Shudi Ashtami and Navmi (June-July). Thousands of pilgrims throng the temple during the celebration to seek blessings of goddess and also to experience the sights of fire dance or walking on fire activities.
According to legend, it is believe that Goddess Athara Bhuja came from her abode Hari Parbat in Kashmir Valley through Sighpora pass and took rest in the cave where now temple is situated. Locals also said that mother Sharika relocate to Kishtwar during winter season.