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Meet Abdul Ghani, an artist playing drums in Poonch’s Budha Amarnath temple

Poonch: Budha Amarnath Temple is a sacred place of the Hindu community located in the Mandi area of the border district of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.

Every year millions of pilgrims from all over India visit this temple as part of their Amarnath Yatra.

According to the Hindu belief, the Amarnath Yatra of Kashmir will be incomplete until one gets the darshan of Budha Amarnath in Poonch. Pilgrims visiting Budha Amarnath are warmly welcomed here regardless of religion and caste.

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Abdul Ghani, who belongs to Palira village in Tehsil Mandi, has been playing the drums in the Budha Amarnath temple premises for the past 30 years. Pilgrims who visit the temple are entertained by him, and they help him financially, through which Ghani runs his expenses.

Ghani plays the drums in the temple premises from morning till evening and at times till night.
Speaking to Milap News Network, Abdul Ghani said that about 25 years ago, two bears attacked him a few kilometres from the temple, seriously injuring him.

“The members of the temple management committee, the priest and the BSF battalion were here. The officials helped me. I received treatment, and the then Deputy Commissioner also helped me a lot. I sustained severe injuries on my arms, head and mouth in the bear attack. After several months I recovered but was unable to do any other work. Then I preferred to sit in this temple”, he said.

He further said, “Allah is one, but his names are different, I believe that Baba Budha Amarnath saved me, this is who I am, the people of the temple trust me a lot and I also trust them with my words and actions. They trust me, they let me stay in the temple premises, and they also give me food.”

Ghani said that even when terrorism was at its peak, he used to earn money by playing the drums in the temple of Mandi and meet his household expenses.

He added that there is no pressure on him from the people of his village or from the people of the community but he plays drums out of his own free will which helps him earn and fulfil his household expenses.

He further said that he also serves at Dargah in Aala Peer.

He hopes that the upcoming Amarnath Yatra will once again be a source of income for him, as people from all over the country visit here and enjoy him playing the drums and also provide him with financial support.

Jammu and Kashmir uphold a history of religious tolerance, mutual brotherhood and communal harmony. In this region of Poonch called the Crown of India, people of all religions, castes and colours live peacefully. Ghani is one such example among many others witnessed in the region.

There are also many examples where temples, mosques and churches exist side by side. On the one hand, the sound of ‘Azaan’ is heard, while on the other side, bhajans and ‘shabadkirtans’ will be making the atmosphere pleasant.

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