Situated at a height of 2,020 m, Kokernag is approximately 70 km from the district of Srinagar. Blooming gardens surround this spring, which bubbles at seven places at the foot of the forested mountain. The water of Kokernag in Kashmir is believed to have medicinal and digestive properties. And because of these properties only, the spring is also known as Papashudan Nag or the sin-cleansing spring. There is also a botanical garden and a rose garden near Kokernag, overflowing with fragrances of flowers and shrubs.
Kokarnag is also the largest fresh water spring of the Kashmir valley. The word Kokernag is a combination of the two words, Koker meaning ‘fowl’ and Nag meaning ‘serpent’. Kokernag is a collection of many small springs and collectively, they all look like the claw foot of a Koker (cock). And the flowing stream resembles a moving serpent. Hence, the name “Kokernag”. The spring of Kokernag comprise of 300 canals, 129 canals for garden purposes and 171 canals for forest area.
The word Kokernag has been derived from the two words namely, Koker and Nag. The word Koker has been taken from a Kashmiri word “Morgee” meaning chicken, while the word nag has been taken from Sanskrit word “Nag” meaning snake. Regarding the name of Kokernag, there are different versions. According to a famous legend it was a saint (Gushwami) who came from some unknown place to this place along with his bucket. During his rest, some women folk came from the nearby densely forested area’s in search of water, they failed in their search. Ultimately they saw the saint in a deep sleep with his bucket in front of him. The women folk went towards him in order kill thirst with his water, but when they opened the lid of the bucket they found snake in it which escaped and crept on the ground. As soon as it crept, its shape changed into a chicken called “Koker” in Kashmir, It dug the soil of the land by paws and water gushed out from these places, wherever it dug. This is the reason due to which we call the place Kokernag today. Saint was seeing all these happenings in his dream. Legend is that if he would have not opened his eyes all area of this place would have become a big lake or flood may have occurred.
How to reach Kokernag:
It is easy to reach Kokernag since the destination is well connected by road, air and railway.
By Air: The closest airport near Kokernag is the airport at Badgam District. It lies at a distance of 70 km from Kokernag.
By Rail: The railhead is located at Jammu. It is situated close to Kokernag and can be reached within 2 hours.
By Road: Kokernag can be accessed from any corner of Jammu and Kashmir as it is connected by well maintained roads.
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