Bhaderwah is also known as Nagabhumi (Nagon ki bhoomi), which means "land of Nagas." Bhaderwah Town was known as "Hettary Nagar" and prior to that, there were two other towns namely "Donga Nagar" and "Udho Nagar." Both the Nagars were situated around villages Mondha which is about 3 kms east of present Bhaderwah town. History tells us that in the past both the Nagars were flooded due to torrential floods from Himalayas. The presence of the big boulders in abundance available in the present era reveal the story of disaster that occurred then. Later on, the people of Bhaderwah selected a place for their rehabilitation in Seeri (from word "seer" meaning a vast piece of land), now known as Seeri Bazar, a vast field belonging to a Zamindar (farmer) and reconstructed their dwellings around it.
Rajatarangini tells us about Chintavihara - Chinta, wife of Udaya, lord of Kampana, adorned the land on the banks of the Vitasta with a vihara. There the five temples in the vihara appeared like the five tall fingers of the hand of the god of virtue.
The advent of Nagas and Garuras
Two daughter Kadru and Vinita of King Daksha were wedded to Rishi Kashyapa.
Kadru gave birth to one thousand strong and powerful Nagas and out of them eight are very famous in the world, such Nagas as Vasuki, Takshaka, Shesha & Kaliya Naga etc.
The second wife Vineeta gave birth to two sons naming Aruna and Garura. Garura in his early age went to Himalaya for meditation of God Vishnu. One day when Kashyapa Rishi (Sage) was not at home, both the sisters were watching the scene of early rising sun. In the meantime they started discussing the colours of the horses of the Chariot of the sun. According to Kadru the colour of the horses was black while according to Vineeta it was white. Both were adamant on their statements. At last there was a bet between the two that he who would lose the bet shall serve as servant to the other. In the evening when Kadru told to her sons about the bet they said, “Mother” Vineeta is right, the colour of the horses is white.
On hearing this Kadru became much worried and said that the decision of our bet would be decided by tomorrow’s rising sun and she would lose the bet, she would have to serve Vineeta as servant through out her life. Seeing the worries of their mother they said, “Don’t worry Mother, tomorrow at the time of rising sun we shall wrap the horses of the Chariot of the sun as all of us are black except brother Vasuki Naga and in this way the white colour of the horses shall become black and you will win the bet.
Next morning both the sisters waited for the sun to rise and prove their bet. When the Chariot of the Sun God appeared the colour of the horses looked black due to clinging of the black nagas round the horses. On seeing this Vineeta became astonished and since then she began to serve her sister as servant. After completing his meditation when Garuda came back home after a long time. His mother asked him about his Tapasya (Meditation) then Garura happily told her mother that he had completed his meditation successfully and Lord Vishnu after getting pleased with my meditation blessed me to remain with him always as his VAHAN (Carrier). The mother became very happy and embracing him blessed. But Garura seeing the melancholy face of his mother asked the reason of his gloominess. Vineeta friskily tried to avoid the causes of her gloominess but on the insistance of Garura she told him the whole tale of her sadness that how she had to serve her sister as a servant.
Garura told his mother that she had not lost the bet but Nagas have cheated you. They have insulted you and I shall take the revenge. It was not an ordinary event for him but a bolt from the blue. He could not tolerate such an insult of his mother and began burning with anger. Vineeta the mother of Garura could very well understand the feelings of her son and tried to pacify him by saying that they must be the rewarded of her misdeeds in the previous life. But Garur saw the helplessness of his mother, with which instead of cooling his anger increased. Garur due to extreme anger could not decide what to do. At the same time Dev Rishi Narad appeared there, Garur welcomed him. Naradji asked Garur about his perplexity. Then Garur narrated the whole sad tale how his step mother and step brothers cheated his mother and requested him to show the way, what to do. Naradji advised him to go to Lord Vishnu and ask him the solution of the problem. Garur at once went towards Himalayas and started meditation to please Lord Vishnu. After his hard meditation Lord Vishnu was pleased and appeared before him and asked the reason of his hard meditation. Garur seeing God before him became extremely happy and said My Lord if you are really pleased with my meditation then bless me that since today Nag should have no effect on me. God Vishnu was pleased with the hard meditation of Garur so he blessed him with his desired demand. From that very day the amenity between Garuras and Nagas started.
In ‘Tirata Youg’ ( In Hindu Mythology the life of the planet earth is divide into Yougs, Sat Youg, Tirata Youg, Duwapur Youg And Kal youg) when the cruelty of Rakshas (Evil Souls) went beyond limit the God Vishnu incarnated in the form of Rama, the son of Maharaja Dashrat. During the fourteen years of exile Ravan the King of Lanka stole his wife in a deceitful way and there was severe battle between the two. During the battle evil Ravana used a weapon called Nag Pash and Ram along with his army were caught in a serpent net.
In the last days of Duwapur Youg when the time of Kali Youg came then Kali youg requested Maharaja Prikshat to give a seat to reside. King Prikhsat did not want that Kali Youg be given seat on the eatable items, so he offer him seat on Gold or Silver. After getting the permission Kali Youg sat on the golden crown of the King Prikhsat. Due to the effect of the Kali Youg, the king while roaming in the Jungle picked up a dead snake and put it round the neck of a meditating hermit. Due to this unholy act of king, the penance of the sage was disturbed and he cursed that the same snake shall bite the man who had put it on him within seven days and the man shall die.
In the evening when the king Prikhshat put off his crown, the whole happening came to his mind; he instantly went to the hermit repented for his curse which he had given unknowingly.
After the death of the king Parikhsat when his son Prince Janmejaya became king, he in order to take revenge against Nagas managed a “NAG YAG” so that all the Nagas are killed. Under the influence of the mantras the Nags themselves came and fell into Havan Kund and got burnt. At that time Vasuki Nag requested his step sister Jarat Karu and brother-in –law hermit Jarat to prevent that killing of Nagas by asking their influential offspring. On this way the Nag Yag was stopped and still alive Nags were saved.
After that the Nagas came to Bhaderwah.