6. Pindeshwor Temple, Dharan:
Pindeshwor Temple is located in Dharan of Sunsari of Eastern Nepal. On every Monday in the month of Shrawan, thousands of devotees from different places come barefoot to pay tribute to Lord Shiva with holy water from Koshi River.
It is believed that the wishes of a devotee will come true if they offer river water of Saptakoshi and Koka river in the Barahachetra temple and the water of Kaushiki Tat in the Pindeshwor Shivalaya. In the Pindeshwor temple, the oil lamps kept burning incessantly. This Hindu temple is right at the bottom of Vijayapur Hill, just a 15-minute walk east of Bhanu Chowk, the main square and the bus to the city center of Dharan.
In front of the temple is a pool with a small statue in its center. The main complex temple doesn’t look like much from the outside, but take off your shoes and walk inside and it’s quite nice. There are 3 temples throughout, a mini one with a low door, another with a patio and several bells and beautiful statues are placed around the entire place.
According to legend, the myth and scriptures explain that the gods and demons when gathered for sea churning. The vessel with Amrit came out which the gods hid in the temple in the form of Shiva Linga. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Amritpinda Pindeshwor. The glory of Pindeshwar Temple is different and important compared to other Shiva temples in Nepal.
Each temple has its own specialty and importance. The temple can be seen as the model of medieval art and culture. Throughout the year, nearly 7-8 lakhs of devotees come to worship in the temple. Among which, 5 lakh people come during the month to offer holy water to the Linga of Shiva. The Pindeshwar complex is referred to as the forest of Rudraksha.
There is a religious belief that no matter where you are if you wear the garland of Rudraksha for the fulfillment of your wishes. Then you have to bring that Garland in this Dham and recite the mantra formally. Then only your wishes will be fulfilled.
Here, pilgrims come from various places of West Nepal to India with the belief that they will fulfill their aspirations for success in business, prosperity, employment, well being, good health, offspring, and longevity, etc. It is believed that in the past, two miraculous sages named Barambar and Chitmber were living in this area.
Since they were Shiva devotees, Guru and disciples and lived and worshiped in Pindeshwar premises. After their death, Shiva Linga was established inside the temple premises and built their tomb. Because of the archeological patterns of the medieval period in this temple, Pindeshwar Baba Dham’s fame can be easily understood even in the medieval period.
In the southern part of the temple is the temple of Pindeshwar Bhagwan. There are temples including Ganesh Astbhuja. Likewise, outside the main temple, there is a temple of Hanuman, Saraswati and Santoshi Mata. Within this Pindeshwar area are the Saraswati Kund and the Pindeshwar campus where Sanskrit teaching is done.
Historically, religiously and culturally, Pindeshwar is considered as one of the most important sites in the East. Handi is arranged for the saints and sages coming from BarahaChhetra. So the temple is also related to the BarahaChhetra. Every twelve years when Maha Kumbha Fair is organized, the Ghanda or the Vessel is established here in the temple.
It is also the tradition that if in any case the incessant light of the lamp is distinguished, the fire from the Ramdhuni should be brought to lit up the light. And the same goes for Ramdhuni as well. Bala Dhartudashi, Shivaratri and Tij are fair in this Dham.
Every area of Koshi and Kokoh coast is an important area in the east, it is the responsibility of all to protect and promote it. Since our culture is our identity, protecting it will protect its identity.
7. Reshunga Temple of Gulmi:
The fair begins at the historic Tapovumi Resunga in Gulmi to promote religious and historical tourist sites. Like in the previous years at the religious site Resunga, this year also, the temple management committee organized a daily puja operation, Rudri, Chandi Shivaji for one month of. Devotees come from neighboring districts including Gulmi for bathing in the lake.
As there is a religious belief that bathing in the lake of Resunga will wash away all the sins. The temple is one of the four religious pilgrims in Nepal. Devotees from different places of Nepal including Gulmi and Arghakhanchi, Palpa, Vaglung Pyuthan, Rupandehi, and others visit the religious site in a month’s fair. A spectacular view can be enjoyed from the view tower in the religious site Resunga.
There still is a lack of proper road to the lake of Reshunga. If the road and transportation are well developed, the site will become an important location for not only national tourist but also for international. The Shivalaya temple located at Bhadagaon of Padelpokhara at the outskirts of Reshunga is becoming the center of religious tourism.
The temple was established as Shakti Peeth in 2044 B. S. under the active participation of the then VDC Secretary Sherjung Bahadur Basnet. Locals identify the area of the temple as Mandirtol where the regular rituals and hymns are recited at dawn. The priest of the temple claimed that the wish of any devotee is fulfilled by worshipping in the temple.
The married couple who had no children went there and asked for the offspring. Pandit Biswanath Panthi, who is a local resident, has certified that 15 couples who had no offspring of their own had their wish fulfilled. The area is popular for orange plantation and is well known among the nature of living tourists.
The temple, the community forest and Chautara’s Gaushala in the east, the orange and vegetable farms of Bhadagaon are the main attractions. According to Sher Jung Bahadur Basnet, a 65-year-old social activist, the influence and belief of the divine power of the temple have drawn people.
It is believed that at the summit of Reshunga, royal sage and saints of King Dashrath of Treta Yuga had meditated. Because in ancient times, the sages and saints had meditated here so the name reshunga. Resunga has been of importance since the Treta and dwapar Yuga.
The significance of the temple, the penance of many Rishi Maharshis like Siddhbhumi, Taphobhumi Maharshi Bhoomi, Rishi Sringeshwar, Yadukananda, Ram Chandra, are mentioned in many Vedapuranas. Resunga, which has been a perfect destination since the Dwapar and Treta yuga, has now become a beautiful virtuous land, crossing various ruins. There are also places of religious and cultural importance in this area.
Religious places such as Dhagithum, Ramkund, Siddhasthan, Arjundanda, Mahapokhari, Yagyashala, Gaushala, Shrawan Shivalay are within this area. Resunga, located at an altitude of 2000 to 3040 meters above sea level, is considered not only religiously, historically important but also full of biodiversity. At the top of the resunga, there is a view tower with snowflakes including Dhawalgiri to Manaslu.
8. Haleshi Mahadev, Khotang:
Haleshi Mahadev is popularly known famous as The Pashupatinath of eastern Nepal. It is located in the Khotang district, 3,100 feet – 4,734 feet above sea level. It is located 185 km southwest of Mount Everest and a revered site of Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage. Sri Haleshi Mahadev is a sacred temple located in Khotang District of Nepal.
The location of this cave is between the sacred rivers Dudh Koshi and Sun Koshi. This place is usually cold and rainy. Today it is accessible by motorcycles and jeeps. It is believed that Lord Shiva hid from the bhasmasura demon for 6,000 years in this cave.
During the holidays of Rama Navami and Ganesh Chaturthi, Shrawan fairs and parties take place in the area. Indians also come to visit here after climbing many hills. Many Indian people come here from places like Ladania and Jayanagar during the month of Shrawan to worship to Haleshi Mahadev.
This cave is 67 feet below the surface of the earth and is both a revered religious place and a tourist destination. Its entrance is shaped like a crescent and faces east. It has a round shape, with a diameter of 193 feet, with a separate cave located below. The ground is 223 feet in circumference.
The place is blessed with natural beauty, full of cultural heritage and famous among Hindus, for whom it is related to the god Shiva, as well as for Buddhists around the world. There is a legend that the Hindu god Vishnu was the first of all pilgrims to pay homage to Haleshi Mahadeva in Satya Yuga, the Golden Age.
Since then, six thousand years ago, many kings, saints, philosophers, thinkers, hermits, abbots, ascetics, and simple believers have to this day worshiped this holy place. It is known as a wish-fulfilling place that blesses the true devotees to fulfill their desires. For Buddhists, this power place is associated with Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), where he, along with his spiritual companion Mandarava, achieved immortality through Buddha Amitayus’ blessing.
In Tibetan literature, Maratika is already mentioned in the 12th century. The ‘Sanglingma’, a biography (Kathang) of Padmasambhava unveiled by Nyangral Nyima Oser, describes the original event that made the Maratika Cave a sacred place for Buddhists.
At the request of the Bodhisattva Avaloketesvara, Buddha Amitayus once taught the eighteen Long Life Tantras. The Dakini Sangwa Yeshe wrote down these and then hid the manuscripts in the Maratika Cave. While Guru Padmasambhava was in the Kingdom of Sahor, he met the daughter of King Arshadhara, a sixteen-year-old girl called Mandarava Flower, who bore all the marks of a qualified Tantric adept.
The guru cast a spell over her and took her with him as a spiritual companion and helper in the exercise. Sometime later, they came together to Maratika, revealing the mandalas of Buddha Amitayus and practicing the long-life tantras previously hidden by Sangwa Yeshe. After three months, Amaitayus appeared in a vision in front of them in the room, touching her head with the nectar-filled vase of immortality.
This blessing raised Master Padma to Daka Hayagriva and Mandarava to his companion, the Dakini Vajra Varahi. In this way, they realized the Vidyadhara stage of immortality beyond birth and death. During Guru Rinpoche later Buddhism in Tibet established, Mandarava worked in India, where she had many students. Other sources, written later, mention this episode in the life of the Great Saint, for example the Padma Thangyig Sheldrangma, a 14th-century treasure text by Urgyen Lingpa.
Samten Lingpa aka Tagsham Nuden Dorje, a Tertön (Revealer of Hidden Treasures) from the second half of the 17th century, also devotes six episodes to this episode in his biography of Padmasambhava and his companion. Guide to the sacred places of NepalKhamtrul Choki Nyima (1730-1780) wrote about the Maratika Cave.
Short introductions by HH Dalai Lama, Trulshik Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Chatral Rinpoche, Lama Ngawang Chopel Gyatso, and Lopon Karma Wangchuk can be found in the book ‘The Guide to Maratika’.
9. Arjun Dhara Dham of Jhapa:
Arjun Dhara is a Hindu pilgrimage site in Jhapa district. It is located in Shani-Arjun Municipality of Jhapa district of Mechi Zone of Nepal. In this dhama, formerly located in Arjundhara VDC, worshippers of Shiva temple, Vishnu temple, and other temples are always crowded.
Especially on Mahashivaratri, Balachaturddashi, Krishna Janmashtami, Maghe Sankranti, Shrawan, etc. In the premises of Arjundhara area, where alcohol and smoke are forbidden, an ancient lake where Arjuna draws water from arrows is situated. In the middle of it, a statue of Arjun feeding the cows has been installed.
On the south side of the lake which has seven corners, five taps made from five types of metals can be found. Continuous cold water flows from these taps and various species of colored fish are found inside the lake. Visited by millions of devotees from various corners of Nepal and India, this place has been illustrated on the postal stamps of Nepal.
Here, apart from the idols of deities like Shiva, Ganesh, Nag, Hanuman and Saraswati, marriage, rituals, Yagyakashyas, Kriyaputri chamber, religious program recitation, and audience room, etc. are established. This Dham is based on Eastern philosophy and is influenced by Sanskrit education. The Gargi University of Kalika is based on Gurukul education system.
Apart from the brahmans, students of Dalit caste have also been taught at Veda University, which is operating within the campus of Arjun Dhara. In Arjun Dhara every year on Balachaturddashi and Shrawan, one month fair is organized. On which occasions devotees come from within the country and even from India.
Arjundhara known as the East Pashupatinath is located Jhapa district, the newly-formed municipal shaniarjuna (first Arjundhara VDC, Ward No-4). Arjundhara is about 5 km north from Birtamod in Jhapa district. The journey can be done by bus, taxi etc. It is 45 minutes by flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur and 30 minutes by car from Bhadrapur to Arjundhara. It is 6 km north of Birtamode business center.
Arjun is a gentleman’s name that is worshiped in Hinduism and is considered the greatest talent in the bow and arrow art. And ‘Dhara’, a water source, basically a tap. Arjundhara has its history since Mahabharat times. It is believed that after the Pandavas completed their 12 years of staying in the woods they had to live 2 years hiding their identity before returning to their state.
Pandavs were staying in King Birat’s palace, hiding their identity. But the Kauravas may have discovered that Pandavas were living their so that they stole all cows that belonged to King Birat to compel the Pandavas to reveal their identity. The Pandavas along with some others in the palace set out to find the cows that were in the place now called ‘Garuwa’. Pandavs fought with the Kauravas and gained the cows.
When the Pandavas were returning the cows from the garuwa, the cows felt thirsty. Arjun at once pulled the arrow from the bow named Pagnakhestra and hit it to the ground from where water exploded off the ground and the cows quenched their thirst.
Later, perhaps around a century ago a nun named ‘Khadebaba’ discovered this place as one that has a history with the Mahabharata. And then the temple was formed and named Arjundhara jaleshwor Dham. There is also a gurukul for the brahmins to read. And also a cow farm.
There are also statues of different gods such as Lord Shiva and Lord Hanuman as it is believed that Lord Shiva turned into Lord Hanuman to help Lord Ram to find Lordess Sita.
10. Behadababa Temple, Kailali:
Behdababa Temple is a religious site located in Kailali. It is 14 km from Dhangadhi. Every year during the Ganga Dussehra, big fairs are held here. During this time, a large number of devotees and visitors from Nepal and India visit here. Devotees come here hoping to fulfill their wishes.
Behdaba Baba Full Linga is considered as a symbol of Lord Shiva. Behdababa is known as one of the major religious sites in the Far West. The locals say that the pilgrims come here with a lot of aspirations of wives, sons and daughters, and wealth.
The state is facing a failure due to lack of proper investment. According to locals, the temple is in the middle of a deep forest. The temple was established in ancient times after Shivling itself originated. There is a large pond named Mahadev in the temple complex. After bathing in the pond, the visitor worships Shiva.
On the day of Maghi Sankranti, bathing in the reservoir and visiting the temple has also led to the belief that the sins of the year will be washed away. Although initially a small Linga was found, its base has now increased to seven to eight feet, the locals. Due to the raw way to reach the temple, the visitor will have trouble accessing the temple. The road gets damp when it’s raining and polluted with dist on sunny days.
The progress of religious tourism in the province 7 was not achieved due to the lack of road level access to the Behdaba Baba Temple, less provision of proper accommodation, food and water for the devotees. The Behdaba Baba Temple is considered to be the center of religious belief not only in the Far West but also in the country.
Earlier in the temple area, the Indian dominated. Because Jung Bahadur Rana helped British India, they had gifted kailali, banke, kanchanpur, and Bardiya. Because of the thick forest, there was not much population there. When these states had been gifted to Nepal, it is said that the tribal people of Nepali origin started living there.
The legend says that the Indian citizen was traveling there when he found the Shiva Linga. Indians have tried to overthrow Shivling with ropes several times but their efforts are reported to have been unsuccessful. They hit the Linga by an iron cube when it could not be lifted. The impression struck by the cube can still be seen clearly in the upper part of the Linga.
There is a public belief that the temple was established in the same place after the Linga could not be lifted. It is believed that the clever Indian citizens also came to settle there after the tribal Tharus in the area. Indian citizens have come to establish the temple and maintain it too. In the recent past, the religious sector has been linked to the tourism sector.
The same Dhangadhi sub-metropolis has started construction of the temple master plan. Dharamsala, road extension and drinking water are being arranged for the devotees. The temple and the area nearby are the perfect places for those who love to dwell in nature. Proper construction of roads, transportation, accommodations, food, and water supply can make the area to be known in the world.