Thu, 01 Jun, 2023

Doleshwor Mahadev Temple: Reviving the Almost-Forgotten History

By Abhusan Gautam

Photo: Doleshwor Mahadev temple premises Photo Courtesy: Ashmita Kunwar

dwit-news-5th-special-logo Doleshwor Mahadev Temple is located in Sipadol VDC, in the southern part of Bhaktapur district. The temple is an important pilgrimage for Hindu devotees as it represents the Head of Lord Kedarnath, Uttarkhand India. According to the legend, after the completion of the Mahavarat war, when the five "Pandav" brothers visited Lord Shiva to ask for forgiveness for the casualties of the "Mahabharata" war, Lord Shiva was not pleased and he metamorphed into a bull. Realizing that the bull was actually Lord Shiva, the five brothers attempted to stop it by pulling its tail, but the body of the bull had snapped into two halves, head and the body. Pandav’s found the body part in Uttarkhanda, India which is called Kedarnath Temple but the head part was never recovered.

Since then people have been searching for the head part. Later, after a very long search, the most awaited moment came just a few years ago. During 2009, Doleshwor Mahadev Temple was discovered as the head of the Shree Kedarnath. The sculpture found there was 4000 years old, same as that of Kedarnath. After  declaring Doleshwor Mahadev as the head of Kedarnath, the number of people visiting has increased unexpectedly. It is also believed that since it being the head of the bull, it has more importance than the Kedarnath Temple. Same puja is conducted in Doleshwor as in Kedarnath Temple with same importance with two priests from India.

Doleshwor Mahadev temple can be easily accessed by public vehicles or private ones. You must go to Bhaktapur district and reach Suryabinayak and then proceed towards the Sipadol VDC. The temple is located at the bottom of the hill, but you must go through many up-hill slopes which provides prefect places to take pictures along the way. The road is not pitched, meaning traversing is really difficult during the rainy seasons. It is recommended to ride a hired/private vehicle to go there, since the public vehicles will only take you to the village and not to the temple, and the temple is 15-20 minutes of trekking (depending on your fitness).

[caption id="attachment_5586" align="aligncenter" width="672"]Photo: Doleshwor Mahadev Temple: A Close View Photo Courtesy: Ashmita Kunwar Photo: Doleshwor Mahadev Temple, A Closer View
Photo Courtesy: Ashmita Kunwar[/caption]

When you reach the temple,  it is quite small when compared to other famous religious heritage sites, and is not that grand as the hype around it. The temple has a couple of small buildings and one small central temple. The source of water is a "Dhungey Dhara" and it is awesome, the water is very refreshing. The temple is surrounded by small local markets, which sells things needed during a religious act. Flowers, "Agarbatti" - incense sticks and sweets. Everything else in the temple is normal, there are priests that monitor the activities in the temple and conduct religious prayers. Local people visit the temple and participate in singing holy songs and offering their prayers during the morning and evening. There are statues of the golden bull, and large bells. The place has this religious aura, and you will feel pure after staying there for a while.

[caption id="attachment_5593" align="aligncenter" width="432"]Photo: Doleshwor Mahadev Shrine Photo Courtesy: Ashmita Kunwar Photo: Doleshwor Mahadev Shrine
Photo Courtesy: Ashmita Kunwar[/caption]

In the past couple of years, the Doleshwor Mahadev Temple has been  recognized not only by Nepalese, but also Indian devotees and the pilgrimage spot attracts many more religious people. The government of Nepal has developed a strategy to develop the place and provide better facilities to the visitors. The priests of the famous Kedarnath Temple, India have urged the priests to conduct the religious rites as its being done there. There has been many economical support to develop the area as well. The local people have also profited from the growth of the site. Doleshwor Mahadev, the deity is a great boon for the economy of the locality and for the Hindu devotees and its development will attract many tourists in the coming years.

The government has also developed an integrated master plan to hype the area as a religious and tourist/ pilgrimage destination. According to a Kathmandu Post article, the secretary of Prime Minister’s office has made the concerned authorities aware about the importance of renovating the cultural area and has urged them to do the needful. It is because of which we see some, if not much, renovation and cleanliness activities going on in and around the area.