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Balkumari Temple

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We welcome you to the Shree Balkumari Temple in Sunaguthi!

 This temple is located in Ward No. 27 of Lalitpur Metropolitan City in Bagmati Pradesh.

History and development of Human Settlement in Suranthi (Sunaguthi)

There used to be a place called Brahmatol in the region now known as Sunaguthi, where a family lived by rearing cows. The cow always refused to give out milk and bleated every time a member of the household attempted to milk it. However, when the cow was left free, it always went to the same spot to give milk. Jyotirlinga of Bhringareshwor Mahadev was found covered in between the dense bushes near where the cow where the cow offered milk to the Shivalinga every time it was left free.

The discovery of Bhringareshwor Mahadev’s Jyortilinga sacred site led to more people moving to this area for religious purposes, which in turn increased human settlements over time in this area. Thus, the genesis of Bhringareshwor Mahadev and the history of settlement development in Sunaguthi have been found to be connected. Even now, the Brahmatol village is located on the east side of the Bhringareshwor Mahadev temple.

After the origin of Bhringareshwor Mahadev, many other deities in the region were found and recognized, giving rise to the name “Suranthi“, which means “a place where deities reside”. Etymologically, “Sur” refers to deities, while in Newari language “Thi” signifies a place. As a result, “Suranthi” eventually evolved into “Sunaguthi”.

Balkumari Temple

In the heart of Sunaguthi, where many deities reside, you can see the temple of Balkumari Mata, where Navadurga and her companions are also enshrined.Upon entering the Balkumari Temple’s main entrance and proceeding straight ahead, you will witness the temple of Balkumari Bhawani, which is an embodiment of ancient culture and religious civilization. The Balkumari Temple, constructed in the Pagoda style, is not only attractive but also artistic. The tundals (wooden sculptures) of Navadurga gans (deities)further enhance the artistic value of this temple.

Simhini and Vyahini can be seen in front of the temple’s main gate. Inside the temple, there is a large throne where Balkumari Mata is seated. Simhini and Vyahini are on either side, while the nine forms of Navadurga, together with Bhairav, are in the center. The sequence includes Ganesha, Brahmayani, Maheshwari, Baisnavi, Bhairav, Balkumari, Barahi, Kali, Indrayani, Chamunda, and Mahalakshmi, all seated in their respective positions in order from right to left. Furthermore, when you look inside the temple, you will notice many bells hanging from the above.

Right outside the temple, you can also see a place where devotees light incense sticks and light (diyo) are lit by the devotees. There is also a large bell near it. Inside the temple complex, small room that is constructed for devotional singing and chanting (bhajan kirtan) purposes can be seen.

Balkumari temple is regarded as the Shaktipeeth of Mahadev. As this temple is the Shaktipeeth of Mahadev, you can see Masan (crematorium) right behind the temple. There is a tradition of cremating the Guthiyars of Sunaguthi in the same Masan (crematorium) due to popular belief that the Guthiyars are Shivagans (soldiers of Shiva).

Beliefs and Festivals

Every twelve years, there is a unique practice of bringing Nawadurga of Thecho (a neighbouring village) to this Balkumari temple. This is one of the most unique tradition practiced here and this tradition of bringing one goddesses from one village to another temple of another village every twelve years- reflects the relationship between two goddesses of two different places. The idol of Nawadurga is taken from Thecho to the Balkumari Temple during this festival/fair, and this mystical goddess is adorned with a new crown and new attire.

Similarly, “Sithinakha” is held in this temple on Kumar’s birthday, i.e. during the Kumar Khasti. During this occasion, all devotees come together to worship Kumar and partake in various “bhajan kirtan” rites.

1. Yomari Punhi or Mansir Purnima

In front of the temple of Bhringareshwar Mahadev and amidst the settlements, there is also a Balkumari temple. That temple is called Chhori Balkumari (Daughter Balkumari) or Pancha Kumari. On the day of Yomari Punhi, a festival known as “Chha-kha Jatra” is celebrated. On the day of Jatra, the idol of Shree Balkumari is brought from the Balkumari temple, situated in between the settlement is brought to this Balkumari temple in Khat.

After which, Tantrik rituals and Tantrik Puja are conducted during the nights. After performing tantrik rituals and Pujas at night, the idol of Balkumari Mata is carried around the village of Sunaguthi and is placed again at the primary location. After that, Guthiyars from all over the village have a tradition of having Prasad (Sacred food)from the same Kumari Chulho (Kumari Stove) in the complex of Balkumari Temple. This practice helps foster unity and harmony among the Guthiyar families, treating them like members of a single family and promoting mutual trust, bond and harmonious relationship with each other.

2. Chaitra Jatra (Pekh Jatra)

The Pekh Jatra festival is observed from Chaitra Shukla Trayodashi to Chaitra Shukla Purnima. The commencement of the Jatra is marked by raising a Yosi (wooden lingo) as a symbol of Mahadev and worshiping it two days before Chaitra Shukla Purnima. The Jatra concludes on the night of the third day, i.e. on the day of the full moon, when the Yosi that was raised on the first day is pulled down.

When Ganesh and Kumar battled to see who could circumambulate Mount Sumeru first, Ganesh circumambulates Shiva and Balakumari, claiming that no other world is greater than the parents. Kumari is Parvati‘s original form. Thus, the custom of this Jatra is thought to have developed from the concept that there is no one greater in the world than parents. Also, Kumar, who had gone to circumambulate Mount Sumeru, is said to have returned home after a very long period, hence this Jatra is celebrated as a pleasant family reunion of the four gods.

On the day of Chaitra Shukla Chaturthi, Balkumari, Mahadev, Ganesha and Kumar are kept in separate khats and ceremoniously carried around the Sunaguthi village by playing several drums and other musical instruments. On the day of Purnima, all the four deities are offered curds in Dhau Baji Khya (in present Ward No. 27 ward office premises).

After the Jatra concludes in the evening, the four deities are put in the temple complex, followed by a worship ceremony performed by De Thakali Naki (older lady of the village), and then the four gods are placed within the temple again by conducting a particular type of Puja known as Lasa Kusha. Thus, after returning the goddess to the temple and re-establishing them on the midnight of the full moon, the Jatra ends with the removal of the Yosi that was lifted on Trayodashi.

During this festival, it is customary to invite relatives, and daughter-in-laws and prepare and serve a variety of Newari delicacies to them.

Furthermore, during the time of this Jatra, local residents, guests, and devotees also participate in the tradition of offering animal sacrifices to the goddess Balkumari as part of the festivities.

Read story of heritages of Nepal …


Janak Raj Maharjan


Balkumari Bhawani Guthi, Sunaguthi

बालभावे माहारौद्रि कौमारी रक्तलोचनी।

रक्तवस्त्र परीधारी सिन्दुरारुण विग्रहा।।

चतुर्भुजा शक्तिहस्ता सिद्धिपात्र धरा शुभम्।।


सुनागुथिको श्री बालकुमारी मन्दिरमा हजुरहरुलाई स्वागत छ।

यो मन्दिर बाग्मती प्रदेशको ललितपुर महानगरपालिका वडा नं २७ मा अवस्थित छ।


सुरन्ठी (सुनागुथि) र बस्ती विकास

अहिले सुनगुथि रहेको ठाउँमा पहिले ब्रह्म टोल नाम गरेको एउटा वस्ती थियो जहाँ गाई पालेर एक परिवार बसोबास गर्दथे। गाईले दुध दुहुन नदिने र छटपटिने गर्दथ्यो। तर गाईलाई खुल्ला छोडिदिँदा भने जहिल्यै पनि एउटै स्थानमा गएर दूध दिने गर्दथ्यो। सोहि स्थानमा घना झाडभित्र भृङ्गारेश्वर महादेवको ज्योर्तिलिङ्ग फेला पर्‍यो।

बिस्तारै ज्योर्तिलिङ्ग भएको ठाउँमा मान्छेको आवतजावत बढ्दै गएकाले त्यस क्षेत्रमा बस्ती बस्न सुरु भयो। यसरी , सुनागुथिमा बस्ती विकासको इतिहास र भृङ्गारेश्वर महादेवको उत्पत्ति सँगसँगै जोडिएर आएको पाइन्छ। अहिले पनि ब्रह्म टोल भन्ने बस्ती भृङ्गारेश्वर महादेव मन्दिरको पूर्वपट्टि रहेको छ। भृङ्गारेश्वर महादेवको उत्पत्ति पश्चात् यस क्षेत्रमा अरु धेरै देवताहरु पत्ता लाग्दै गएकाले यस ठाउँलाई “सुरन्ठी” अर्थात् देवताहरु बस्ने ठाउँ पनि भनिन थालियो। सुर भनेको देवता र नेवारी भाषामा ठी भनेको ठाउँ हो। यहि, “सुरन्ठी” शब्द अपभ्रंश हुँदै सुनागुथि भयो।


बालकुमारी मन्दिर

धेरै देवीदेवता बस्ने ठाउँ, सुनागुथिको मध्यभागमा नवदुर्गा गण सहित बिराजमान रहनु भएको बालकुमारी माताको मन्दिर देख्न सकिन्छ। बालकुमारी मन्दिर प्रवेशद्वारबाट प्रवेश गरि सिधा अगाडि जानुभयो भने प्राचीन संस्कृति एवं धार्मिक सभ्यताको नमुना बोकेको बालकुमारी भवानीको मन्दिर देख्न सक्नुहुन्छ। प्यागोडा शैलीमा निर्मित बालकुमारी मन्दिर आकर्षक र कलात्मक छ। यस मन्दिर परिसरमा रहेका नवदुर्गाका गणहरुका टुँडालहरुले पनि यस मन्दिरलाई थप कलात्मक बनाएको छ।

यस मन्दिरको मुख्य द्वार अगाडि सिंहिनी, व्याहिनी देख्न सकिन्छ। मन्दिरभित्र एउटा ठूलो सिंहासनमा भने बालकुमारी मातालाई बिराजमान गराइएको छ। क्रमैसँग भन्ने हो भने छेउ छेउमा सिंहिनी, व्याहिनी र बिचमा नवदुर्गाका नौ स्वरुप साथमा भैरव राखिएको छ। क्रमश: हेर्दा सिंहिनी (सिम्बा), गणेश, ब्रह्मायणी, महेश्वरी, बैष्णवी, भैरव, बालकुमारी, बाराही, काली, इन्द्रायणी, चामुण्डा, महालक्ष्मी र ब्याघिनी (धुम्बा ) बिराजमान छन्। साथ साथै, मन्दिरभित्र नियाल्दा थुप्रै घण्टिहरु पनि झुण्ड्याइएको देख्न सकिन्छ।

मन्दिरको ठिक बाहिर भने तपाईँले भक्तजनहरुका लागि भनेर राखिएको धुप बत्ती बाल्ने ठाउँ पनि देख्न सक्नुहुन्छ। त्यस नजिकै एउटा ठूलो घण्टि पनि रहेको छ। त्यहिँ मन्दिर परिसरभित्र भजन किर्तन गर्नका लागि भनेर बनाइएको एउटै छुट्टै कक्ष समेत देख्न सकिन्छ।


बालकुमारी मन्दिरलाई महादेवको शक्तिपिठ मानिन्छ।

यो मन्दिर महादेवको शक्तिपिठ भएकाले मन्दिरको ठिक पछाडि तपाईँले मसान देख्न सक्नुहुन्छ।  गुठियारहरु शिवगण हुन् भन्ने जनविश्वासले गर्दा सुनागुथिका गुठियारहरुको अन्त्यष्टि त्यहि मसानमा गरिन्छ। उनीहरुको अन्त्यष्टि गर्नका लागि श्री पन्चमी गुठीका शिवगणहरुले (श्री पन्चमी गुठीका गुठियारहरुलाई शिवगण पनि भनिन्छ) बोकेर लाने गर्दछन। साथै, श्री पन्चमीका भोलिपल्ट षष्टमी तिथिका दिन गुठियारहरुले शिवगणहरुलाई पूजा गर्ने प्रचलन रहेको छ।


जात्रा, चाडपर्व र विश्वासहरु

बाह्र वर्षमा लाग्ने हरिसिद्दिको मेलामा यस बालकुमारी मन्दिरमा पूजा आउने गर्दछ। ढेच्व (ठेचो) को नवदुर्गालाई बाह्र वर्षमा एकचोटि बालकुमारी मन्दिरमा ल्याई मुकुट साथै नयाँ पहिरन पनि फेराइन्छ।

त्यस्तै, यस मन्दिरमा कुमारको जन्मदिनमा अर्थात् कुमार षष्ठीका दिन “सिठिनख” मनाइन्छ। जसमा सबै भक्तजनहरु जम्मा भएर पूजा गर्ने प्रचलन रहेको पाइन्छ।


१. योमरी पुन्ही: वा मंसिर पूर्णिमा

भृङ्गारेश्वर महादेवको मन्दिर अगाडि बस्तीहरुको बिचमा पनि बालकुमारी मन्दिर रहेको छ। त्यस मन्दिरलाई छोरी बालकुमारी वा पञ्च कुमारी भनिन्छ। योमरी पुन्हीका दिन “छख” जात्रा मनाइन्छ। जात्राका दिन बस्तीहरु बिच रहेको बालकुमारी मन्दिरबाट श्री बालकुमारीको मूर्ती खटमा राखेर ल्याई यस मन्दिरमा विधिपूर्वक तान्त्रिक पूजा गरिन्छ। यसरी रात्रीकालिन तान्त्रिक पूजा सकिएपछि भने बालकुमारी मातालाई खटमा बोकेर सुनागुथि गाउँ परिक्रमा गराई पहिलेकै स्थानमा विराजमान गराइन्छ। जसपश्चात् भने गाउँभरिका गुठियारहरुले सोहि बालकुमारी माई मन्दिरको आँगनमा एउटै कुमारी चुल्होबाट प्रसाद भोज गर्ने प्रचलन रहेको छ। यो प्रचलनले गाउँका सबै गुठियारहरुलाई एकै परिवारको सदस्यझैँ बलियो गरि एकता र सद्भावको एउटै मालामा गाँस्न मद्दत पुर्‍याउँछ।


२. चैत्र जात्रा (पेख जात्रा)

चैत्र शुक्ल त्रयोदशीका दिनदेखि चैत्र शुक्ल पूर्णिमाको दिनसम्म पेख जात्रा मनाइन्छ। चैत्र शुक्ल पूर्णिमाको दुई दिन अघि महादेवको प्रतीकको रुपमा योसि (काठको लिङ्गो) उठाएर त्यसलाई पूजा गरेपछि जात्रा सुरु हुन्छ। तेस्रो दिनको रात अर्थात् पूर्णिमाको दिन योसि ढालेपछी जात्रा सकिन्छ।

गणेश र कुमारलाई सुमेरु पर्वत कसले पहिला परिक्रमा गरेर आउँछ भन्ने प्रतिस्पर्धा गराउँदा, गणेशले भने बाबु-आमाभन्दा ठूलो अर्को विश्व छैन भनेर शिव र बालकुमारीलाई परिक्रमा गर्छन्। पार्वतीको मुल रुप कुमारी हो। यसरी यो जात्राको प्रचलन संसारमा बुबा आमाभन्दा ठूलो कोहि पनि छैन भन्ने विश्वासबाट आएको मानिन्छ। साथै, सुमेरु पर्वत परिक्रमा गर्न गएका कुमार निकै लामो समयपछि घर आएकाले चार देवताको पारिवारिक मिलनको खुसियाली स्वरुप यो जात्रा मनाइने गरिएको जनविश्वास छ।

चैत्र शुक्ल चतुर्थीका दिन बालकुमारी, महादेव, गणेश र कुमारलाई छुट्टा छुट्टै खटमा राखेर बाजागाजा सहित नगर परिक्रमा गराइन्छ। पूर्णिमाको दिन चारवटै देवतालाई धौ बजी ख्य (हालको वडा नं २७ वडा कार्यालय प्रांगणमा) मा दहिको सगुन दिइन्छ। त्यस दिन बेलुका जात्रा समापन भएपछि चारै देवतालाई मन्दिर प्रांगणमा राखि दे थकाली नकि (गाउँको जेष्ठ महिला) ले विधिपूर्वक पूजा गरि लसकुस गरेर भित्र्याइन्छ।  यसरी, पूर्णिमाको मध्यरातमा बालकुमारीलाई मन्दिरमा नै लगेर पुनस्थापित गराएपछि त्रयोदशीमा गाडिएको योसि ढालेर जात्रा सकिन्छ।

यस जात्राका बेला आफ्ना नाताकुटुम्ब, आफन्त र छोरीचेलीलाई निम्तो दिएर विभिन्न परिकार बनाइ खुवाउने चलन रहेको छ।

त्यस्तै, त्यहाँका स्थानिय बासिन्दा, वरपरका मानिसहरु साथै भक्तजनहरुले बालकुमारी देवीलाई जात्राकै क्रममा बोकाको बलि दिने चलन समेत रहिआएको छ।



जनक राज महर्जन

बालकुमारी भवानी गुठी, सुनागुथि।

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