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Shivalaya Temple

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Welcome to the Shivalaya Temple, Kushma  

According to the inscription found in this temple, it was built 170 years ago in 1917 BS (1859 AD) by Radhika Giri, the daughter-in-law of Dhanraj Giri. According to the Shivalaya temple development trust, Dhanraj Giri, the father of radhika giri came from Dahachowk kathmandu to visit Muktinath. Dhanraj giri was so moved by the experience that he decided to settle nearby and stayed in kusma. He married a local girl from the Puri family and started his family. Later his daughter-in-law would construct Shivalaya temple due to the importance of its location and to look after the travelers.

When Radhika Giri, his daughter-in-law did not have any children, she decided to build a temple and a Shivalaya Sattle to serve food, water and shelter for sadhus, sages, religious devotees, and travelers on their journey to Muktinath. On the right-hand side of the temple, you’ll discover the Shivalaya Sattal. You’ll also find an inscription of the Dhanraj Giri family members on the bell and stone inscription, The date 1917 B.S. is also written on the bell.

The Shivalaya temple has always been an essential stop for travelers making their way to Muktinath, and behind the temple lies an old route to Mustang. Before the highway was built, many sages, rishis, and spiritual seekers would stop at the Shivalaya Sattal to rest and seek food, water, and shelter before embarking on their journey. The Sattal played a vital role in the temple’s history, serving as a safe haven for travelers and spiritual seekers alike.

Radhika giri dedicated her entire property in the name of the temple. She ordered her brothers to carry out various duties after her passing: one to become a priest, one to clean the temple, and one to develop it. The temple has been maintained and cared for by the Giri family ever since and now it is officially known as Shivalaya temple development trust. 

There is also a remarkable 50-meter-deep well near the temple, which became the primary source of water for the entire Shivalaya area. This sacred temple is located just 400 meters away from Kushma chowk, in ward no 6. The shivalaya area, shivalaya chowk and old shivalaya village development committe is named after this temple. This temple is also known as Dhaneshwor mahadev and there is a dhaneshwor chowk nearby named after this temple. 

As you enter the temple courtyard, you can view the stunning architecture and intricate details of this 170-year-old structure. This small shikhara-chaitya styled Shiva temple has an abundance of intricate carvings made of stone, each telling its own unique story. The temple’s location was initially decided because of its height and long history of being known as a primitive pathway to muktinath. Rajendra Bikram Shah, (King of Nepal from 1816 to 1847 A.D.) gave Lal Mohar, a royal seal, to this temple. This special decree only adds to the temple’s rich history and the importance it holds in the hearts of the people of Kusma.

As you enter the temple gates, you’ll notice an old and artistic temple. It has shiva linga inside.  The Bhairab is on the left side of shiva linga, representing a powerful form of Shiva. The stone-carved chepu on the top of the gate is reminiscent of temples from the Kathmandu Valley. The builders, who were brought all the way from Bhaktapur, used black lentils to connect two stones, adding to the temple’s remarkable construction that is still standing still. The bell in this temple is as old as the temple itself and was once heard all around Kushma bazar from its hilltop location.

The temple is also the perfect location for important life events such as upanayana ceremonies, marriages, and other religious functions. The pujari is still selected from the Giri community and the temple’s development committee is committed to maintain the prosperity of the temple. The daily prayers are conducted by chosen pujaris, offering a divine experience to all visitors. The temple is known by devotees from far and wide, who come to offer their worship and seek the blessings of Lord Dhaneshwor Mahadev, the presiding deity of this sacred place. On special occasions such as Shivaratri, Falgun Shivaratri, Bala Chaturthi, and Haritalika Teej, devotees from all corners of the world come together to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.

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References

Ishwor Giri, Ward Head 

शिवालय मन्दिरमा हजुरलाई स्वागत छ।

शिवालय मन्दिरमा फेला परेको शिलालेख अनुसार यो १७० वर्षअघि वि.सं. १९१७ (१८५९ ई. सं.) मा धनराज गिरीकी बुहारी राधिका गिरीले निर्माण गरेकी हुन् । शिलालेख अनुसार धनराज गिरी मुक्तिनाथ गएका थिए र मुक्तिनाथको दर्शन पछि गिरीले मुक्तिनाथको नजिकै बस्ने निर्णय गरे। यो क्षेत्र कुनै समयमा घना जङ्गलले ढाकेको थियो तर गिरी परिवारले यहाँको जग्गा सफा गरेर बस्ती स्थापना गरेका थिए। मन्दिरको निर्माण भने धनराज गिरिकी बुहारीले त्यस ठाउँको महत्वलाई कायम राख्न र यात्रीहरुको सेवा गरेर पुण्य कमाउन गरेकी थिइन।

सन्तान नभएकी राधिका गिरीले आफ्नो सम्पूर्ण सम्पत्ति मन्दिरलाई समर्पित गरिन् । उनले आफ्ना भाइहरूलाई उनको निधन पछि विभिन्न कर्तव्यहरू पूरा गर्न आदेश दिइन्: एक भाईलाई पुजारी बन्न, अर्को मन्दिर सफा गर्न, र अर्को यसलाई विकास गर्न। मन्दिरको मर्मत र सम्भार गिरी परिवारले वर्षहु देखी गर्दै आएका थिए । हाल मन्दिरको मर्मत र हेरचाह शिवालय मन्दिर विकास कोषले गर्दैछ।

समुदायलाई पानी उपलब्ध गराउन, गिरी परिवारले मन्दिरको जग्गा नजिकै 50 मिटर गहिरो इनार खने, जुन सम्पूर्ण शिवालय क्षेत्रको लागि पानीको प्राथमिक स्रोत बन्न पुग्यो। शिवालय मन्दिर कुश्मा चोकबाट चार सय मिटर टाढा, शिवालय गाउँ विकास समितिमा पर्दछ। यस पवित्र मन्दिरलाई धनेश्वर मन्दिर पनि भनिन्छ।

तपाईंले मन्दिरमा घुम्ने क्रममा यस १७० वर्ष पुरानो संरचनाको आश्चर्यजनक वास्तुकला र जटिल विवरणहरू बनावटको मजा लिन सक्नुहुन्छ। यस मन्दिर यात्रीहरू र स्थानीयहरूका लागि एक महत्त्वपूर्ण गन्तव्य रहेको छ । राजेन्द्र विक्रम शाहले (सन् १८१६ देखि १८४७ सम्म नेपालका राजा) पनि यस मन्दिरलाई लालमोहर दिएका थिए। यो विशेष आदेशले मन्दिरको सम्वृद्धि, इतिहास र कुस्माका मानिसहरूको हृदयमा रहेको महत्त्वलाई अझ गाढा बनायो। मन्दिरको लागि उचित स्थान यसको उचाइ र मुक्तिनाथ जाने पुरानो बाटोको कारण छनोट गरिएको हो। यो सानो शिखर-चैत्य शैलीको शिव मन्दिरमा ढुङ्गाले बनेको जटिल नक्काशीको उत्तम नमुनाहरु छन् । 

मन्दिरको ढोकामा प्रवेश गर्दा, तपाईंले पुरानो र कलात्मक मन्दिर देख्नुहुनेछ। भित्र शिवलिंग छ। शिवलिंगको देब्रेपट्टि भैरब रहेको छ, जुन शिवको शक्तिशाली स्वरूप हो । गेटको माथि ढुङ्गाले कुँदिएको छेपूले काठमाडौं उपत्यकाका मन्दिरहरूको सम्झना दिलाउँछ। भक्तपुरबाट ल्याइएका निर्माण व्यवसायीहरूले ढुङ्गा जोड्न मासको पिठोको प्रयोग गरेका कारणले यो मन्दिरको बनावट अझै स्थिर छ। यस मन्दिरको घण्टी, मन्दिर जत्तिकै पुरानो छ र कुनै समय कुश्मा बजारको पहाडी उचाइबाट बजाउँदा चारैतिर सुनिन्थ्यो।

तपाईंले घण्टी र ढुङ्गाको शिलालेखमा धनराज गिरी परिवारका सदस्यहरूको शिलालेख पनि पाउनुहुनेछ। घण्टीमा बि.सं. 1917 मिति पनि लेखिएको छ। मन्दिरको दाहिने हातमा, तपाईंले शिवालय सत्तल पाउनुहुनेछ, जसले साधु, ऋषि, धार्मिक भक्तहरू, र मुक्तिनाथको यात्रीहरूको लागि सेवा पुर्यायो । मुक्तिनाथ जाने यात्रुहरूका लागि यो मन्दिर अत्यावश्यक बिसौनी बनेको छ र मन्दिरको पछाडि मुस्ताङ जाने पुरानो बाटो पनि छ। राजमार्ग निर्माण हुनुअघि कैयौं ऋषि र आध्यात्मिक साधकहरू शिवालय सत्तलमा बसेर विश्राम गर्थे र आफ्नो यात्रा सुरु गर्नु अघि कैयौंका लागि खाना, पानी, र आश्रयको बन्दोबस्त मिलाउन उपयुक्त स्थान पनि बन्दै गयो । सत्तलले मन्दिरको बिकासमा महत्त्वपूर्ण भूमिका खेलेको छ जसले यात्रीहरू र आध्यात्मिक विद्वानहरूका लागि सुरक्षित आश्रयस्थानको रूपमा सेवा गर्दछ।

यो मन्दिरको दैनिक प्रार्थनाहरू पुजारीहरूद्वारा सञ्चालन गरिन्छ। यस पवित्र स्थानको आराध्यदेव धनेश्वर महादेवको आशीर्वाद लिनको लागि यस मन्दिरमा टाढा टाढाबाट भक्तजनहरू आउने गर्दछन्। यो मन्दिरमा भव्य उत्सवहरू ठूलो जोश र उत्साहका साथ मनाइन्छ। शिवरात्रि, बाला चतुर्थी र हरितालिका तीज जस्ता विशेष अवसरमा विश्वका कुनाकुनाबाट भक्तजनहरू भगवान शिवको आशीर्वाद लिन भेला हुन्छन्। यो मन्दिर महत्त्वपूर्ण पुजाहरु जस्तै बर्तबन्ध समारोह, विवाह, र अन्य धार्मिक कार्यहरूका लागि उत्तम स्थान हो। मन्दिरको विकास समितिले यसको भव्यता कायम राख्ने काम गर्छ भने यहाँको पुजारीको छनोट गिरि समुदायबाट मात्र गरिन्छ।

सन्धर्भहरु

ईश्वर गिरी, वार्ड अध्यक्ष

 

 

 

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