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Kankali Temple Bara

Kankali Temple, one of the famous sacred temples of Hindu in Bara, is in the Golagunj village, south-eastern part of Simraungadh municipality. This temple is believed to be 100 years old Rana Temple, which is built in the shikhara style (Curvilinear) architecture. The total area occupied by this temple is 3,380 square kilometres. The main skeletal statue of Kankali Mai is believed to be dated back to the 12th century.

Before the remodelling of this temple, the surrounding area of this holy land was popular with the name of ‘Kankali Mai Sthan’. Later, around 1816 AD, Mansaram Baba renovated this temple in a small size and gave it the name of Kankali Temple. The big Nagara style of temple that you can see now was made in 1967 AD by the true follower of Mansaram Baba, Ram Sewak Das.

The area of this temple was said to be excavated in BS 1935, BS 1966, and BS 2051. All the excavated materials of this holy site are kept inside the museum, which is located inside the premises of this temple. You can see the big bell (Ghanta) placed outside of the main temple, which has inscribed the date L.S. 119 (which might be representing BS 1340 and era of 1283)

Idol of Kankali Mai Goddess

Inside the centre of the main temple, one can find the Kankali Mai’s idol, which is built by using the black polished shining stone. It is decoratively wrapped in a red shining shawl embellished with glittering ornaments. One of the appealing features of this idol is big protruding eyes with silver color. Kankali Mai was also known as Kangankali because of her fetish towards Kangans (Bangles).

The idol of Goddess is 3 foot tall and said to be damaged by Tughlaq armies back in history. The idol is kept above the head of the Shesh Nag, which is known as the thousand-headed Cobra. As per the Hindu mythology, Shesh Nag holds the entire universe in his head and resembles the infinity.

According to the mythology, Kankali Mai is believed to be an avatar of Kali Goddess. Kali, who reflects the power of enlightenment and liberation, is worshipped by Hindus. So, Kankali Mai also plays an important role in the day-to-day prayers of the Hindu pilgrims. Likewise, goddess Kankali Mai can be found in many avatars (incarnations) in many famous temples like Patnadevi in Patna, Kali in Kolkata, and even Gadhimai is also said to be an incarnation of the Kankali Mai.

Crowds of Devotees

There is a large presence of devotees in the Kankali temple every day. Devotees flock from different parts of Nepal and India from far to pay homage to Kankali Mai. However, special crowds of the pilgrims can be seen during Navratri (Dashain), which cannot be overstated. Although there are four Navratri in a year, major crowds of the devotees can be observed in the Navratri celebrated in autumn i.e., Bada Dashain and Navratri celebrated in spring i.e., Chaite Dashain (Ram Navami). Navratri is the largest festival in the world, dedicated to the worship of the goddess.

During these festivals, devotees perform special worship for 15 days to please the Goddess. In the same way, there is also a big fair for 15 days in Kankali Temple. Anyone crossing the path in front of the temple bows at the feet of Kankali Mai and seeks Kankali Mai’s blessings. So, the devotees from Nepal and India have great faith in the Kankali Temple as it is one of the Shakti Peethas that fulfill every desire of the devotees.

Tourist Attractions in Kankali Temple

  1. Ishra Pond

Ishra Pond, also known as Ishwara, is located nearby the Kankali temple. It is also considered as one of the important historical and tourism sites in Simraungadh, Bara. It was dug around the 12th century in the order of then King Shiva Singh. It is said that the King ordered the digging of this pond in the name of his beloved daughter Ishwori Singh, who was also known by the name Ishwara Singh.

This pond covers a total area of 47,408 square Kilometres. Surrounded by the big green trees and greenery landscapes, this pond has been able to attract a lot of visitors lately. Devotees visiting Kankali Temple spend their quality time on the bank of this pond. The fresh air and the cold water of this pond provides serenity and keeps visitors away from the distraction of the crowds.

  1. Mansaram Baba Temple

Next to the Kankali Temple, you can see a 700-year-old rounded building with a spire. This small yet precious temple housed the tomb of Mansaram Baba. According to the mythology, it is said that Mansaram Baba was a powerful saint, who entered the universe miracally. He was the one who gave the identity to this temple, so pilgrims have great faith towards him. The outside wall of the temple is decorated by the images of different Gods and Goddesses.

  1. Parvati Temple

Small-size temple, which is built to worship the Mata Parvati, is also very popular in this area. It is built in pagoda style and different patterns and designs are made in the upper part of the temple. Visitors can see many pillars at this temple. Mainly, women, who keeps fasting, visit this temple on Monday.

  1. Hanuman Temple

Another holy temple within the premises of Kankali Temple is Hanuman Temple which looks like a small cave. There is a small hole to go inside it, where one can pay homage to Lord Hanuman.

This temple has been developing over time. The fame and publicity of the temple is also increasing. Shops are being added around the temple. But the pace of all these things has been slow. So, the Temple Management Committee should organize programs like Devi Bhagwat from time to time as it will further contribute to the development of the temple and the region. Also, if the Kankali temple is considered as the key to religious tourism in Bara and the integrated religious tourism development program of the district is implemented, it will be fruitful. Therefore, it is necessary to build a structure for the development of Kankali Temple where the presence of the provincial government is most.

-Article written by: Kusum Kharel for Land Nepal

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