Churiya Mai Temple is in the Chure mountain range on the Tribhuvan Highway (Hetauda-Birgunj road) in west start of Makwanpur district and north end of Bara district. The name of the village is Chure, which is based on the name of this temple itself. Likewise, Chure Mai Temple is named after the name of the peak i.e., Chure mountain range by adding ‘Mai’ with the Churiya.
No matter who visits this place, be it high class people or low-class people, everyone payshomage, and bow their head in front of God and goddess for their happy, successful, and good life. It is believed that Churiya Mai Temple protect the pilgrims from every kind of accident and trouble.
Churiya Mai is regarded as the goddess who fulfills eachwish of her devotees. Since it is located near to the highway, anyone can reach this temple easily. Because of this reason also, one can observe the crowds here throughout the year. Today, this temple has become one of the popular tourist destinations in Bara district.
Churiya Mai is believed to have been established during the Rana period. During the Rana period, Nepal’s first tunnel was built in this area. It was designed by Nepal’s first civil engineer, Brigadier General Dillijung Thapa in 1917. Engineer Thapa was also the one to build the Churiyamai temple. In his dream, he saw a goddess in the same place and told her to dig a tunnel only after worshiping. So, with the request of engineer Thapa, Hetauda Sub-metropolitan Municipality decided to build the temple. From this day onwards, it is said that the preservation and protection of tunnel is done by Churiya Mai Mata.
The road from Amalekhgunj to Bhimfedi was built during the First World War. It was also built by engineer Thapa and temple of Churiya Mai is on the southern face of this road. Nepalese who enlisted in the military service of British India used to return to Nepal this way. To protect the tunnel, Hetauda Sub-metropolitan Municipality is preparing the history of the tunnel, the story of the establishment of the Churiyamai temple and the design of the protection.
Churiya Mai Temple in Dashain
Pilgrims from different parts of Nepal such as Bara, Parsa, Makwanpur etc. as well as Bihar and Uttarpardesh visit this temple in Dashain, biggest festival of Nepalese. Churiya Mai goddess is worshipped and pay homage considering the Durga during this festival. There are huge crowds mainly in the ninth day of Dashain, Navami.
Devotees flock to this holy land, sacrifice the animals with the intention of pleasing the Gods and Goddesses, and ask for the certain wishes. It is said that Churiya Mai goddess fulfill the wish of everyone even if they just step into this holy land during Dashain. Besides Dashain, devotees also throng into this temple in other festivals and in weekdays like Tuesday and in weekends like Saturday.
Churiya Mai Temple – God of Vehicle
Churiya Mai Temple is popular with the name of God of Vehicle. Owner of vehicles visit this temple from different region of Nepal as they have the huge faith towards this temple. When the people buy the new vehicles, it is firstly offer to the Churiya Mai, and then only people ride it. Goddess helps her devotees to protect them from the bad happenings like accidents, crash etc. So, drivers riding through the side road of this temple get off from their vehicles, perform puja and seek the blessings from goddess.
The main temple is ahead of the tunnel, however, the substitute of this temple was made after the construction of the Tribhuvan highway. The mirror image of Churiya Mai goddess is placed near to this highway. Because of this reason also, this temple is highly respected by the driver, and they ask for the blessings while crossing this highway.
A few years back, this temple was damaged because of the vehicle accident. While driving, the vehicle collided with the temple. The locals regarded this accident as a bad signal, and they started to worry. However, later, the temple was renovated in new design and style, which makes the look of the temple more appealing. So, because of this incident also, people believe that the grace of Churiyamai is always with the drivers and owners of the vehicles.
Churiya Mai temple is easily accessible from both Makwanpur and Bara districts. However, it is little closer to Makwanpur. So, if you are travelling from Kathmandu, then first you need to catch the bus for Makwanpur. The distance between Kathmandu and Makwanpur is 89km. If you drive through local bus, then it will take around 7 hours to get there. However, it takes only 4 hours to get there via private jeep/car.
From Makwanpur, Churiya Mai temple is 37 km away. There are numerous local buses which depart from Makwanpur to temple daily. It takes 1.5-2 hours to reach there.
Therefore, the main temple along with the tunnel territory should be preserved and promoted to pass this historical and Hindu shrine site to next generation. Even though the effort has been made to develop this temple, it is not sufficient as this temple has huge potential in bringing numerous tourists. So, locals, and provincial minister should join hand and show their active participation in remodelling, protecting, and preserving this religious temple, which is worshipped by thousands of devotees.
-Article written by: Kusum Kharel for Land Nepal