Supa Deurali Temple is one of the popular pilgrimage destinations in Nepal. It is the reason behind the popularity and the identity of Arghakhanchi district. It is located at 47 km under the Gorusinge-Sandhikharka road section of Arghakhanchi, which is built in the ancient pagoda style in the gorge of a large hill in the Mahabharata Mountain range. Surrounded by towering hills, lush greenery, one can find the Idols of gods and goddesses including Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Shivaji and Ganesh inside the temple.
The Supa Deurali Temple is holy land, which is full of religious, cultural, and natural beauty. It is believed that Goddess Deurali fulfillthe wishes of the pilgrims who come here to visit and perform puja with a clean intention, and pure heart. Supa Deurali is now being developed as a religious rural tourist destination. The temple of Supa Deurali in the central part of Arghakhanchi district is about 4,500 feet above sea level.
Gorusinge-Sandhikharka vehicles do not move forward without making offerings at the temple. Supa Deurali is visited by visitors from western Nepal including Gulmi, Palpa, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Dang, Pyuthan and even from India. People have built the branches of this temple in most parts of Arghakhanchi village municipality by believing that difficult wishes can be fulfilled by visiting and worshipping this temple.
On the days of Ekadashi, Aussi, Krishna Janmashtami, Rishi Panchami, Ram Navami, Maha Shivaratri, Sri Panchami and Ashta Tritiya, offerings are not made in the temple of Supa Deurali. People intending to make offerings these days should make certain sacrifices. The Supadeurali Temple Preservation Committee has been charging fees for various religious rituals. In Supa Deurali, one needs to pay Rs. 155 for planetary peace, Rs. 255 for Rudri Puja, Rs. 30 to offer a pair of pigeons etc. Apart from this, arrangements have been made to keep records of the kind of cash that the devotees want to donate.
Brahmins of Khanal caste of Sitapur are the chief priests in the Supadeurali temple. In the management of daily puja, a total of 5 people including two priests, two assistants and one person are engaged. There is an arrangement for about 22 Khanal priests to take turns to worship in the temple. Every year on the full moon day of Baisakhi, a big fair is held in Supa Deurali. Since the Kulayan Puja of Thakuri and Khadka is also performed on that day, it is customary in Supa Deurali not to offer the offerings brought by the other tribes until the offerings brought by Thakuris are offered to the goddess.
In terms of when and how this famous religious temple was established, it can be said that there has been power here since the Treta era from the base of various myths and the stones of Lahure, the stove made by Lord Rama’s wife Sita etc.
As mentioned in the history, the marriage took place in 1916 BS between the prince of Khanchikot and the princess of Balrampur under the twenty-two and twenty-four kingdoms. After the marriage, people from both sides had gathered at Sitapur Masandevi in Arghakhanchi district. In the context of the conversation, a dispute arose that the king of Khanchikot had deceived the princess of Balrampur into marrying him and that the bride did not have the same caste. Despite the dispute, they carried the princess in dolly to the prince’s house. On the way, people saw drops of blood spilling. When they turned back to check what happened, they found the bride (princess) dead. After that, the disease became widespread in Khanchikot state.
Meanwhile, there is a myth that a Brahmin from the Khanal caste came and appeared as a princess as Dhami Jhakri Kavalda Devi. After performing the worship of the goddess at the place where a little bit of blood was spilled, all the ailments were removed and Thakuri, Kabdar and Khadka started worshiping and sacrificing on the full moon of Baisakh. According to the country’s law, even if it is not allowed to perform sacrificial worship on Baisakh Purnima, the day of Buddha Jayanti, Thakuri, Kabdar and Khadka are exempted from worshiping on the same day. At least 40 goats get sacrificed on this day. Later, Baburam Rayamajhi of the district built a simple temple in this place in the year 2040 BS. After that, a committee was formed for the protection of the temple and the daily worship began.
There is a large bare hill near Supa Deurali, which is called by the name of Lahure tossed hill. The name of this hill is due to the myth associated with the Supa Deurali temple. Also, there is a great belief that one should not forget the oath taken in Supa Deurali Temple even if it is delayed. The hill can be seen about half a kilometre down from the Supadeurali temple. There is a path with a small staircase to take a closer look at the Lahure hill after climbing from here. Below this is the Mahendra Highway, from where the means of transportation run smoothly.
According to the old popular belief, a man swore to Supa Deurali Mai to join the Indian Army, “O Mai, if I am recruited, I will sacrifice a black goat for you.” As a result, he was successfully accepted to Lahure. When he came back from Lahure, he did not bring the black goat as he had promised. So, he felt ashamed and thought of going another way instead of the way of Supadeurali Temple. Thus, the people have been believing that Supadeurali Mai had tossed the man on the hill as he had not fulfilled his vow. Therefore, it is believed that it has the shape of Lahure on the hill. One can clearly see the map of Lahure and the bag he was carrying in the Lahure Hill. Because of this hill, the importance and popularity of this place is growing day-by-day.
This temple is not only popular because of its historical values. Hundreds of feet above the temple, there is Supa River, which flows to the east of the temple and its natural charm captivates every traveller. About half an hour’s walk from this place, one can discover a place where Shivaji bathed in three leaves, sun-dressed idols in the form of a tiger and places where Shivaji performed homan and yajna. Similarly, in Khanchikot VDC-9, about half an hour away from the Supadeurali temple, one can see the beetle and cooking stove made by Sitaji during the Dwaparyug.
The panoramic view of Narpani Danda near Supa Deurali attracts tourists. Narpani Danda is famous for its cool air and water. Many snow ranges can be seen from here. As it gets cold even in summer, tourists come here to avoid the heat from the Terai.
After starting regular worship at the Supadeurali temple since 2040 BS, two schools i.e., Shree Adarsh B Khanchikot and Shanti Nimavi Sitapur have been run by the money collected from the temple. Apart from the two schools, the temple committee has also provided financial assistance, scholarships, respect to the elderly, drinking water, electricity, telephone, health post to the Sitapur and Khanchikot VDCs and financial assistance to the telephone tower.
If the state protects and utilizes these places inhabited by Shivaji and Sitaji in time, this region will be able to attract tourists in a big way. Also, this place carries a lot of glorious Nepalese history and significance, so by developing the road and other facilities, this place should be promoted and preserved in the long run.
-By: Kusum Kharel for Land Nepal