Barahachhetra, alsoalternatively Barahakshetra or Varahakshrata, is a pilgrimage site of Hindus in a small town of Barahakshetra, Sunsari, Nepal, placed between the intersection of the mighty Koka and Koshi rivers.This place can be assessed via the north-west road from Dharan, Sunsari and its takes about 20-30 minutes to reach here .Barahachhetra is considered as one of the “char dham” (four extremely sacred religious spots) sites in Nepal where an incarnation of God Bishnu, Baraha is worshipped. This is one of Nepal’s oldest sanctuaries, with references to it in sacred Hindu books such Bhagwad Gita & other Purans such as Brahma Puran, and Skanda Puran and is thus recognized as one of the most important and sacred pilgrimage sites in Eastern Nepal.
According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that God Bishnu was able to protect the earth from being submerged in Patallok or hell, by taking the form of Baraha (boar like incarnation) and defeating demons. After then, God Bishnu reclined with his wife Goddess Laxmi on the banks of the Koshi river, surrounded by the beautiful Himalayan mountains. The location was then named after this avatar of God Bishnu. In 1991 BS, the original temple of Barahachhetra was given its current look. After the temple was destroyed by the earthquake of 1990 BS, the then Prime Minister Juddha Shamsher Rana reconstructed & renovated it for the final time in 1991 BS.
Vicinity & Attractions:
In Barahachhetra, there are nine temples, including those dedicated to Laxmi, Panchayan, Gurubaraha, Suryabaraha,and Nageshwor, as well as numerous hospices. In this sacred location, statues dating back over 1500 years have been discovered.Kumbha Mela has been organized here many times with the latest one hosted at 2070 BS, that attracted almost a million pilgrims.
This religious site is visited and worshipped all over the year, however, a huge of pilgrims come to visit this place during the festival of Kartik Purnima & Makar (Maghe) Sankranti when a special fair(mela) is organized. During Kartik Purnima, a large number of Indian seekers visit this place whereas during the festival of Makar Sankranti people mostly from Hilly region of the country visit this place. Moreover, this place is also crowded by devotees during other special occasion such as rishi Panchami or Janai Purnima, Falgu Purnima and another Ekadashi. Similarly, people also gather here for performing several other rituals such as Sraddha (memorial event for deceased family members), bratabandha and many more.
The wonderful surrounding and peaceful environment around this temple is bound to revitalize the cosmic energy within an individual. One of the most appealing aspects of this location is that the Sapta Koshi River is formed by the confluence of the seven Koshi River tributaries.
-Article written by: Ujjwal Bhetwal for Land Nepal