Pathibhara Taplejung

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Pathibhara temple is one of the most important and popular religious pilgrimage sites located in Taplejung district of Eastern belt of Nepal. This temple and the Goddess here are believed to be the most powerful and dynamic and is one of the Shakti Peeth present in Nepal. This Pathivara pilgrimage site, dedicated to the goddess of trust and purity, is located 19.4 kilometers northeast from the Fungling municipality in Taplejung district. It is situated at an altitude of 12,000 ft (3,794 m) above sea level and also serves as an alternative way for various trekking spots. This temple is crowded almost any month of the year due to the belief that the wishes and prayers of each and every devotee will be fulfilled by the grace of Goddess Pathibhara. There is also a popular belief that sinners or people who have done lots of evil things in their life cannot reach up to this temple as it is located at high altitude. This temple is also referred to as Mukumulung in local Limbu language, Muku meaning force or power & malung meaning source. Thus, Pathibhara is referred as the source & Goddess of power.

History:

It is believed that during ancient times, shepherds had left their flock of sheep for grazing at the location where this temple stands today. The herds of sheep had mysteriously vanished on their return. The shepherds were disturbed and that night suddenly they had a dream in which the goddess told them to perform ceremonial sheep sacrifices and build a shrine in her honor. By performing devotional worship & prayers at the Deity-shaped statue, the shepherds created a statue of the goddess and sacrificed a lamb. Immediately, after they sacrificed the lamb, the lost herds of sheep instantly reappeared and also the blood of the sacrificed lamp had vanished miraculously. Following the incident, it is believed that the temple was built later and the ritual of offering sacrifices inside the temple began.

Belief & Attractions:

Thousands of goats and sheep are sacrificed everyday till today and still the blood of sacrificed herds disappears thus making people believe that the Goddess accepts the sacrificial offerings wholeheartedly. She is worshipped by both Hindus and Limbu group & is also recognized as a popular place for “Bhakal” as it is widely believed that all the wishes can be fulfilled by Goddess Pathibhara.

Pathibhara Devi Temple is also believed to be one of the Shakti Peeth; the locations where Goddess Sati’s (Parvati) body parts had fallen while Lord Shiva was taking her lifeless body.

The hiking route to reach this temple offers a mesmerizing natural scenic views and vibes that is believed to mollify any visitors. It also offers a close view of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Kumbhakarna(Mt. Janu) and this area is home to a large number of flora & fauna. The whole region houses many tourism activities such as a short hike to local ethnic communities and an experience of their culture & hospitality and a visit to natural view tower to witness a fascinating view of the Himalayas. The popular and veracious belief along with a fascinating environment is the reason hundreds and thousands of pilgrims visit this sacred temple everyday all over the year.

-Article written by: Ujjwal Bhetwal for Land Nepal