Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are called ‘Dev Bhoomi’ for a reason. They have many gods. Every village, phenomenon, a natural element has a dedicated. They need to be preached and pleased by performing a few rituals for their blessings. The locals perform daily rituals and annual pujas to please the Gods. The so-called superstitions are not really superstitions if the stories and the faith of the locals are to be believed.
The Doom Devta
- Doom Devta is worshipped in many districts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand along with some other regions on North India too. Nine scriptures of his were discovered under the ground which is why is he said to have originated from the ground. His wagon is a wooden palanquin which is always covered in a red shroud and a golden parasol on top. One of the most renowned local deities of the hills and everybody is allowed to enter his temples irrespective of age and gender.
- The original temple of the devi is situated in Hatkoti, Jubbaal, Himachal Pradesh. One of the forms of goddess Durga, the locals of Hatkoti have immense faith in her. It’s a very popular tourist spot and river Babbar flows right beside the temple. When you’ll visit the temple you’ll find a huge vessel outside the temple door fastened with chains and the other end is tied to the idol of the goddess placed inside the temple. The locals say there used to be two vessels earlier, one of them disappeared one day and locals considered it as a gift of prosperity from goddess to them that is why the second one is kept tied so securely.
- Hidimba was Bhim’s wife and Ghatotkach’s Mother. She is worshipped in the Kullu district of Himachal. Her wagon is again a palanquin with a golden parasol on top which has masks of the faces of Hadimba mata and Manu rishi inlaid on it. The dhwaja placed outside the temple s made of walnut tree truck that has to be a one-piece trunk that has to be chosen by the godded herself. The palanquin of the goddess is taken to the forest and the first tree towards which it leans is considered the chosen one. The ceremonies of Dussehradon’tation doesn’t proceed with Hadimba Mata’s blessings.
The Narsingha Devta
- The Narsingha Devts is usually worshipped along with Naag devta and doom devta. Unlike other gods, Narshingha Devta doesn’t have palanquin as his wagon. In Kotkhai a silvers tick is considered its symbol which has a red cloth wrapped all around and in other parts of the hills it is worshipped in a form of a stone. There's a temple of Narsingha in a royal palace of Dhami and only royalties are allowed to perform all the ceremonies and pujas.
The Bhimakali Mata
- The temple of Bhimalaki was built by the prince of Bushel, It’s built entirely of wood and has a very ancient vibe. She is worshipped in Sarahan, Rampur. She is one of the forms of Goddess Kali and is considered very powerful. Only the royal people of the area are allowed to enter the temple and only the family of Former Chief Minister of the State, Mr Virbhardra Singh performs the ceremonies of the temple.
These deities are just to name a few, the list is inexhaustible. To understand the depth of faith and beliefs the pahadi people in their gods and goddess you must attend one of the annual ceremonies. It’s a celebration.
Just a little correction…Hatkoti
Temple is near river Pabbar