KHOTANG: A huge crowd of devotees gathered at the Chhonkha Chandisthan located on the banks of the Byuwnwa River that borders Khotang. The Chhonkha Chandisthan is considered the country’s first Sakela Than. Unlike religious places within Bhojpur, Udayapur, Dhankuta, Morang, Dharan and Kathmandu; many devotees visited this Chandisthan during the occasion of the full moon on Monday.
Sacrificing a white rooster at the temple premises is believed to appease the goddess and fulfill wishes. For that reason, thousands of devotess sacrifice white roosters during Mangsir Purnima, according to the temple’s conservation committee. The temple is a meeting place for Kirati people who come together for the Sakela dances every year, but non-kirati people are welcome as well.
According to the inscriptions on bells of Chandisthan temple, the temple was built in 606 BS. It is believed that the temple was first explored by Namnu and his son-in-law Hangkhim on their way back from Tibet. King Prithivi Narayan Shah is said to have visited this temple and offered his sword and trishul as homage.
According to the temple’s conservation committee, efforts are being made to turn this place into a historically-significant tourist destination. “Because of a lack of effective transportation, media exposure and public awareness, Chandisthan has not received the amount of exposure it deserves,” says a local resident.