Pilgrims throng Halesi Mahadev on Shivaratri

Published On: February 24, 2017 10:30 PM NPT By: Daman Rai

KHOTANG, Feb 25: A large number of pilgrims visited Halesi Mahadev Temple in Khotang district on the occasion of the Mahashivaratri festival on Friday.

According to the Halesi Mahadev Development Committee (HMDC), the temple saw pilgrims in significant numbers this year compared to the previous years due to operation of a Bailey Bridge over the Dudh Koshi River in Jayamara, bordering Khotang and Okhaldhunga districts. The bridge links the area directly to the tarai attracting people from the plains to the temple.

“Halesi Temple was packed with pilgrims from early on Friday morning,” informed Sambar Bhujel, executive director of HMDC. Pilgrims from far and wide had already started journey to the district days prior to the festival. Local hotels and eateries were full from days before the main festival.

Locals from Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Dharan, Janakpur and Pokhara along with other districts have been visiting Halesi Temple by chartering vehicles. Many pilgrims said they came by air. The Lamidanda airport is not too far from the temple area.

Apart from domestic tourists from various districts of Nepal, thousands of tourists from neighboring India, China and Bhutan have also been visiting the temple throughout the year. Mahadev Gufa [cave], Bhairav Gufa and Dungdelo Gufa among others are the major tourist attractions in Halesi.

“We have not kept record of the numbers of pilgrims visiting the temple. But we can say that the visitor numbers this year were significantly higher compared to previous year,” added Bhujel.

Situated at 4,736 feet above the sea level, Halesi Temple sees large numbers of pilgrims during Ram Nawami, Shivaratri, Balachaturdarshi and Teej festivals.

Likewise, the area also holds economic significance. Various trade fairs are organized on special occasions. Locals and tourists attend the fair to purchase various local products, according to the local market management committee.


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