Saturday, September 5, 2009

Koteshwar Mahadev

The Deity was dancing with the beats of drums and tunes of other musical instruments. On the shoulders on his devotees his colourful palanquin was swinging to & fro, up & down and left & right. These palanquins are not very big or with covering, these are open one just like big stools with four horizontal wooden poles to be carried by devotees. But these are beautifully decorated with mostly blood red coloured clothes. On the top rested main idol of the face of Deity made of eight different metals. This one is profoundly decorated with garlands of scented flowers and of coins, various ornaments, golden crown and with a gold umbrella. Beneath this main idol, lined up are other various idol of same Koteshwar Mahadev. One can easily judge the peace, happiness and eternal satisfaction on the face of Devataa (Deity). It seems that people who are carrying the palanquin are themselves maneuvering it but it is said that it is Devataa himself who drives the palanquin. All the four palanquins were moving all around the fair ground which was already filled more than capacity with humble devotees of Koteshwar Mahadev. People of every caste, age and sex were present and glorifying the fair. Young and old residents of Kumarsain were coming before palanquins to carry them and were feeling lucky to get a chance even for few seconds.

I was watching the entire proceedings with devotion, excitement and curiosity. The festivity was enhanced by grey clouds and then by rain. Air was filled with devotion towards Koteshwar Mahadev who is believed to be scared soul blessed by Lord Shiva himself and one is considered King of the area of Kumarsain, a small town around seventy five kilometers up north from Shimla, capital of Himachal Pradesh. For the devotees, this Deity is not some "God" but just like their beloved family member for whom they have extreme love and respect and the one who have blessings of God to fulfill their big or small requirement or to erase their day to day problems. For them this Deity is in constant touch with its people either by dreams or through his 'Gur" the main priest. The occasion was the local festival which comes after every four years when Koteshwar Mahadev would meet his other loving deities, Marechh and Malendu Devtaa. I spent last two days at that festival and was lucky to witness the farewell of all other deities from Koteshwar. Just like young kids those departing Devtaa were so reluctant to leave that their palanquins would not let its bearers take the exit route even when Koteshwar Mahadev himself was waiting at the end of road to see them off. Only the interruption of oldest 'Gur' made them ready to leave for another four years. The festival ended with the 'Nati' (local dance) by the people of Kumarsain. The charm on the faces of idols of Devtaa seem faded a bit cause of this departing.

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