History of Gadhimai: Idol of goddess Gadhimai decorated in beautiful clothes

Is history of Gadhimai only a story or really history?

There is an interesting history of Gadhimai Temple. Gadhimai Temple is one of the significant temples in Nepal. For many years, the temple has gained significant media attention because of controversies surrounding animal sacrifice. Despite all controversies about animal sacrifice which is a small part of the Gadhimai’s truth, there is very little information flow about the origin and history of Gadhimai Temple. We visited the locals and discovered an interesting incident on who consecrated the goddess Gadhimai and how? How the temple came into existence?

Know about the History maker

As per the locals living in the premises of the holy temple Gadhimai. Many years ago, there was a most religious and kind hearted person. He was a great devotee of the Hindu Goddess Kali. The goddess is considered as destroyer of the evil forces and decapitator of the sinners. The name of the person was Bhagwan Chaudhary. One day, Unfortunately, a thief visited his house. However, the villagers caught the thief. The villagers brutally beat the thief and the thief died. Someone informed the government police officials (Sipahis) about the murder. As a result, the police arrived at the spot of incident and arrested each culprits involved.

The history of Gadhimai does not end here. The kindest of all men, Bhagwan Chaudhary confessed the guilt to save the villagers. Consequently, After his hearings in the court. He was sent to the central jail of Kathmandu, the country’s capital.

Cornerstone of the history of Gadhimai

  Although he was in jail, He did not forget and stop his devotion towards Goddess Kali. He spent his daily life worshiping and meditating for the goddess behind the bars.

After years of his dungeon life, on one fateful midnight, an old woman appeared suddenly in the dungeon. She was with charming face, open hairs and in saffron colored saree. She asked Chaudhary to take her around his village. At first, the presence of that old woman in the dungeon at the very midnight amidst such high security scared Chaudhary. Then, the women said “Don’t be afraid. I’m your mother and I will cut your chains and set you free from here if you follow me.” He believed on and agreed to her. Then, stepping five steps back, the old woman suddenly transformed to a black scary form. The scary form was with red eyes, lolling tongue, trident in one hand and plant of holy basil in the other. Chaudhary fainted witnessing the very event.

Historical reason for animal sacrifice

After some time, he awoke up. And he saw what he couldn’t believe i.e. tangible form of the goddess to whom he had venerated till that moment. He thanked the goddess to be such kind to him. As the goddess had said to make him free. For the sake, before leaving the dungeon, the goddess asked him for a promise. A promise (for Pancha Bali) to sacrifice five livings i.e. a forest rat, a local cock, a pig, a he-goat and a he-buffalo every five years, only after the lamp glows to indicate the beginning.

Chaudhary’s question to the Goddess

At first, Chaudhary refused and told the goddess,”Why is this bloodshed of innocent and voiceless animals for your holy festival?”

Gadhimai ‘s reply

As a reply to the question, the Goddess said,”There is both positive and negative aspect of everything. This universe, too, have negative and positive aspects. If the happiness, satisfaction, good health, life, human, god, positive power are the positive aspects. Then, sadness, sorrow, dissatisfaction, illness, diseases, epidemics, evil spirits, demons, negative power are the negative aspects. So, to keep both aspects in balanced state. We, the divine powers, run a system to check and balance. Someone is of constructive nature, someone is of protective nature and someone is of destructive nature. So, as i am the mother to all powers, It is my responsibility to take care of both.” She continued,”If you do not offer me the sacrifice, I have to manage myself. But it will be in uncontrolled way, by the means of natural calamities, epidemics and other such incidents.”

Chaudhary’s reaction

Chaudhary satisfied hearing all the aspects of the Goddess. Consequently, he agreed for the term to offer five sacrifice. This is the reason for the animal sacrifice every five years.

Journey of Gadhimai to the village

After the goddess became satisfied with Chaudhary, the guards fainted, the chains broke down. And, Both of them flew miraculously out of the dungeon in a single blink. They started to walk on the mountainous broken paths. There were no suitable road facilities. Then, After completion of about 1/4th of the journey from Kathmandu to Bariyarpur, the goddess disappeared. (Bariyarpur was Chaudhary’s village located in Bara district.) He got tensed. He wandered to search her. Getting failure from all way, at last he said that he would kill himself unless she came back. Then, suddenly, he heard sky broadcasting in goddesses’s voice. She uttered to pick the holy soil from under her feet where she disappeared. And then travel to the village and consecrate her.

Chaudhary picked the soil and tied in his turban. He started the journey of the goddess to the Bariyarpur village. At many places in his way, being tired, he stopped to take rest. The places where he had stopped and taken rest, there is a temple of the goddess Gadhimai. Such as Makawanpur Gadhi in Makawanpur, Jeetpur Gadhi in Jeetpur, etc.

Introduction of the goddess as Gadhi

Facing all the geographical challenges and physical ailments, Chaudhary finally reached his village i.e. Bariyarpur. He loosened his turban to bring out the holy soil for the consecration of the goddess. As he loosened his turban, the goddess appeared physically. She pinned her trident at the very holy site. Referencing history of Gadhimai, at that very site the goddess first introduced herself as “Gadhi“. She continued, “the place where my trident is pinned will be my permanent living site.” Then, she disappeared. Chaudhary consecrated her form as the trident. That is why, although there is a temple with the idol of the goddess Gadhimai, her real form resides in the temple with the trident consecrated.

The word “mai” in the name of the goddess “Gadhi mai” is the suffix for “mother” in Bhojpuri language. Similarly the name of the goddess is also “Gadhi Mata” where “Mata” is for the same i.e. for “mother” in Nepali.

History of Gadhimai; at a glance

Thus, Bhagwan Chaudhary consecrated the goddess Gadhimai. Chaudhary belongs to an indigenous group of Nepal ‘Tharu’.