While most people are attracted to Uttarakhand because of its scenic beauty, there are others who visit the state for its temples. One such is 'Mahasu Devta' temple, located on the Tuini-Mori road at Hanol, Dehradun, and is visited by lakhs of people every year.
'Mahasu Devta' is also called the God of Justice and is believed to be incarnation of Lord Shiva. In the local language, the word Mahasu is a derivation of the word 'Mahashiv'. According to believers, the Mahasu Devta fulfils the wishes of the people if one makes it sincerely.
Even today, the worshippers are seen in this temple seeking justice and solutions to their problems. It is the faith of the people that draws them to this holy place. If you have a court case and you are not able to get justice, you offer Re 1 to the Lors Mahasu. Your wish is likely to be fulfilled, claims the legends.
Mahasu Devta temple is situated on the eastern bank of the Tons river in Hanol village near Chakrata in the Dehradun, capital of Uttarakhand. Built in the 9th century, this temple preserves the architecture of mixed style which is worth seeing.
People also come here from all over the world to see the beauty of the temple. 'Mahasu Devta' is the collective name of not one but four gods. The names of the four Mahasu brothers are 'Bashik Mahasu', 'Pavasi Mahasu', 'Bautha Mahasu' and 'Chalda Mahasu', which are forms of Lord Shiva.
Four small old temples of these four deities are also situated in Jaunsar Bawar. According to the mythoogy, a Brahmin named Hunabhatta worshipped Lord Shiva and Shakti in order to get rid of the people of the area from the terror of the demon Kirmik.
With the blessings of Lord Shiva-Shakti, four brothers were born in Hanol and Mahasu Devta killed the Kirmik monster to liberate the regional people from the terror of this monster, since then people considered Mahasu Devta as their totem and started worshipping, it is claimed.
Since then Mahasu Devta is the presiding deity of Jaunsar Bawar, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Mahasu Devta is worshiped in Uttarkashi, in the entire Jaunsar-Bawar region and Rawai division of Uttarakhand as well as Sirmaur, Solan, Shimla, Bishahar and Jubbal of Himachal Pradesh.
It is also believed that Mahasu Devta had won this temple on some condition. People also take its palanquin from one place to another for worship at regular intervals. The devotees are not allowed to go to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, only the priest can enter there at the time of worship.
It is still a mystery how a flame is always burning in this temple. A stream of water also comes out from the sanctum sanctorum of the Mahasu Devta temple, but where it goes and where it comes from, till date no one has been able to find out. This water is given to the devotees as prasad.
There are four doors for the entry into the sanctum sanctorum of Mahasu temple. Artifacts resemblinig planets including Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, etc have been made on the roof of the temple.
Sculptures of various deities have been carved on the first and the second gates of the temple in a manner to give it a shape of garland. The drummers help people worship the god by playing the instruments. Local people, devotees and tourists bow their heads at the third gate.
It is believed that the Pandavas had built the Hanol temple with the help of the god Vishwakarma by transporting stones from Ghata Pahar (Shivalik mountain range). The 32 corners of this temple, from the foundation to the dome, rest on cut stones placed on one anotther.
At the top of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, Bhima Chhatri i.e. a giant stone brought from the Ghata mountain of Bhimsen has been installed. The unique carvings add to the grandeur of the temple.
It is said that in the Dwapar era, the Pandavas came to this place safely after coming out of the Lakshagriha (house of wax). That is why the temple of Hanol is no less than a place of pilgrimage for the devotees.
It is also said that the village where Mahasu Devta temple is built on Tuni-Mori road is named after Huna Bhatt Brahmin. Earlier, this place was known as Chakarpur.Mahasu Devta temple is famous all over the world for its beliefs, but a special thing about it is that every year salt is brought from the Rashtrapati Bhavan as offering.