Among the most ancient and holiest places of Nepal, The Haleshi is one of them. It is very popular as The Pashupatinath of the eastern Nepal. It is situated at the hilly region of the country in between the holy rivers Dudh Koshi to the right and Sunkoshi to the left. The temple is situated at the top of a small hill inside a beautiful cave. There lie other numerous small beautiful caves too. Everybody, who reaches there, can’t resist themselves without appreciating its location, beauty as well as its natural inheritance. This is the place, which is famous for its historical, religious, cultural and tourism importance. Here, the image of the god is inside the cave, which is full of natural beauty. Inside the cave is dark and there are bats flying here and there. It is also a kind of pride for the people living there, as it is as famous as other temples like the Pashupatinath, the Lumbini etc. even internationally. It is the natural cave, which lies in 4the remote hilly region and is believed to be in existence since 6000 years. It is the place full of natural beauty and cultural inheritance. It is popular among the Hindus as well as the Buddhists all over the world.
The place is perhaps not an artificial creation but a gift of nature. There are three mysterious caves, which are believed to be the three eyes of lord Shiva. as we see in the first cave, we see an image of lord Shiva which is called as Haleshwar Mahadev. In the second cave there is an image of Nandi. So, the cave is know Basaha Gupha. And there is an image of bhairav an in the third cave. Among these three mysterious caves the first one with the image of lord Shiva is the main part of the temple. After marching down 25 to 30 steps down the stairs at the walls of the cliff there is a big red stone which is worshiped as Gaura Parbata. It is believed to be a joint image of Gauri and Parbati. This cave is in the depth of about 300ft. At the bottom of the cave there is the image of Mahadev made of stone. It is about two and half feet long. One can reach to the end or to the image of the god after walking 102 stairs made of the stones arranged well in the stairs.The stairs are wide enough to walk for a 4/5 people at a time.
It is said that the base of the statue ‘Linga’ of Mahadev which is nearly two and half feet high up from the ground but the base of the statue leads to the next cave through a small hole.It is called Basaha Gupha. The base of the statue is full of water. even under the ground. The main statue of the temple is fenced with the cement pillars It is situated in a square at the middle. Above the statue in the cliff there is an image of cows’ udder from which white drops fall on to the statue. It is believed that Kamadhenu (Cow in the heaven who can fulfills the desires wishes if asked ) is worshiping the god by offering her milk.
People perform various religious Pujas. (Rudri, Laghu Rudri, Maha Rudri, Aati Rudri) in the temple during different festivals. Some people do such performances to get peace, spiritual happiness and prosperity. The whole temple flutters with the Vedic Mantras at the time of Puja. Those who are poor, have no children and are suffering from sarrow come here and promise to offer something if their wishes and expectation are fulfilled. After their wishes are fulfilled they get back again and offer the god what they have promised to offer. They offer the god one hundred thousand holy threads and leaves of wood apple or by performing prayer and puja.
This is the famous religious destination not only of the district but of the whole Eastern Development Region along with god mahadeva there are other god and goddess such as parbati The cave is full of various entrances and images of different gods. Each and every stone of the cave is full of natural artistic images and the holes in the different corner. An angel stands as attractive doors of the cave. The whole cave is like a big stone which is beautifully carved by the hands of a good artist who worked hard to make it so beautiful. This is one of the most beautiful creations of nature more artistic and pure than the artificial creations. Different images and the different doors in the cave carry their own significance. Among them there are five doors, which are more important than the other doors. They are believed to do judgement whether the people coming here are religious or not. The doors are
The Haleshi temple is situated in the Khotang district of eastern Nepal . This is a small hilly area full of natural beauty. The location of the place itself is beautiful. One the other hand, the beautiful and mysterious natural caves; full of different natural images, look as if the stone carving artist have donelt carefully taking a lot of time. Here, the images are all inside the caves which themselves are mysterious.
Ghoptay Dwar: This door is named after its location. Ghoptay Dwar is a nepali word which means downward facing door. It is located to the Northwest of the image of the god. People enter here from the South and come out of the North. It is about 9 feet long.
Janma Dwar: A little further the Ghoptay Dwar to the east after walking 6 feet sliding way we can get to another door where one is allowed to enter first by putting one leg and the head carefully. It is Janma Dwar which means the birth door
To the East-South of the image of the god, there is an another door called Pap Dwar. In this door people enter from the east and come out hardly from the West.
Dharma Dwar: After praying the Haleshwar Mahadev when we move forward in the West-North there are two 9/9 feet square shaped stones with a small gap between them. There is a tradition of going in and coming out from that gap. This gap is called Dharma Dwar.
Swarga Dwar: There is another famous door called as Swarga Dwar. Ii looks really amazing if it is viewed from Yagya Shala , close to pap dwar. People can’t reach there, as it is located really in a difficult place where there is no way to get through. It may have been named Swarga Dwar as Swarga in Nepali Means heaven where no people can reach and live in.
There is a legend that people who are really religious can easily enter the four dwars. But those who are not cannot enter any of these dwars.
Nature is really beautiful, mysterious and amazing as there are different things that look like artificial stones finished after a long hard work by a stone-carving artist. So not only religious people but also the people who believe only in scientific evidences also can’t resist themselves without praising the beauty of the cave after watching its mechanism as well as the surrounding.
Basahasthan is the second cave of the place.It is also called as Basaha Dulo(hole). It is to the west of the temple of Shiva. The breadth of this cave is 45 to 50 feet and the length is about 220 feet. As we enter the cave from the west and reach 220 feet, we may find a hole there from where we can see the sky. Close to the hole there is about 80-85 feet wide jungle called ‘Kailash’. People spend whole night inside this cave during festivals.
Another important and amazing thing about the cave is that inside the Basaha hole one can see the sky from there, if people stand facing towards the sky open handed asking for milk to ‘Kamdhenu’ shouting ‘Dudh Dau Mai’ milk like white drops fall in some people’s hands and water drops in some other’s. According to the legend People who get milk like white drops are believed to be lucky and religious and in the same way those who get water drops are believed to be unlucky and not religious. So people who get white drops like milk thinks themselves lucky and get proud but the people with water drops think they are unlucky and get shy in sorrow.
People believe that the big stone, which is at the entrance of the Basahasthan, is Basaha (Sandhey) and some say it as the bones of Brikashur. In the same way in front of it, there is a stone shaped conch which is believed to be the Gauri Sankha that Vishnu blowed after killing Bhashmashur and the stone near the Gauri Sankha is believed to be the head of Bhashmashur. There is a small place near the door where one can hide himself is believed to be the same place where lord Vishnu had hidden himself with the aim to kill Brikashur.