Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple

About The Temple

The ancient temple of Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple

Centuries ago, a temple was built in the memory of Lord Shiva in the heart of Legship, which is thought to be the gateway for West Sikkim. This temple was named the Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple. It has been so long since the construction of the temple that the story of its origin got lost in the course of time.

The spirituality of it:

People from all over the world come to visit this famous temple of Lord Shiva. If you are a devotee of the Lord, then you should visit this pious and sacred place at least once in your lifetime. It is said that if you pray in this temple with a lot of belief in your heart then all your wishes will come true. Another important reason thousands of believer crowd this place is that here they will get to pray to Goddess Durga and Lord Rama along with Lord Shiva. There are separate platforms for the various deities where devotees can give their offerings.

The main shrine:

Three deities are worshipped within the compounds of this temple. But still, the main shrine is for Lord Shiva. Shiva is the sole deity worshiped inside the main sanctum. This temple is mentioned in many tales of Lord Shiva and the Mahabharata. The deity of this temple is named The destroyer and is considered to be the most fascinating and powerful deity of Hindu trinity. The deity has one thousand eight names and is mostly worshipped as a lingam.

Myth of the stone:

Among the numerous temples in Sikkim, this temple is said to be the oldest temple in the state and draws visitors from every part of the country. Even without any major festival the temple compound is always full of loyal devotees who come to pray in front of the unique idol of Lord Shiva. The idol is carved from stone and is in the form of a lingam. It is said that Mahadev emerged from that same stone.

Visit all shrines:

Though the main shrine and the temple are dedicated entirely to Lord Shiva, there are two other beautiful shrines that contain idols of Goddess Durga and Lord Rama. The high priest regularly worships in these shrines. It is customary for all the devotees of Shiva to visit the other two shrines as well.

Know the rituals to follow:

Many rituals are followed by the priests of this temple as there are many minute details that are to be kept in mind while worshipping Lord Shiva. It is why entry of outsiders is not allowed inside the sanctum during rituals. The devotees are requested to wait outside, and once the rituals are finished, they can go in and seek the Lord’s blessings and give their offerings. As there are two other shrines, separate aarti is done for all three idols. This aarti is done twice a day once at noon and the other at evening. The evening aarti is also known as the Maha-aarti or the main aarti. So know the kirateshwar mahadev temple timing before you visit the place.

The warmth of festivals:

The best time of the year to visit the temple is during February and May. But if you are a devotee of Lord Shiva or Goddess Durga then you should visit during the festival season. During this time, the entire town of Legship swarms with people from various cultural backgrounds. The first festival of the season that they celebrate is the Bala Chaturdesi. It normally happens during the months of November and December. The innocent town people celebrate the festival with so much joy and faith that you will feel a part of the community once you land in Legship. During these days after every aarti Prasads are distributed among the devotees who are fasting for the Chaturdesi. Tons of religious hymns are narrated by the priests in the temple compound. All the town people and the devotees gather in the compound, to listen to those holy words. Another important festival is the Shivaratri that brings people from different parts of the world in Legship.

About the pilgrimage:

Though there are many tourists among hundreds of people that visit the temple every year most of these people are faithful devotees of the Lord who have arrived in Legship on a pilgrimage. So if you are planning a pilgrimage, then you should visit the kirateshwar mahadev temple legship. The vital role this place plays in the epic battle of Mahabharata makes it the ideal place to go on a pilgrimage.

How To Reach

The ideal location of the Kirateshwar Mahadev temple makes it easy for the thousands of devotees to visit the temple. There are numerous railway junctions and stations around Legship from where any jeep or car would drop you at the temple within a few hours.

 

  • By Air: the nearest airport is situated at Bagdogra from where you can get a flight to any state or city in the country. In case you are from another country, you can take a flight from Bagdogra to any other metro city and take an international flight to your country.
  • By Rail: There is the Siliguri Junction that isn’t very far from the town. But if there is no train from this station to your city then you can check the New Jalpaiguri station’s train list. You will find trains to all the big and small cities from this station.
  • By Road: Gangtok, Pelling, Ghezing, Yuksom and all the major parts of the city is connected by roads with Legship. Taxis, private vehicles and jeeps are available for rent on all these routes.

With all these options, you will surely reach Legship on time for the kirateshwar mahadev temple puja. This town is the connector between Pelling and Ghezing so if you stay in any of these places you can use public transport to reach the temple.

 

Nearby Attractions

There are so many places to see around kirateshwar mahadev temple Sikkim. There are plenty of ancient Hindu temples and shrines for all the devotees that arrive in Sikkim in search of salvation.

  • The Hanuman Tok: It is a beautiful small temple that is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Lord Hanuman is believed to be the Monkey God and brings strength and immense power in anyone who worships the Lord. The legend says that Lord Hanuman once rested in this same spot while he was carrying the Sanjeevani Mountain. The maintenance of the temple is done by the Army.
  • The Ganesh Tok: This is another small temple on the hilltop and is frequented by the locals as well as tourists. There is an idol of Lord Ganesha in this temple, and the local priest worships the deity every day in the presence of the devotees.
  • The Thakurbari Temple: This temple is as old as the kirateshwar mahadev temple. The unique feature of the temple is that it houses all the major deities. Through the years, it has become a center of meeting for the entire Hindu community in Sikkim. The temple was built on a vast area of land that was a donation from Sikkim’s Chogyal. The temple was finally built in 1935.
  • The Solophok Chardham: This is a unique temple in the entire state. The statue of the Lord is eighty-seven feet long and encircled by twelve Jyotirlingas. The main shrine of the Lord is also surrounded by the beautiful and exact replicas of the holy Chardham of the Hindu mythology. Many people cannot visit all the four places of Chardham, but now they can see the idols and worship the deities of Chardham from this place.

Among all the ancient temples of Sikkim, these are the most famous temples that are the closest to the Kirateshwar Mahadev temple.

 

History Of Temple

If you are visiting the temple, you should know the kirateshwar mahadev temple history. There are hundreds of legends surrounding this temple due to its role in the Mahabharata. It is said that Arjun arrived here, to do penance before the great war of Kurukshetra. For days, Arjun stayed in this place praying for Lord Shiva. Finally one day Lord Shiva appeared from a black stone in front of Arjun. Impressed by Arjun’s strong determination and his belief in him Lord Shiva not only appeared but blessed Arjun so that he can win the war.

The legend also says that Arjun was hunting some wild animal in the nearby forest. When he targeted the animal, someone else’s arrow hit the creature before Arjun’s arrow could reach it. Arjun turned back to find a hunter holding a bow and arrow. Lord Shiva came to Arjun as a hunter or Kirat to bless him which is why the temple is known as the Kirateshwar Mahadev temple. After Arjun realizes that the hunter is Lord Shiva himself he bowed before Shiva and prayed to him.

As a blessing, the Lord gave Arjun his own arrow and asked him to use it in the war. As per the legend and the story of Mahabharata, Arjun uses the arrow in the epic war between the brothers and wins the battle. Since then the temple has become the symbol of great harmony. Locals say that anyone who visits the temple with devotion and faith in their heart will not be disappointed as the Lord didn’t let Arjun go away empty handed.