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.