The Legend of Mandir Dushalla

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In the chain of temples on the famous Chenani-Sudhmahadev trade route, we find beautiful old temple of Lord Shiva on the left bank of River Tawi.

This temple is called Mandir Dushalla, located at a distance of about 5 kms from Chenani. At this place, we find that the sacred Tawi river, takes a small turn towards north and after some distance it again changes its flow towards south as usual. As per Hindu legends and faith, when a sacred river takes a turn towards north (uttar), that place becomes a place of great religious importance for the Hindus and is called ‘Uttervehni’. It is believed that a bath at Uttervehni site removes all the sins from human soul. This is because of this reason, Mandir Dushalla got wide recognition even in the ancient times and the kings in consultation with pandits, constructed a small temple of Lord Shiva at this place and named it Mandir Dashalya which later changed to Mandir Dushalla.

This Lord Shiva temple is facing south with a Nandigan in the front. The temple has been built on a raised platform. The temple in its present form has been renovated and upgraded by Raja Bhag Chand of Chenani state. Raja Bhag Chand was 18th ruler of state of Chenani who is believed to have ruled in the 14th century. Raja Bhag Chand is also said to have changed his capital from Mantalai to Bain. The remains of buildings are still visible there at a place called Garhbarkot.

The special feature of this temple is that here eleven Rudras have been installed which imparts it great religious importance, as Eleven Rudra Shiva temples are very rare in this state.

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This temple has been constructed on one side of a long and level fertile piece of land, hundreds of kanals of which has been donated to this temple by kings of Chenani.

Near the temple, there is an ancient bowli and nearby this bowli is a small ‘samadhi’ of an unknown queen of Chenani. At the same place, there is a stone statue of a dog. There are some restrictions on the entry to this sacred place. From the earlier times, the queen is worshipped like a deity and is held in very high esteem by locals and members of the royal family. The Samadhi is kept covered with white piece of cloth and is worshipped daily during pooja of Lord Shiva. It is pertinent to mention here that only Brahamchari Sadhus can be the priest of this temple.