Puratatvik Mahadev : A potential World Heritage site

A temple always provides one with celestial and holy experiences. After entering such shrines you feel peace rinsing your body, from head to toe. Did you wonder why this happens? One of the reasons could be that the ancient bodies carry memories of where they have been. Such overwhelming feelings can be generated because of their spiritual importance. Nepal has been famous for having temples that produce emotions of

Today we present to you a story of one such  temple that needs more recognition and appreciation. The temple we refer here is more than 4,000 years old Puratatvik Mahadev Mandir. The temple could be an example of great archaeology and history for the generations to come . After excavating and studying the artifacts, it is believed to have been there since the age of Karnataka, deeper research might reveal it to be much older.

Further, it is said there is a high possibility of a prosperous city to have existed along with the temple. When the place was discovered a decade ago, the people of Pataura were surprised, they were unaware of its existence. However, the temple has all the shreds of evidence supporting its existence on religious, mythological, historical and archaeological grounds. 

We have witnessed extensive transformation within the society and the surrounding nature but the department of archaeology is still in the hope of finding more ruins that connect the dots to the original ancient temple. 

After the discovery many celebrations have begun at the temple. Madhani Mahotsav, held yearly, receives hundreds of participants. Even President Bidhya Devi Bhandari was present and attended it last February. Madhani Mahotsav has become a big celebratory fest  during Shivaratri. It brings the locals as well as tourists a grand form of entertainment and festivity.

The temple is significant because of its Yagya. The yagya inside the temple of Mahadev is an archaeological and historical marvel. Located in Rautahat District, Maulapur Municipality -5. The temple has ancient stones and objects dating back thousands of years. The objects found are old to be from the time of  Gautam Budhha. Such an intriguing site shouldn’t go in vain but be appreciated.

The Madhani isn’t the pride of one community but of the entire Nepal, says the mayor Rina Kumari Shah. The key feature of this Mahadev Temple is its disappearance and reappearance every 400 to 500 years.

From the data of excavation, the temple was reconstructed in the Karnataka period during 12th to 13th century, then again in the 15th to 16th century and finally now, in the 21st century. Somehow it always gets absorbed in the land and is built again. The series of manifest construction and reconstruction is a wonder in itself. 

The temple is believed to hold rituals celebrated as a marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in folk and in the local context “Madhani” . The Yagya is done in a unique way which is hard to describe unless you see it yourself. It consists of one extravagant clay that makes the “Shiva Linga” and it is worshipped with sesame seeds, flowers, barley and much more.

The connection it has to ancient times is peculiar. There's an integral relationship between the city of Moulapur and Lord Shiva; the word ‘Moul’ means Lord Shiva’s tangled hair also referred to as “Jatta”.

 We can assume the land was a Shiva Land in older times and it reflects a particular religion, city and government on the same soil. The report also suggests the presence of a household, especially of someone with authority or government in the palace around the temple. The epiphany of how historically significant it is is endearing.

It is disheartening, such a place is not famous and listed as a world heritage site yet, says Prabhu Shah, the representative from Rautahat-3. The concern arises when we think about advocacy for the place and doing justice to its cultural significance.

We need more actions, we need people to cherish it, step on the land and feel the vague emotions in either a scientific or a spiritual context. Realizing how much we have been deprived of this cultural capital, negligence is to be expected  but the new municipal government has been taking excellent care of it. They say they are committed to making it an excellent destination for everyone, especially tourists.

The local government is talking about the preservation and promotion of the Yagya, but, we need support on a larger scale. The current mayor is determined to make it one of the world heritage sites. 

The temple is an ancient place and deserves to be protected from potential damage because of its fragility and age, the mayor recommends other levels of authority to help sustain the shrine.

We hope the current and future generation are cautious and aware of the temple. With the grace of god and history, we will see Madhani as a world heritage site in near future.

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