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Bhutandevi, the Goddess of forest

Amongst many famous religious and historical places in Makwanpur district, Bhutandevi Temple, located in the southwest part of city is one of them.

Every year in the month of April, Bisasaya Puja is organized with hundreds of devotees participating in it. At the very day of the Puja, one hundred and eight pigeons, fifteen he-goats, a she-goat, a pig, a duck, a cock and a buffalo are sacrificed to the deity. There is a custom of sacrificing one hundred and twenty eight animals and birds together. Likewise, on the fourth day of the Puja, seven pairs of pigeons are also sacrificed in the nearby jungle.

At the time of BADAHAKIM (the zonal officer appointed by the Rana regime during the Rana period), people used to come from Chisapani fort of Bhimphedi to participate in the Bisasaya Puja. But after the dismissal of BADAHAKIM, the Puja was continued by District Administration Office till 2045 BS on behalf of the Zonal Office. But the Puja was discontinued between 2046 BS to 2053 BS and again with the effort of holy local organization and some religious people, the Puja started from 2054 BS and is still on its way.

The name “Bhutandevi” is derived from “Bhatandevi”. The “Bhats” (soldiers) used to worship the deity of “Bandevi” (the goddess of forest) and so she was called “Bhatandevi” (i.e. the goddess of Bhats) and slowly the name was modified to “Bhutandevi” temple, which is now popular in fulfilling the wishes of the devotees.

The another remarkable feature of the temple is that the priest of the temple is from the Rai community, while in other regions of Nepal, the priests belong to Brahmin community (the top rated caste classified by the Hindu religion). In relation to the Rai priests (which is very rare in our country) the president of the Construction Committee of Bhutandevi Temple Mr. Purna Bahadur Shrestha says, “The ancestors of the ‘Rais’ had been claiming their rights to worship the deity of goddess Bhutandevi, which is still in practice.”

The deity, Bhutandevi is mostly worshipped on Saturdays and during Dashain, (The greatest festival of Hindus that falls in the month of October). In these days the people from Hetauda and its neighboring villages come to worship with the faith of their whishes to be fulfilled.

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