Bhagwati Mandir in Rajbiraj

Bhagwati Temple, a sacred holy place, is located in the heart of Rajbiraj in Saptari district. The temple holds great religious importance in the life of the people living in Rajbiraj. This sacred place is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga, the goddess of power and strength. The temple premises also accommodate other small temples of Lord Shiva, Lord Bishnu, Lord Bishwakarma, Goddess Manakamana, etc.  The temple is surrounded by other important temples such as the temple of Lord Hanuman and Lord Shiva. There is also a pond behind the main temple of the goddess where Chhath Puja is performed.

bhagwati temple decorated for Dashain, Photo by: Anisha Bhattarai

bhagwati temple decorated for Dashain,
Photo by: Anisha Bhattarai

The area covered by the temple is relatively large and accommodates several small temples and shrines of other gods and goddesses. Mostly during the first nine days of Dashain, the temple is crowded with the large number of devotees coming to worship the goddess. The statue of the goddess Durga is placed in the largest temple alongside the statues of goddess Kali and Lord Shiva. During the festival, a road fair is conducted where the whole place goes into a festive mood. Also a temple or a room, to be more appropriate, is filled with the mud idols of the goddess killing Mahisashur along with the idols of other gods and goddesses. This room is opened only during the festival as the faces of the idols are covered during the other times.

There is also a banyan tree which is believed to be more than a hundred years old and at the base of the tree, a small temple is constructed with the stone image (not carved) of Lord Vishnu. The importance of the temple is such that no one passing through the temple road crosses the path without praying here, whether they enter it or not. They at least stop in front of it and close their eyes with their hands folded together, in a gesture of Namaste, paying their respects to the goddess.