Churiya Mai, the goddess of the vehicle
Situated at Tribhuwan Highway in Hetauda, the temple of Churiya Mai is famous worldwide. The temple is not only famous for one thing but many. Especially the vehicle owners have great faith on the goddess as it is believed that she protects and aid her devotees to avoid accidents. They offer the vehicle to the goddess first, when it is purchased and only after that do they use it. People usually come to the temple to worship the goddess and conduct puja asking her goddess her blessing and also protection from accidents, crash or any types of unpleasant situations.
People usually offer their newly purchased vehicle and perform pujas and homas to insure their safety and protection from any sort of accidents. The temple is not only famous in Nepal but worldwide. Every day, people from every walk of life come to the temple to worship the goddess. They keep vakal (ask for fulfillment of their wishes in return of something they offer to the goddess, like making a deal) in the temple and when it is fulfilled, they come to the temple to keep their vows and do what they had promised in return of completion of their works.
It is said that the temple became famous after the construction of Churiya tunnel in 1965 BS. And, as the temple as well as the tunnel lies in the Churiya Mountain Range, the temple was named as Churiya Mai. The main temple of Churiya Mai is located just ahead of the tunnel but after the construction of the Tribhuwan highway, a substitute temple was constructed with an image of the goddess and placed on the left side near the highway.
The devotees climb a two minute narrow street up along the hill leading to the main statue. The devotees coming here mostly consist of the owner and the drivers of the heavy and dangerous vehicles.
The goddess is worshiped as a form of Durga during the festival of Nawami, ninth day of Dashain. Not only from Nepal, but people from India also come to the temple for worshiping the goddess.