Char Mahasu Devta
Char Mahasu Devta
Char Mahasu Devta: The god of justice, belongs to Jaunsar Bawar, a tribal area in Dehradun district, whose main temple is in Hanol. This temple of mixed architectural style is believed to have been constructed in the 9th century. It is said that the Pandavas also spent some time with Mata Kunti at this place.
Come! Let’s go, Hanol. There are many stories related to folk deities in Uttarakhand. The most interesting of these is the story of the folk god Mahasu. Mahasu, who is revered as the god of justice, belongs to Jaunsar-Bawar, a tribal area in Dehradun district. Their main temple is located in Hanol village near Chakrata on the eastern bank of the Tons River, which falls on the Tuni-Mori motorway.
The origin of the word Hanol is believed to be the name of Huna Bhat, a Brahmin here. Earlier this place was known as Chakarpur. In Dwapara Yuga, the Pandavas came out of the Lakshagriha (house of lac) at this place.
This temple of mixed architectural style, built at an altitude of 1250 meters above sea level, is considered to be of the ninth century. However, the record of ASI (Archaeological Survey Department) mentions that the temple was built in the 11th and 12th centuries. Presently, ASI is also patronizing it.
Connection to Rashtrapati Bhavan
The visit of devotees to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple is strictly prohibited. Only the priest of the temple is allowed to enter there. There is also a stream of water in the sanctum sanctorum, but no one knows about where its source is and where the drainage of water takes place.
This water is offered as a Prasad to the devotees. A divine light is always burning in the sanctum sanctorum. The special thing is that Rashtrapati Bhavan also has a direct connection to Mahasu Devta. Salt is sent here every year on behalf of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Temple built from Ghata stone
It is popularly believed that the Pandavas carried stones from the Ghata Pahar (Shivalik mountain range) and built the Hanol temple with the help of Dev Shilpi Vishwakarma. The 32 corners of this non-mortar masonry temple rest from the foundation to the dome on one of the cut stones placed on top of each other.
At the top of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple is installed a huge stone brought from the mountain of Bhima Chhatri i.e. Bhimsen’s Ghat. It has a unique carving factor for the grandeur of the temple.
Four brothers as Lord Shiva.
Mahasu is not actually a deity, but a collective name of four deities. In the local language, Mahasu is an aberration of the word ‘Mahashiva’. The names of the four Mahasu brothers are Basik Mahasu, Pabasik Mahasu, Buthia Mahasu (Botha Mahasu) and Chalda Mahasu, which are considered as the form of Lord Shiva.
Among them, Basik Mahasu is the largest, while Bautha Mahasu, Pabasik Mahasu and Chalda Mahasu are second, third and fourth. The temple of Botha Mahasu is in Hanol, the temple of Basik Mahasu is in Mandrath and the temple of Pabasik Mahasu is in Thadiyar and Devati-Devavan of Bangan region. Whereas, Chalada Mahasu is always on the stay of Jaunsar-Bawar, Bangan, Fatah-Parvat and Himachal region.
Their palanquins are taken by the regional people on regular intervals from one place to another for worshiping. Due to the stay of the deity, the philosophy of Chalda Mahasu is destined after decades in many accounts. In some areas, generations pass in the desire for visions of the deity.
The Mahasu god is worshiped as the Ishta Dev (total deity) in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, the entire Jaunsar-Bawar region, the Rwai pargana as well as Himachal Pradesh’s Sirmaur, Solan, Shimla, Bishahar and Jubbal. In these areas, Mahasu Devta is recognized as the god of justice and the temple as the court.
Three routes from Dehradun
From Dehradun to the Mahasu Devta Temple, it can be reached by three roadways. The first 188 km long route goes to Dehradun, Vikasnagar, Chakrata and Tuni to Hanol. The second reaches Hanol via Dehradun, Mussoorie, Nainbagh, Purola and Mori, which is 175 km in length. Whereas, the third 178 km long route is from Dehradun to Vikanagar, Chibarau Dam, Kwanu, Minas, Hatal and Tuni to Hanol.
Small shells, heavy weight
In the premises of Mahasu temple Hanol, there are two lead shells, which make Pandu’s son realize the power of Bhima. It is believed that Bhima used these balls as marbles (gitiya). In spite of being small in size, even the biggest forcemen are able to lose sweat. The weight of one of these pills is six mana (240 kg) and the other nine mana (360 kg).
The main temple of the four Mahasu in Hanol
The temple at Hanol is the main temple of the four Mahasu brothers. This temple mainly worships Buthia Mahasu (Botha Mahasu). Basik Mahasu and is worshiped at a place called Mandratha. Phabasik Mahasu is worshiped in Thadiyar (Uttarkashi) village located in the Bangan area on the right bank of the Tons River.
Thadiyar is about three km from Hanol. The youngest brother Chalada Mahasu is a touring deity, who travels in Uttarkashi for 12 years and Dehradun district for 12 years. They are worshiped at different places for a year, among which Haja, Bishoi, Koti Kanasar, Mashak, Udpalta, Mauna etc. are the main places of worship. In the Hanol temple, the main dham of Mahasu, it is played in the morning and evening, and a diya-baati is performed.
Mahasu's four heroes
There are also four heroes of the four Mahasu. These include Kafla Veer (Basik Mahasu), Gudaru Veer (Pabasik Mahasu), Kailu Veer (Buthia Mahasu) and Sekudia Veer (Chalda Mahasu). Four small mythological temples are located in Jaunsar-Bawar of the four.