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KINNAUR – SHANGRI-LA

 

Story doesn’t always needs a creatural hero. This is a story of a brisk ecstasy that is situated in the lap of Himalayas. This is the story of kinnaur, (which is believed to be) the abode of Lord Shiva.

 

There are many mythological stories about the beautiful district of kinnaur, situated in Himachal Pradesh. For the general introduction of kinnaur, I’ll lit some known and unknown facts about it. To begin with, being a tribal district, kinnaur has an average literacy rate of 80.77. It has a sex ratio of 953 girls per 1000 boys. It was ruled under the Magadha  kingdom followed by Mauryan empire. There are many outlasting stories about it which makes us wonder about it’s existence.

 

As mentioned earlier, kinnaur is a beautiful district which stands completely untouched by the modernisation. Being completely untouched from the modernisation doesn’t mean that, the people don’t have the basic amenities. They do have it but, for some reason the native people opt to stay little or untouched by it. Maybe it’s because of the simplicity, maybe it’s because of the pure heart that the people still possess to the time.

 

It has been so long from the day human existence on earth started but, the story behind the emergence of this district remains ambiguous. Some say that the God’s (Devta’s in local language) of kinnaur were the warriors in the battle of Mahabharata and, they were sent to kinnaur to regain their strength,  to lead a peaceful life ahead. Whereas, some believe that kinnaur was under the possession of goddess Chandika and later on she divided it into several parts for her siblings. It appears that this place has a wide mythological history and it wasn’t connected with the other Indian towns.

Kinnaur has got many beautiful places, one of which is Kalpa(earlier it was known as, Chini), a completely beautiful and magnificent town which appears alluring to the eyes till date. This town has many buried stories, one of which says that goddess Chandika originally used to stay in kalpa. The demons of the locality started chasing her. Goddess Chandika was furious and is known to be a killer of demons. She went on to kill the demons but, the demons in return insulted her by saying that she is a woman without man. In the past, it was a shameful thing to remain unmarried and goddess Chandika got offended by this. To add more to your amazement, in front of the village kalpa stands the great Kailash mountains, which is known as the abode of Lord Shiva. We can still see Shivling from kalpa, which changes it’s color from time to time.

Getting back to the story, when goddess Chandika got offended by the demons she pleaded in front of Lord Shiva for a husband. It is believed that Lord Shiva sent a sword right from the Kailash mountains to goddess Chandika. This sword is known as Khandi. This sword landed in a flat ground, in front of the kalpa temple, in the cow dung of a red cow. Through this sword, goddess Chandika killed the demon, Dashram/Dashravan. It is completely unknown that who this Dashravan/Dashram was and where did he come from? These stories are living with the native people and it’s totally fascinating to know about all this.

After goddess Chandika killed the demons, she went to another village named Kothi and handed over the village Kalpa to other gods, Narayan and Vishnu.

It is believed that kalpa had many demons and they had to be killed by some measure.

Another fascinating story which attracts the common folk towards kinnaur is that, the famous killing of Anirudh, the grandson of Lord Vishnu was done in the village Kothi by the goddess Chandika(Durga). The reason behind this was that, Chandika along with several other siblings was born to the demon Banasur. Goddess Chandika was born through illusion and is not believed to be the legitimate child of Banasur. Goddess Usha is one of the  children of Banasur. Unfortunately Anirudh fell in love with goddess Usha and they both got married.

The main motive for which goddess Chandika came on earth was, the assassination of Demons. When goddess Chandika came to know about the marriage, she decided to kill Anirudh so that no other demon’s offspring could be produced. After Anirudh died, goddess Chandika and goddess Usha had some scuffle and it continues to date. Goddess Usha lives in Nichar, another beautiful village in kinnaur.

There are many such inter-connected stories which are believed to be connected with Hindu mythology. It is also believed that the Pandavas lived in kinnaur as well, during the period of their exile. A villa named Yulla, still traces many evidences which proves it right.

Earlier, the people of kinnaur was known as Kinner/ kinnaura, which meant those who stay between the God’s and the people. It raises many questions in my mind about the credibility of all these but sadly, very little could be interpreted and accepted through the local stories.

This place is truly a delight to eyes and, it stores many stories with it.

It’s a true SHANGRI-LA !

I wish to update more about my native land in future.

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