Panda Samaj announce to disallow politicians to enter Raghunath temple, Devprayag on Jan 22
Pithoragarh, Jan 21
With the consecration of Ram temple at Ayodhaya on January 22 and the euphoria being created at an unprecedented scale in Uttarakhand state, ruled by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) there are murmurs of protest against alleged neglect of Raghunath temple at famous pilgrimage place of Devprayag.
Interestingly, the Panda Samaj of Devprayag has announced that they would not allow any public representative or politician to enter the ancient Ragunath temple at Devprayag on January 22, in protest against the alleged neglect of the Raghunath Temple.
Rajinder Kothiyal, a former information commissioner of Uttarakhand and a senior lawyer at Nainital High Court who is a resident of Devprayag announced that no politician or public representative would be allowed into the Puranic Raghunath temple at Devprayag on January 22, the day Ram Temple is being consecrated at Ayodhya by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with much fanfare. Kothiyal in a statement alleged that ‘Adi Guru Shankarachayra’ is being disrespected in the country so no public representative would be allowed in the Raghunath temple built by Adi Shankarachayra.
He further charged that the BJP state government in the garb of Master plan has been trying to impose it’s own will on the re-development of Badrnath Dham without taking the local stakeholders into confidence. He said that although Panda Samaj welcome the consecration of Ram temple at Ayodhaya, but said that that the state government has done nothing for the ancient Raghunath temple built by ‘Adi Shankaracharya’ in the eighth century.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand comprising Garhwal and Kumoan hills having four most sacred Hindu temples of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri is known as ‘Devbhoomi’ is known as the land of Lord Shiva where the Shiva and Shakti, are worshipped. However, there are several temples in the state which are Ram temples. The most ancient temple being Raghunath temple at Devprayag in Garhwal which is a Vishnu temple. Lord Rama is considered as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and is worshipped with his consort Sita in the temple.
According to Regional Archaeological Office, Almora the famous Badrinath temple as part of Char Dham is a Lord Vishnu temple and Uttarakhand state have several Ram temples or other Vaishnav temples scattered all over.
“One of such ancient temple of Raghunath or Rama, is Raghunath temple of Devprayag in Garhwal region, “said Chandra Singh Chauhan.
“We have three such Ram temples in Almora, including Ramshila temple situated at Malla Mahal and Raghunath temple near Khajanchi mohalla, where worship of Lord Rama is prevalent from times of Chand kings of Kumaon region,” said Chandra Singh Chauhan, Regional Archaeological Officer based in Almora.
The third ancient Ram temple in Almora is situated at Narayan Kali near Koteta in Chaukhutia region of Almora.”While occasional worship is held in Almora Ram temples, the Koteta Ram temple has daily worship with Bhog ceremony held by priest on daily basis,” said Chauhan.
“Besides these mid-era Ram temples in Almora, the Pawalgarh region of Nainital has remains of a 9th century Ram- Sita temple,” said Chauhan. Pawalgarh has since been renamed as ‘Sitabani’, by Uttarakhand government recently on popular demand following consecration ceremony at Ayodhya.
The Regional Archaeological Officer said that the influence of Lord Rama was prominent during the regime of Chand kings of Kumaon region. He said that they have found a manuscript, in which the Chand king Devi Chand offered a piece of land to Godess Kotbhramari Devi, by swearing in the name of Lord Rama.”The Chand king Devi Chand in 18th century ( Shake 1648) wrote, at the beginning of the ‘Dan Patta’ to Kot Bhramari Devi temple, start with ‘Ram Chandra ke Charno sparsh’ (Touching the feet of Lord Rama),” said Chauhan.
Besides In Almora, other parts of Kumaon region has also presence of Ram temples and regular worship of Lord Rama.
In Bageshwar, there are Ram temples at three places, including Ram temple at Ramghat Thakurdwaraa, Ram temple at Garur and Kapkot.”Ram temple at Thakurdwra is oldest Ram temple in the district, it was established some 130 years ago,” said Ghanshyam Joshi, a journalist based in Bageshwar. “All these temples of Lord Rama now being renovated, “said Joshi.
The lone Ram temple in Pithoragarh district is situated at Berinag sub-division.”This temple of Lord Rama was established in 1938 and statues of Lord Rama, Devi Sita and Laxman are adorned in this temple by whole region of Berinag,” said the archaeological officer.