Curious about why Himachal is called a ‘devbhoomi’?

Himachal is a state of many gods . Every region has a different god .The people have their belief in their regional deity. There are certain rituals that are to be practiced in order to be blessed with the power of these regional deities, this is what the regional people in Himachal believe. There have been incidents with the people which substantiate that these deities have real power relegated in them. And they not just mere superstitions.

God is one, this is what our morals and values teach us . The supreme power is present around us in many forms of nature . This gives us a feeling that its not just pure science but something unprecedented and unexplainable that is running this universe and its not just pure science ! Himachal is a state that believes in this unconventional power in its own way . This can be seen in the way the himachalies believe and worship their regional deities with utmost loyalty and acceptance . They do not condemn the idea of one god for all , but they have just given different names to their credence .
Himachal is a state blessed with the power of lakhs of deities . Every small village , in every district of Himachal has a different name for 'god' whom the people call 'devta' . The faith of the people has been bestowed in these deities since ancient times and this is the reason why the culture of Himachal is greatly influenced by them.
The list of these regional gods is endless. The few common features related to regional deities, which will help us better assimilate the culture and practices of Himachal are stated below-
1. Every village has a separate temple for their god .
2. The temple consists of a sculpture of the 'devta' made up of stone, wood or some metal , preferably gold or silver.
3. It is a tradition that the temple is guarded by a local Brahmin family , which has been serving the temple from generations .
4. This Brahmin family is bestowed with the responsibility of conducting all the ceremonies related to the god of their region.
5. There is one main person from this family who performs the daily ceremonies of the temple.
6. All the temples in Himachal will be observed to have a similar architecture with long ascending walls and a curved rooftop so that it is visible from a considerable distance.
7. Every temple has a flag pole in front of it which symbolizes it.
8. The flag pole may or may not have a red flag on its tip , depending on, if it is a female or a male form of the deity , respectively.
9. The main statuary of the deity is placed in the area just below the rooftop of the temple, in contrast to the Hindu temples ,that have the main sculpture at the entrance.
10. The temples are beautifully hand carved from inside as well as outside by the experts in this art who have been doing this work since decades.
11. One person is said to be chosen by the 'devta' ,he is the one through whose body the 'devta' communicates to the people of the region when necessary. This person is a male most of the time.
12. A special ceremony is conducted whenever the'devta' has to be taken out of the temple.
13. The god can be taken out of the temple only on a litter , which is a wheel less vehicle , known as the 'paalki'.
14. These litters are made up of wood and covered with the plates of silver or gold.
15. 4 to 8 people carry the litter on their shoulders.
16. It is said that the course which the 'paalki' takes in its way is not decided by the carriers , but the deity itself directs them in which direction they should take the litter .
17. If anything goes wrong in the ceremony the sculpture of the 'devta' refuses to leave its current position . No matter how much force you apply to lift up the sculpture it does not move an inch .
18. There can be different types of sculptures of these deities , some have a single face where some are multifaceted, some have hair where some don't, some have a parasol ,chhatar, some don't.
19. All these deities are some where or the other related to the main Hindu gods and goddeses.
20. Some are said to be brothers , some sons, and some are different versions of various Hindu Gods.
21. The deities take a stroll of the village premises associated to them every year .
22. It is said that this stroll constructs a virtual boundary along the circumference of the region , which keeps all the evil powers to enter the premises and protects the people.
23. When ever a temple is newly constructed or its rooftop renovated , a sacrifice is done.
24. The sacrifice includes butching down the throats of 4 sheep, one on every corner of the roof top.
25. After slicing down the sheep their fleash and blood are cooked and served as a sacrament for all the villagers.
26. All the deities in Himachal get together once in an year at the famous ceremony held in Kullu, Himachal Paradesh, at the time of the dshehra festival.


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