Akala Devi Temple is one of the important temples in Nepal. It is situated to the north of Pokhara city in ward-19. The temple is about 14 kilometers away from Pokhara Domestic Airport. Lots of devotees from all over Nepal make a visit to Akala Devi Temple during the whole year on different occasions.
In fact, there is a religious belief that offering “Vakal” to Akal Devi will fulfill one’s aspirations. Vakal is praying and promising to pay a visit to the respective God or Goddess. Therefore, the temple is usually crowded with devotees most of the time. Especially during the festivals like Dashain and Teej, it is hard to enter the temple due to the overcrowding of the devotees.
Dashain is the biggest festival in Nepal. Generally, it falls in early November. It is celebrated for ten days. During the festival, people go to different temples for ten days. Akala Devi Temple is one of the most visited temples in Dashain.
Similarly, the Teej festival falls in the middle of August. It is also called a women’s festival. It is a Vrata that most women wish for their husbands or for the longevity of their husbands.
Akala Devi Temple is a three-story temple. There is a temple of Lord Ganesh next to it. Once, there used to be a tree, and people used to worship Goddess Akala Devi under that tree. Later on, the tree was replaced by the recent temple.
Basically, all the tasks related to the Akala Devi Temple are done under the supervision of the Akala Devi Mandir Dharmik Chhetra Bikas Samiti. It was established in 2053 B.S. Later on, since 2075 B.S., Akala Mandir Jestha Nagarik Milan Kendra is also working along with them.
Akala Devi Temple, Then And Now
The location around the Akala Devi Temple was wide and pleasant in the old days. As it was situated at the edge of the Seti gorge, the surrounding scenery used to be peaceful and beautiful. The temple used to be in the middle of green fields.
Furthermore, the roof of the temple used to be covered with pigeons. Actually, there is an old ritual. While attaining a Vakal, people bring pigeons and free them at the temples. The place used to seem otherworldly.
Now, with time, the population has grown so far. Cities have become too crowded. The open fields around the Akala Devi Temple are now occupied by settlements. The temple is currently surrounded by houses and restaurants, which block its view.
Now, there is only a small passage to get to the temple. Some small shops are set up on the way to the temple, where people can buy necessary items like cotton wicks, joss sticks, coconuts, etc.
A stone-paved stairway is constructed at the backside of the temple, from where people can go down to the Seti River. In fact, during the Shiva Ratri festival, devotees should bathe in the Seti river and fetch Ganga Jal (Seti river water) to worship Lord Shiva. Therefore, the stairway has made it much easier for people nowadays.
Apart from this, a small Yajna room has been built near the temple, where religious rites like Bratbandha, Rudri Puja, Satyanarayana Puja, Bibaha, etc. can be performed. Besides, lots of people visit the temple for refreshment as well.
However, the temple area is much narrower than in the old days. There is no parking space for vehicles. That is why there are road jams during the festival. The toilets are also dilapidated. Therefore, the concerned authorities should launch a campaign for its reconstruction.
After all, it is the responsibility of the government to preserve such an old heritage. Not only the government, but every citizen must also give importance to our old rituals, cultures, and heritage. Nevertheless, it will be a great experience to visit such a historical place in Nepal.