Harihar Gufa temple is situated on the top of Bhalam Dada in Kaski district, Nepal. It is approximately 9 kilometers away from Pokhara city. The temple is located at an altitude of 1300 meters above sea level.
It is surrounded by forest on all sides with Lord Shiva temple in the middle. We can have a mind-blowing view of Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Machhapuchhre, Sarangkot hill, and a panoramic view of Pokhara valley from the summit.
Apart from this, beautiful scenery of some Gurung villages like Armalakot, Dada Gaun and Aatighar can also been seen from Harihar Gufa temple. In fact, Nepal ranks 2nd in the list of countries with the highest Hindu population in the world.
There are numerous religious places all over Nepal. Every year, lots of devotees make a pilgrimage to these holy places. Harihar Gufa temple is also one of the holy temples of Nepal.
Hinduism has lots of rituals on each particular occasions. One of the sacred ritual of Hinduism is Bala Chaturdashi. On this very occasion, people go to holy places and disperse Satbij (mixture of seven grains) in the holy area.
It is believed that, by performing such ritual, can give penance to the dead souls of one’s ancestors or dear ones. Harihar Gufa temple is one of the holy places where this sacred ritual is performed.
On the day of Bala Chaturdashi, many devotees from the city and the surrounding districts, pay a visit to the temple. They take a walk round the temple, dispersing Satbij in the forest. Moreover, they believe that, by fulfilling such ritual wholeheartedly will make a secure place for their dead ones in heaven. Bala Chaturdashi usually falls in late November or in early December.
Harihar Gufa temple is also famous for sightseeing due to its location. It is like a scenic viewpoint of the city. We can have an enchanting view of Kali khola river flowing on the foot of Bhalam Dada. It has a well managed trail, so many people also go for a hike. In addition, many restaurants and lodges are set up on the foot of Bhalam Dada nowdays.
Moreover, many people around the city, also like to go for the cycling to Bhalam Dada. A long ring road has been constructed along the Bhalam Dada, which connects Bhalam Village Development Committee and Ward No. 19 Batulechaur. Most of the people in Bhalam are Brahmins and Chhetris.
Story of Harihar Gufa
The meaning behind the name Harihar Gufa has its own story. In Nepali language, Harihar is another name of Lord Shiva and Gufa means cave. There is actually a small cave like structure on the hill.
And, according to the religious myth, it is believed that Lord Shiva used to meditate inside the cave. And that is why they named it Harihar Gufa. Lots of Yogis from different regions have meditated in Harihar Gufa temple for a long time.
All the religious rituals are performed by the priest of Harihar Gufa Sanyas Ashram (a Hindu monastery). The Ashram was built by Amargiri Maharaj during the reign of Junga Bahadur Rana. Later on it was renovated by Dharmananda Saraswati Sadhu in 2036 B.S. The Ashram was officially registered in 2046 B.S.
Later on, it was handed over to Swami Aatmananda Giri in 2059 B.S. Till this day, all the tasks related to Harihar Gufa and the Ashram is performed under his supervision.
The Harihar Gufa Sanyas Ashram has also given a shelter to many old, poor and helpless people. Various Yoga classes along with religious classes are held most of the week. The old people from the Ashram also perform various religious ceremonies during the whole year.
Many devotees from all over Nepal donate funds for the Ashram on various religious ceremony every year. The collected fund is utilized for the development of the temple and the ashram.
Harihar Gufa temple has its own significance in the Hindu religion. However, many of the new generations are unaware of such rituals. So, places like this should be given importance and kept preserved.
Not only the Ashram but Government should also focus on its development and should promote for the tourism. Renovation campaign should be done time after time. So, while visiting to Pokhara, Harihar Gufa temple will surely be the best destination.
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