Jwalpa Devi & The trip of Devi Pujan at Dhangsoli

by - October 09, 2017


This Navratri season we finally went to our ancestor’s village after a long gap of more than thirteen years. And this all happened due to the ceremonial puja of our family tree where most of the relatives with the same bloodline meets and participate in the Shardiya Navratri for devi pujan. It was a three day ceremony where main motive to worship Devi and seek blessing from personal deities.

Although we were planning to visit our home town on this Diwali, we had to reschedule our program according to the current ritual event. It was also the first ever visit of my wife to sasuraal since our marriage.

Devi Pujan – A Brief
It has been a long tradition in Uttarakhand to pay tribute to God and worship on different occasion whether it is the time of marriage, birth of a child or any other dharmic occurrence throughout the year. Although the pujan can be done in any time of the year with accordance to personal beliefs and custom. It could be organized by single family, clan or a whole community of village could be part of the this customary occasion. These affairs could be as grand as marriage ceremony and gathering could go beyond hundreds of people, depend on the size of the family tree.

Jwalpa Devi – First Destination
As usual, we planned the night journey and started along after 12 am with two different cars, as this time we were more than nine person, including two children. It was a night long drive and our first halt was at Kotdwar, where we had our early morning tea and snacks, of course without brushing up our teeth. While at early morning, it was low traffic on hills so we managed to drive quickly and reached Jwalpa Mandir at around 7.30 am after crossing over more than seventy km highway road.



Thanks to Jwalpa Samiti, although they were pre-informed by dad, for providing us a room for a couple of hours. Although ladies had their shower at the indoor bathroom, all men decided to take bathe at the streaming water below the Mandir Premises’. It was fast running flow and so hard to swim. We just took a small dip at the edge while holding the chain and did our lota bathe instantly. All member soon got ready with desi attire for visiting the Devi Mandir, and pretty fast the puja was done as hardly any bheed of localities Garhwali were there. It was Ashtmi and most of ours were on fast, however, we other ate Halwa, Alloo Puri at Langar there as Prasad before leaving the place.




Dhangsoli – The awaited Destination
It was not too far to reach our Gaon from Jwalpa, but till today no direct approached road has been constructed upto Dhangsoli and we had to park our vehicles at Dharasu, the nearest Pakki Sadak. Although it was more than ten km long detour to get in there at Dharasu the second route is only available on foot and also a long steep path. But from Dharasu it was easy for us as we had to take kaccha rasta which was all slope down upto our home at Gaon.



Pretty soon almost everyone found someplace to lay down and tried to relieve oneself from long fatigue once done with shishtaar-char to relatives & other family members. At late evening the short puja was organized with a presence of all family members at pungudu ie terrace land. Finally, the fasting ends for bhakts at time of pangat dining with a menu of daal roti, halwa & aaloo tari.

Calling of – Devi Shakti & Hawan
Post dining the late night jagrata start with help of jagri, the local play artists of dhol-damou, a type of drums. It is basically done to summon the mystical spirit or Devi on certain individuals for asking their insatiable demands and promising to fulfill as per their diktat. The drum generally played with a metal plate but the flow of music is predominantly so dark & weird that makes anyone certainly hypnotize for few moments. We did see individuals, mostly ladies losing their mental balance and behaved with an absurd manner as if someone really infused the Shakti in them. One of them even circled the whole village without any sleeper on the kanto bhari sadak before regaining her senses again. Well, this episode of calling of Devi or other shakties were going on until dawn and whole neighborhood was part of this.



In the next morning, all folks were getting ready for puja and havan. Gentlemen had their bath on open, while ladies took shower on temporarily covered shades. Some were busy preparing the prasad, day-lunch, other was managing the kund for havan pujan. All members join sooner on the main courtyard at hawan-kund where after reciting of mantra by panditjee, the aahooti was offered by the individual to Agni till poorn-aahoti was done. Finally, the last aarti was sung by all members and Prasad distribution finished the whole pujan-process.

Although it had been a long practice in our village to scarify a male-goat as offering to Devi and later distribute it as a Prasad, now coconut-giri and sweets has replaced the old fashion. But people have not stopped eating meat, although has started buying it from slaughterhouses instead of killing themselves.      


But that day we only had daal-bhaat at lunch….. and left the place to get back to Dilli on the same day with long long drive …..!!!

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