Barah Kshetra - Vishwa Hindu Parishad Nepal

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Barah Kshetra

Barah Kshetra is a Hindu pilgrimage site which remains between the confluence of Koka and Koshi rivers in Barahakshetra, Sunsari of Province No. 1, Nepal. This place is one of Nepal's oldest shrines mentioned in Puranas including Brahma Purana, Varaha Purana and Skanda Purana and even mentioned and glorified in the Mahabharata epic. In Barahachhetra, the Varah, an incarnation of Vishnu is worshiped. Barahachhetra is taken as the most important pilgrimage site in eastern region of Nepal.

This place is located at about 5 km northwest from Dharan in Sunsari district. The present appearance of the original temple of Barahachhetra was made in 1991 BS. The temple was rebuilt by Juddha Shamsher for the last time in 1991 BS after the temple was demolished by the earthquake of 1990 BS. There are 9 temples including that of Laxmi, Panchayan, Guruvarah, Suryavarah, Kokawarah and Nageshwar and many hospices in Barahachhetra. Statues of more than 1500 years old have been found in this place.

Pilgrims come all seasons but special fete is organised in occasions of Kartik Purnima and makar sakranti. People from India prefer to come to Barahachhetra in Kartik Purnima and people from hilly Nepal generally come at makar sakranti. Except this, huge number of pilgrims arrive at rishi Panchami, byas panchami, fagu purnima and other ekadashis or other fasts and festive days. Each day seems like a fete due to the regular flow of people.

Among 4 chhetra in Hindu mythology 2 falls in India and 2 in Nepal that is Kurukshetra & Dharmachhetra in India and Barahachhetra & Muktinath or Muktichhetra in Nepal. Lord Vishnu, by taking the incarnation of Varaha or Baraha protected the earth from being submerged into Patala (underworld) with his long tusk. Then the Lord sat with his wife Laxmi at the bank of Koshi River in the lap of Himalayas and hills. So, the place bore its name after that event. There is a big and beautiful image of the Baraha incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

An Ardha Kumbha Mela is organised at Barah Kshetra every six years where hundreds and thousands of pilgrims come to make religious offerings and take a holy dip in the mighty Sapta Koshi River. The Ardha (meaning half) Kumbha is a miniature form of the grand Kumbha Mela that is held at Sangam Prayag, Allahabad in India at the confluence of the holy Ganges and Jamuna rivers every 12 years. It is considered to be the largest gathering of devotees in the world, running into millions. Other holy places at Barah Kshetra include Guru Barah and Indra Barah.