Budha Subba Temple: Unveiling Legends in the Heart of Eastern Nepal

23, Feb 2024 | nepaltraveller.com

This revered temple, surrounded by myths and rituals, has become a pilgrimage site not only for the locals but also for devotees from across Nepal and even international nations

The Budha Subba Temple, nestled in the heart of Vijayapur, Dharan, Nepal, stands as a beacon of cultural and religious significance in the eastern part of the country. This revered temple, surrounded by myths and rituals, has become a pilgrimage site not only for the locals but also for devotees from across Nepal and even international nations, drawn by the belief that their wishes will be fulfilled and good fortune will accompany them upon visiting.

Situated in the picturesque town of Vijayapur, the Budha Subba Temple holds a unique place in the hearts of the people of eastern Nepal. Its tranquil surroundings and historical aura make it a destination for those seeking both spiritual solace and a connection to the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

Devotees flock to the temple, especially on Saturdays, to partake in rituals that involve the sacrificial offerings of animals such as pigs and chickens. This act is seen as a gesture of devotion and an expression of gratitude to the deity residing in the temple, believed to have the power to fulfill their wishes. The sight of devotees from various backgrounds coming together to participate in these rituals highlights the inclusive nature of the Budha Subba Temple.

One of the striking features of the temple is the absence of an idol, a departure from the conventional setup of many religious sites. Instead, the focus is on the worship of two earthen bases within the ancient temple, revered by the devotees as Budha Subba and Budhi Subban. This unconventional aspect adds an air of mystery and uniqueness to the temple, making it stand out among other religious sites.

Delving into the historical significance of the Budha Subba Temple, it is revealed that it serves as the tombstone of King Buddhi Karnaraya Khebang, the last Limbu king of Limbuwan. The circumstances of the king's demise, killed by the assassins of King Prithvi Narayan Shah of the Kingdom of Nepal during negotiations in Bijaypur-Dharan, add a layer of tragedy to the temple's narrative. The locals, however, have turned this somber history into a source of reverence, worshiping the spirit of King Buddhi Karnaraya Khebang as a friendly and helpful presence, believed to bring good luck.

The temple's complex of non-tip bamboo adds another intriguing dimension to its story. Legend has it that Budha Subba, the deity of the temple, broke the tips off the bamboo, giving rise to the unique characteristic of the bamboo found in the temple's vicinity. The absence of the tip is symbolic and serves as a reminder of the deity's presence and influence on the surroundings.

Rituals within the temple compound also include the writing of names on bamboo by visitors, a practice believed to ensure the success of love affairs. However, due to the corrosive effects on the bamboo, the temple committee has imposed a ban on this tradition, emphasizing the need for preservation. Devotees also tie yarn on bamboo, symbolizing their vows and aspirations, hoping for their fulfillment in the near future.

The tomb within the temple, revered as Kiranteshwar Mahadev, has its own set of legends. According to one narrative, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, disguised as the Kirana King and Queen, visited Bijayapur, where the temple is located, while hunting. During their stay, they discerned the onset of Kaliyug and subsequently vanished. This event, known as Budhasubba in the Kiranti language, is believed to be the origin of the bamboo's unique feature, sprouting without the tip from the bow.

Eklavya, a character from the Mahabharata, is also intertwined with the temple's legends. As the story goes, Eklavya, a brave soldier who fought on the Kaurava side, came to the temple and, after contemplating in solitary confinement, was entombed by his followers. The tomb was later renamed Budha Subba, and the site became a place of worship, known as Siddhapith.

Another perspective on Budha Subba's identity connects it to Magar Kazi. The tradition of Magars serving as priests in the temple has led to the belief that Budha Subba is the tomb of Magar Kazi. This diversity of legends surrounding the temple reflects the cultural amalgamation in the region, where different communities contribute to the temple's narrative. The fame of Budha Subba extends beyond Vijayapur, reaching regions such as Bhogtene, Tadi, and Bhawar in Dharan. The temple's origins are thought to be linked to Budhasubba's rulership or heirship of this region, and its fame has grown exponentially over time.

What sets the Budha Subba Temple apart is its ability to attract people from all walks of life and diverse religious backgrounds. Whether following Vedic traditions or Buddhism, individuals find common ground in their reverence for the temple. The inclusivity of the temple contributes to its universal appeal, making it a shared cultural and religious landmark.

In conclusion, the Budha Subba Temple in Vijayapur, Dharan, Nepal, is not merely a religious site but a repository of history, mythology, and cultural traditions. The temple's unique features, diverse legends, and inclusive atmosphere make it a fascinating destination for those seeking spiritual solace and a deeper connection to the rich tapestry of eastern Nepal's cultural heritage. As devotees, both local and global, continue to visit and contribute to the temple's legacy, the Budha Subba Temple remains a symbol of unity and cultural richness in the region.

Photo Credits:Pinterest, Dr Anshu's vlog, Flickr

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