All the prayers in Doleshwor, from the morning rituals to the evening arati are done according to the rules of the Kedarnath Temple.
The highly revered temple of Doleshwor Mahadev is a famous pilgrimage site in the Bhaktapur district of Nepal. It lies on the foot of the green hills as a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The prominence of the temple lies in the fact that it is considered as the head of Kedarnath temple in Uttarkhand, one of the destinations of Char Dham, and therefore, the trip to Kedarnath is incomplete without a visit to the Doleshwor Mahadev and the Pashupatinath.
The legend dates back to the battle of Kurukshetra during the Mahabharata period, where the Panch Pandavas won the war against their cousins, 100 Kauravas. Though the Pandavas gained the victory, they were highly grieved by the lives that they had killed. So, they headed to the Himalayas to seek forgiveness from Lord Shiva. But Lord Shiva was not willing to forgive them and disguised himself in the form of a bull. The Pandavas knew that but, as the bull was about to flee, they only could see the body part. In an attempt to stop him from fleeing, they pulled the tail, and the head got separated from the body, and the bull collapsed underground at Guptakasi.
Later, the torso was found in Kedarnath, the arms in Tungnath, navel in Madhyamaheshwar, face in Rudranath, and hair in Kalpeshwor. The head was not found until 4000 years of the existence of the temple.
It was on 22nd August 2009 that Jagatguru Bhimashankar linga Shivacharya Mahaswami jee formally announced that the Doleshwor was the head part of the Kedarnath, backed up by various researches linking to the Mahabharata period. The Shiva Linga of Doleshwor is believed to have emerged at the end of the Dwapar Yug and Kali Yug.
It is believed that their visit to four major adobes (Char Dham) is only fulfilled after visiting the Doleshwor Mahadev as it is linked to Kedarnath, one of the destinations of Char Dham. All the prayers in Doleshwor, from the morning rituals to the evening arati are done according to the rules of the Kedarnath Temple. It is believed that visits to all these temples wash off the sins of one's life and receives the holy blessings of Lord Shiva.
After the 2013 devastating flood that hit the temple of Kedarnath, the head priest of Kedarnath requested for the regular prayers that were interrupted, to be held in Doleshwor Mahadev.
ABOUT THE TEMPLE
The temple is also known by the names: Bimaleshwor and Sipare Mahadev as per the locals and tradition. The Doleshwor Mahadev Temple is constructed in pagoda style and houses a plain Shiva Linga. There are taps, a big idol of a bull, a tall trisul, and other artifacts around the temple that enhances the religious significance for the devotees that come to worship the deity.
The pilgrims visiting the temple offer milk and bel leaves to Lord Shiva as an important ritual. A huge number of devotees come here to take the blessings of the mighty Lord Shiva and worship with immense faith to free them from all the sins of their lives. The temple welcomes thousands of Hindu pilgrims from around the world during the month of Shrawan (July-August) and Magh (January-February) and on a special occasion like Shivaratri, Teej. The temple also has several visitors on regular Mondays and Saturdays.
Once an unknown temple for thousands of years is now a hidden gem holding great importance in the Hindu religion. It is a must-visit temple at least once in a lifetime to get the immense opportunity to be blessed by Lord Shiva.
Doleshwor Mahadev temple is situated in Sifhadole municipality in Bhaktapur district. The distance is about 20 km from the capital city of Kathmandu.
One can easily reach there by a local bus or any private vehicle. It is towards the east of Araniko highway through Suryabinayak bus park.