Halesi Mahadev is a famous Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage site in Nepal. This place is located to the west from Diktel, the headquarter of Khotang district in Everest region, in Halesi Tuwachung Municipality, the center Durchim Chapadanda, in Ward No. 7, Mahadevasthan Halesi Village of East Municipality. Halesi is at an altitude of 4,736 feet above sea level. The natural geological structure of “Halesi Cave” is considered to be unique in the world.
Halesi Mahadev is considered by Hindus as Pashupati of the East, by Buddhists as the second Lumbini or Maratik Cave and by Kirant as the primitive land. In the historical period, the ancestors of the Kirats, Khokchilippa, Raichhakule, Hechchhakuppa are said to have lived in Halesi cave. Here, on the occasion of Ubhouli-Udhouli, the annual Kirat festival, the Kirats of Khotang, Bhojpur, Udaipur, Okhaldhunga, Solukhambu gather and worship their ancestors.
On the other hand, according to Hindu religious legends, in the Satya Yuga, a demon named Bhashmasura asked for a boon, “May the person on whose head I put my hand burn to ashes.” Mahadev said ‘Tathastu’ without thinking. However, after receiving the boon, Bhasmasur tried to put his hand on Mahadev’s head. Then Mahadev broke this hill of Halesi and entered into the rock and disappeared there. Therefore, it is believed that Mahadev resides here.
Similarly, according to Buddhism, this land is a holy land where the great Buddhist guru Padmasambhava attained enlightenment hundreds of years ago after years of penance. That’s why Kirats, Buddhists and Hindus come here in thousands every year. A few years ago, after the unpaved road was connected, the need to get off at the Lamidanda airport to reach the Halesi Mahadevasthan located in the eastern hilly district of Khotang in Nepal has been removed. Now, to reach Halesi, where there is a flood of religious pilgrims, it is also reached through the Mirchaiya-Katari road section through East West Raj Marg. This temple is especially crowded with devotees on Shivratri day.
There are various stories and legends regarding the origin of Halesi Mahadev Cave. According to history, the name Halesi was ruled by the Kirati king ‘Holaisung’ before the unification of Nepal. It is said that the same word has become ‘Halesi’.According to the locals, there was a forest around the Halesi temple in Satya Yuga, and animals such as tigers, bears, deers, deers, kalijs were found there in abundance. At that time, Halesi Cave was sealed by waves, so no one knew about this cave. One day, a deer was wounded by an arrow shot by a Kiranti hunter and fell into Halesi Mahadev cave. While going to take the deer, the hunter saw a light like a bright lamp inside the dark cave and the hunter fainted. After Lord Shankar gave darshan to the unconscious hunter, other gods and goddesses also appeared in this cave. It is said that seeing this, the hunter also warned that no one should commit murder and violence in the area around the temple.
According to ancient religious beliefs, these two caves are said to have been dug by Mahadev to escape from the demon Bhasmasura. Bhasmasura tries to put his hand on Mahadev’s head to check whether this boon is true or not. Mahadev ran away in fear. Even Bhasmasura has not left. Mahadev broke the rock of Halesi and entered the ground and left Basaha at the door. After Basaha fought and confused Bhasmasura for some time. By that time, Mahadev came out into the sky and hide in the underworld by cutting through the nearby ground. In this way, two caves, Basahathan and Mahadev were formed there. Vishnu came and danced in the form of Mohini to kill Bhasmasur. After seeing a beautiful woman, Bhasmasur forgets Mahadev and while imitating his dance, he puts his hand on his own head and died. Even today, the tribals here show the blackened rock in the village called Chasmi as ashes, which has been burnt.
According to the story of Shri Swasthani Vrat of Hinduism, Sati Devi’s father Daksha Prajapati performed a great yajna in which his own daughter Sati Devi was not invited to the yajna. Unable to bear the insult, Sati Devi immediately immolated herself in the yajna fire at the yajna place. In the process of carrying the body by Mahadev, the right elbow of Sati Devi’s body fell here.