SHIVARATRI- AN UNIQUE TRANSGIRI TRADITION

In Himachal Pradesh which is known as Dev Bhoomi the festival of Shivaratri is celebrated with traditional fervor. The Shivaratri festival of Mandi Town is famous world wide. During in every district in Himachal Pradesh one can watch huge rush in the Old and New Shiva temples and watch people singing and dancing in their traditional manner for the Prasannata [happiness and satisfaction] of Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati. But Shivaratri festival is celebrated in a different manner in the Transgiri region of the Sirmour district.

The Transgiri region comprised of Shillai, Renuka ji and Rajgarh Sub Division of Pacchad Assembly constituencies. Khush tribe resides in this region. This tribe has its own society, traditions and beliefs which generally dose not match with the traditions of people in other parts of the country. Khush culture is unique in many manners. Several persons including founder of Himachal Pradesh Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar wrote their research books on the Khush traditions and were awarded Doctorate on the written book, ‘polyandry in Himalayas’. Their traditions still remain attraction for the researchers, writers and culture writers. Tough the foot print of this rich Khush culture is endanger. The rich traditions were omitting day by day due to invasion of western and City culture in the area and lack of funds to preserve the foot print of the culture. But still some NGO’s were trying hard to keep alive the rich traditions and culture of this tribe.

Khush people believe in their Devtas and do not believe much in the Hindu traditions in practice elsewhere in the country among the Hindus. Though all the Khush Hindus by their religion and beliefs and were staunch believer of Vedas, Purans, Ramayana and Geeta but they sing and narrate all these Shastras in their own traditions which in many manners does not agree with the Hindu customs and Shastras in practice.

For Khush of Transgiri the Shivaratri makes an occasion to pay obeisance to their beloved Devta, Sirdev [Lord Shiv is worshiped by them as their Kul Devta]. Shirdev means the Lord of highest order. On this occasion all the people of the area assembled in the temple of Lord Sirdev and sings for the Prassanta of their Lord for whole night in their Pahari dialect. During night suddenly Lord Shirdev come on an almost particular person called Uttarik [in the different parts of the Himachal Uttrik is called with the different names, he is the person through whom Lord talks to the people]. People ask the Uttarik to tell about their future, prosperity, personal problems and how to come out of the clutches of diseases and many other problems. Uttarik tells about every thing to the satisfaction of the people present and distributes uncooked rice as his blessings for the prosperity and good health of the people of the area. Several people suffering with Opera [caught by bad souls] are brought before the Lord and returns to their homes after getting divine treatment from the representative of the Lord. This process goes on whole night and till the noon next day. People visits the temple of Lord with the offerings of grains and major number of coins. Next day Bhandara starts after noon the major part of the food their contains sweet dishes.

On the major occasion tribal people in this are sacrifice goats to their Lords which were large number in counting but is worth mentioning here that during Shivaratri such sacrifices were strictly prohibited. This festival is celebrated as a very pious festival. This festival has several other modes, traditions and folds in the different parts of this area which requires a long time and space to mention.

Working as district correspondent with The Tribune & Danik Tribune in Sirmour.

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