A FAIR DEDICATED TO MAHAMAYA BALA SUNDRI

During Navratras which comes after every six months fairs takes place at 14 Shakti temples in Sirmour district but biggest Navratra fair take place at village Trilokpur where ancient Temple of Mahamaya Shri Tripur Bala Sundri is situated. The fair lasts for fifteen days. During this period this small village of Sirmour district is converted into a sea of devotion as over fifteen lacs of devotees visits the shrine to vow in the feet of Bhagwati Shri Tripur Bala Sundri. Around 32 lacs visitors come here in a year.

Trilok Pur village is situated at a distance of about 22 K.M. from Nahan and is just about four K.M. form Kala Amb. This year Chetra Navtratra fair would take place from the first Navratra on March 19th and would conclude on April 2nd after the Chetra Purnima Pooja in the temple. Normally Navratra fair commenced on the first Navratra and conclude on the ninth day on the completion of the Navratras but in the Shri Tripur Bala Sundri Temple traditionally Navratra Pooja takes 15 days to complete. On the special occasion of Chaudash and Purnima Lacs, of people comes to pay obeisance to the goddess and fair is over crowded during these days however biggest flow of devotees is seen on Saptami and Ashtami. People stands in quoues for the Darshan of Bhagwati Bala Sundry for more than eight hours in these special days. Devotees from every part of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal, Uttranchal, Uttar Pradesh and New Dehli throng during the Navratras to worship the child incarnation of Bhagwati Durga at Trilokpur temple.

As per the residents of Trilok Pur village during the year over 32 lacs of devotees visits the 400 year old shrine of Bhagwati Bala Sundri. The traditional Poojari of the Bhagwati belongs to the business community and Vaish by cast, it is another unique feature of this famous Shakti Peeth of North India.

According to history of Sirmour [Tarik-e-Sirmour] the Pindi of Goddess Tripur Bala Sundri appeared in a bag of salt brought by a local trader of the village Lala Ram Das from Devband in Uttar Pradesh. To the traders surprise the quantity of salt in the bag remained undiminished inspite of its continuous sale. There after the Goddess appeared in the dream and exhorted Lala Ram Dass to set up her at the same place under the tree of Peepal where the bag of salt was kept by the trader. In the morning the trader found a Pindi in the bag of salt.

Short of means Lala Ram Das approached the then ruler of Sirmour Riyasat , Maharaja Pradeep Prakash and explained him the situation. The king invited some artisans from Jaipur [Rajastan] in 1570AD and a beautiful marble temple dedicated to Goddess Tripur Bala Sundri came by 1573 AD. It is pertinent to mention here that at Devband in Uttar Pradesh also there was a famous ancient temple of Bhagwati Bala Sundri.

After the temple was completed the worship of Goddess Bala Sundri became the tradition in the Royal family. The temple was renovated by Maharaja Fateh Prakash in 1823 and by Maharaja Raghubir Prakash in 1851. The temple is an example of exquisite workmanship and is an amalgam of Indo-Persian styles of architecture.

Even today the historic ‘Pindi’ which has been placed in the temple is worshipped as Bhagwati Bala Sundri. Right since temple’s inception, the decendents of Lala Ram Das have been performing the main Pooja there.

As the name Trilok Pur implies there is a triangle of three Shakti Temples in the area, each depicting different faces of Goddess Durga. The main temple situated at Trilok Pur is the Temple of Bhagwati Tripur Bala Sundry which depicts a beautiful childhood image of Goddess Durga. Another ‘Shakti Temple’ dedicated to Bhagwati Lalita Devi depicting another image of Goddess Durga, is situated on a hillock located at a distance of three K.M. in front of the main temple of Bhagwati Bala Sundri. The third famous ‘Shakti temple’ of ‘Tripur Bhairavi’ is situated at a distance of 13 K.M. north west of Bala Sundri temple.

At present the temple is run by a Temple trust headed by Deputy Commissioner Sirmour. The Temple Trust had executed several developmental works in Trilok Pur village during past three decades. During this Navratra fair tight security arrangement were being made keeping in view security threat to the famous religious places.

Roshan Singh a regular visitor of the temple told this correspondent that due to traffic hazard and miserable condition of Kala Amb-Trilok Pur road the visitors are stranded in their vehicles for hours together on their way to temple from Kala Amb. Residents of Trilok Pur village were also deeply concerned about the situation going on for the past over one year in the area. They say that Trucks hundreds in number, were always parked permanently on the Kala Amb-Trilok Pur road, by the transporters even hours before their loading or preparing of goods carrying papers. These trucks put a permanent traffic jam on this road, police and District administration seems helpless in this matter for the past one year. People say that they have to carry serious patients on their shoulders during jam of hours together on the road. The situation had added a new woe in the mind of visitors to this historic shrine.

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

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