The Meditative Silence of Mailing Mahadev In Lahaul Valley

Manali: Lord Shiva! One of the most worshiped lords in the Hindu religious conviction. Lord Shiva has many spiritual stories related to him. One of the most important parts of their life, which is commonly known as the Sati-Shiva Story.

Pratap Sharma, the Gur priest of Mailing Mahadev temple narrates the legend related to the temple and its revered deity. The story goes that Devi Sati’s father organized a prayer-offering congregation in a fire ceremony, but he deliberately did not invite Lord Shiva for it. At not being able to tolerate the insult Devi Sati got angry and jumped into the sacred fire of the Havan Kund. On learning about the death of his wife, an angry Lord Shiva took on the form of Rudra – the angry lord. To calm Rudra, meditation at Mailing was conducted so that the world could be saved from his all-encompassing destruction.

Lord Shiva temple at Mailing, Lahul valley (Photo by Sanjay Dutta)

“This Shiva temple at Maling in Lahaul valley commemorates the incident narrated in the legend that saved us all,” says Sharma. At the Mailing temple are a total of 84 natural Shivlings of Lord Shiva in this temple. Believers hold that the Shivlings are Lord Shiva’s whole family that settled here. Separately there are temples of Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikey also here in the nearby village too.

Stone idols at the Mailing Mahadev temple (Photo: Sanjay Dutta)

It is their belief that whatever you ask from Lord Shiva in this temple, with time it will be granted. Those who have their wishes granted come back to pay their tributes by hosting a Jagrata and Kirtan in the months of July and August. This place is also surrounded by many BelPatra Trees which are used for the worship of Lord Shiva. This temple is in one of the lesser-explored places of Lahaul valley.  Near the shrine stands a dry tree, where migratory honey bees come to make a hive every winter.

The scenic valley where the Mailing Mahadev temple in Lahaul valley is located. (Photo: Sanjay Dutta)

To get to Mailing Mahadev Temple, one has to pass through Manali and travel on the Manali-Leh National highway After crossing the Atal tunnel, at 80 km from Manali, one reaches this temple. The temple is in the scenic Tapovan valley of Lahaul on the Tandi Udaipur road. If one is coming from Manali, then you need to take a diversion from Tandi onto the road to Udaipur. From Lote village, on the road to Udaipur, is the diversion road that gets to  Mailing Village.

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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