Dhaulinag Temple is a temple dedicated to Nag Devta located at Begeshwar town in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. There are several Nag Devta temples located in this area. A fair is held in the day of Nag Panchami in Bhadrapad month (mid Aug- Sept) and in the night of Ashwin Shukla Panchami. The fair is commonly known as Dhaulinagotsav.
When is Dhaulinagotsav celebrated?
Dhaulingotsav is held in the months of Bhadrapad and Ashwin Panchami with great fervor and devotion. People from the nearby villages and far off regions come together to celebrate the fair.
How is Dhaulinagotsav celebrated?
On the night of Ashwin Shukla Panchami, the Dhapola people of Dhapolasera, make a 22 hand (hath) long flaming torch with the needles (leaves) of pine tree. They assemble with the Bhool people and carry the torch in their shoulders and bring it together to the Dhaulinag Temple. In the lawn on the temple premises, devotees welcome Nag Devta with lively drumbeats and songs. After the welcome ceremony, the flaming torch is lighted and brought to life. The people move in circles around the temple and pray all the while carrying the flaming torch.
Along with other people, it is mandatory for Pants of Dhapola, Kandpals of Kanda, Chandols of Pokhri, and Bhools of Madgopeshwar to be present in the puja ceremony. Without even one of the above mentioned tribes, the puja ceremony is considered incomplete. The attendants of the temple and the puja ceremony are the Dhami people of Dhamyoud or Dhupri area. The priest belongs to the Pant tribe of Khantoli village.
History of Dhaulingotsav
There is a common folklore on Dhaulingotsav famous amongst the people. It is said that when Dhaulinag came to this region of Bageshwar, he called out for Kandpals of Kanda. However, they didn’t hear the calls as they were deep in their sleep. He then called the Dhapolas of Dhapolaseras, the Dhapolas further called the Chandolas of Pokhri, and the Chandolas arrived with the Churmals. The Dhapolas, Chandolas, and the Churmals appeared in front of Dhaulinag to serve him. Dhaulinag was extremely happy to see the tribes coming together to serve him and he blesses them and brought them under his protection. Since then, Dhaulinag is worshipped as their ‘ishtadevta’ (personally preferred deity) and Dhaulingotsav is held in the months of Bhadrapad and Ashwin Panchami with great fervor