UNSHA DEVI TEMPLE

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» North India
» Himachal Pradesh
Location: Nichar, Kinnaur District, Himachal Pradesh
Presiding Deity: Goddess Usha
Locally Known As: Ukha
Houses: Plates Of Bell Metal Belonging To the Goddess.

The wooden temple at Nichar is dedicated to goddess Usha locally known as 'Ukha', because in some regions the letter (Sh) in pronounced as (kh).

On certain occasion villagers assemble and make religious offerings and take their food here. In one of the room plates of bell metal belonging to the goddess are housed. It is customery to use these plates of bell metal for taking food when the gathering is large.

As rule none except the 'Bhandari' is eligible to enter this room. Even the Bhandari is under traditional taboo not to look about inside the room while bringing out the plates. This condition was perhaps imposed on the Bhandari to discourage him from disclosing the contents of the room.

THE LEGEND OF UNSHA DEVI TEMPLE
A number of legends are associated with Usha, who in a number of Puranis legends is the generic name to the heavenly damsel (Apsara) in the court of 'Indra', This heavenly damsel is supported to be endowed with the super charm and grace. Her celestial beauty and has been considered to be so overpowering that sages and ascetics have fallen victim to her harms through ages.

As the story goes, there lived a sage called 'Ahan' who worshipped Brahma for a million years and he acquired the mystic power to create anything out of dust. 'Indra' became apprehensive of this sage lest his throne be lost if Ahan. With the blessings of Brahma Ahan created the sun so that when Usha descended to earth she immediately vanished due to the powerful light of the sun. Indra, undeterred and undaunted in his designs, continued sending down Usha day after day, Ultimately the sage married Usha.



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