Mahu Nag the Serpent God in the hills of Himachal Pradesh is the chief deity of district Mandi. His seat is in the area of Karsog of district Mandi with His own temple. People of the area worship here and hold a great faith in the deity. Mahu Nag is the chief of the valley and controls the internal fibber of the society.

Mahu Nag Temple in village Nala

Mahu Nag in Shimla Hills

But apart from Karsog, there are also a few tiny temples dedicated to the same God in the vicinity of Shimla, especially in the southeastern area of the town. The question remains how these temples came into being here and why this God is worshiped in this area. The legend says that nearly 500 years ago this area was ruled by a demon who was cruel to the people. He was so strong that no one dared enter his area and fight with him. The people of the area were scared of him but they had to follow what he said or whatever he demanded. No one liked him but, they had to follow his instructions and worship him. One day someone suggested to a Brahmin from a village called Praadi in Mundaghat, to go to Mahu Nag and request him to come here and fight with the demon

The Brahmin

Mahu Nag was the only one who could defeat him. Once went to Karsog to spend some time in the service of God Mahu Nag. There he found that the villagers follow a tradition that whenever a domestic cow gives birth to a calf, the butter obtained from her third day’s milk is offered to the deity. After God has accepted the butter a small amount of that is rubbed on the frames of the entrance door of the temple or to the stairs. This Brahmin, from Village Praadi, one day after having a bath and getting ready to go to the temple felt some dryness in his skin and he picked up some butter from the frame of the temple and massaged his face. And the deity entered his body and came here with him.

Mahun Nag Temple in Shimla

Brahmin on Manoon Tibba

The Brahmin, with the deity in his body, reached Manoon Tibba and sat in meditation. When some people came to know about him, they came up to see him. He gave them a welcoming look. The villagers asked him what he wanted. He, the deity in him said, that he wanted to rule their region.

‘But we have our own God Dharutoo? So in his presence how will you rule our region?’ said the villagers. ‘I know. But he is a demon and you people are leading a disturbed life because of his unnatural behavior. Ask him to fight with me and I will see if he is powerful than me or not’ said the Brahmin and asked them to leave the place.

The Fight

On listening to this Dharutoo Devta agreed to fight with him. But the following night a thunderstorm came and the idol of Dharutoo Devta fell off the temple into a gorge. The next morning the villagers went up to Manoon Tibba where the Brahmin, with the deity in his body, was sitting in meditation to take his blessings. The villagers asked him what to do. He opened his eyes and asked them to build his temple there, on Manoon, but the structure must face North-West. That is how this temple has a west door. Later another structure was built in village Koti Dhar that still stands.

Temple facing North

All Hindu temples in Himachal Pradesh have east-facing doors but a small structure of a temple of Nag Devta on Manoon tibba is facing west. Why?

The answer comes from Mr. Shandilya of village Nala near Fagu. – ‘Because originally the deity came here from Suket, now known as Mandi to the west of Shimla. It is believed that he had appeared at the first step of Kalayug, in village Mahu near Karsog. Raja Karan of the Hindu epic Mahabharata was the king of Ang and he was blessed by Lord Krishna that in Kalyug he would be worshiped as a God. So he appeared as a serpent and became the protector and the ruler of that region.

Tradition of the Temple

The same tradition of offering the butter to the deity is followed here as well. The main seat of the deity is still there in Koti Dhar but with time the villagers from the surrounding areas built their own temples that cover a couple of villages within the region of nearly fifty square kilometres. There are a total of seven temples covering an area of fifty square miles, all dedicated to Mahu Nag. The deity is welcomed by everyone to attend the family functions and people seek his blessings. Also, during the Navratri, in March – April, and the Navratri before Diwali, the deity is taken out and taken around the area. A big fair is held in the village. All the villagers get together. A feast is organized by the community and the sounds of drums can be heard across the valley. It may of everyone’s interest to know that once in twelve years, the deity is taken to Kedarnath – One of the four main Dhams, holy places, of Hindus, for a holy bath. The villagers carry the deity in a palanquin and walk across the mountains to reach Kedarnath. The next visit is scheduled in 2022.

Location of the Temple

Manoon Tibba is located in village Mundaghat on the way to Chail from Kufri. It is approachable by a narrow trail of nearly two kilometres from the main road. Once on the Tibba, you can have a lovely view of Shimla and the surrounding areas. With Shimla Walks, you may pay a visit to these lovely villages. A special tour can be arranged on request.



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