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Saileshwori Temple

Saileshwori Temple

Doti, named after the Doti River in Daldeldhura, was once a part of ancient kingdom of Uttarakhand. Newars came to Doti around 250 years ago, and are clustered around the Silgadi bazaar. They numbered 1391 according to the 2001 census. Doti is home to Khaptad national park, the youngest conservation area, whose border it shares with Bajhang, Bajura and Achham. Khaptad National Park in the far western region of Nepal stretches over the four districts of Bajhang, Bajura, Achham and Doti. It covers an area of 225 sqkm and has an average altitude of 3,300m. A buffer zone of 261sqkm was declared in 2006. After better roads made places like Achham and Bajhang more accessible to traders, Silgadi ceased to be the business hub of the region that it used to be until about two decades back.

Shaileshwari Temple in Silgadi, Doti is perhaps the most popular and most important temple for the Hindus in the far western region. It is said that Parvati, while frolicking in the water with Lord Siva, overcome with shame in seeing the Devatas unexpectedly, took on the form of pillar shaped like a mountain. It was thus named Shaileshwari. Dhana Bahadur Malla, previously a teacher, now an artist and a social worker, is a devotee to his God is to take care of the Shaileshwari Temple, keep it clean and paint it. He has won many awards like National Talent Award, Sarvanaam Award and Nepal Academy Award.

The rotis that the Dotelis make for “Niko Nauli” or the special hospitality offered to guests or during festivals, is called Guvemada. The flour mix is the ‘mada’ and the filling inside is ‘guve’. Here is recipe for making “Guvemada” given below:
- Soak the black lentil for about four hours.
- Grind into paste
- Mix with salt, pepper, turmeric, ginger and garlic.
- Cover the mix flour with dough.
- Give it a round shape
- Cook on a pan.

Only the Parkis from Tedimadu are allowed to play the drums in the Tedi temple, which is a part of border Shaileshwari Temple. It is believed that the Damaha, the drum in the temple was an offering from Sijakoti, the king of Jumla. The very same drum is played till date. No puja can be started in the temple without the Parkis playing the Damaha. Devotees believe that the god will not appear till the sound of the drum is heard. There are a few Parkis left who can play the Damaha but wherever they are, they come back to Silgadi to play the drums for at least the two.

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