Dhari Devi’s wrath—myth or reality? – Zee Media

Dhari Devi

Kedarnath linga in silt with bilva leaves.Thousands have perished in flash floods and landslides in Uttarakhand. The holy town of Kedarnath was completely flattened. However, much less than shaking people’s faith, the massive tragedy has reinforced their belief in the divine.

For believers, the fact that Kedarnath shrine was left untouched by the deluge and falling rocks presents ample proof of the powers of the divine. Also, the Shiv linga had not gone under the sludge and remained crowned by offerings of belpatra.

The more compelling legend is of Dhari Devi, guardian deity of Uttarakhand, whose idol was removed from her temple hours before the cloudburst. A manifestation of Goddess Kali, Dhari Devi is revered as the protector of the Char Dhams.

As per believers, Uttarakhand had to face the Goddess’ ire as she was shifted from her mool sthan (original abode) to make way for a 330 MW hydel project that now lies in ruins. A similar attempt in 1882 by a local king had resulted in a landslide that had flattened Kedarnath.

Built by Alaknanda Hydro Power Company Ltd (AHPCL), a subsidiary of infrastructure major GVK, the Srinagar hydel project had faced opposition from locals, saints and the BJP. They are opposed to the plan to relocate the Dhari Devi temple from its original site on a small island in the middle of the River Alaknanda.

The project dam would have submerged the island.

Kalimath Sri Yantra (covered).The legend says that only the upper half of an idol of goddess Kali is called Dhari Devi while her lower half is worshipped as a Shree Yantra at Kalimath Temple near Guptakashi. As per local lore, Dhari Devi changes in appearance during the day from a girl, to a woman, and then to an old lady. Only a visit to both the temples makes the darshan of the Goddess complete

As per reports, the original plan was to cut the upper half of the island and shift it to a higher location. However, owing to the lack of logistics required to carry out such a mammoth task, the plan was later altered and it was decided that only the visible part of the idol would be shifted.

Importantly, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had also opposed the relocation of the temple. In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, the ministry defended the right of people to worship at the temple, drawing a parallel with the Vedanta case in which the apex court had upheld the right of the Dongria Kondh tribal people to worship the Niyamgiri hill, earmarked for blasting for bauxite mining.

However, despite opposition from MoEF, the Supreme Court gave its nod to relocate the idol to a raised platform. However, the apex court is yet to give its final order in the case.

Dhari Devi Kali with sisters Lakshmi and SaraswatiAs per conspiracy theorists, AHPCL officials artificially raised the water level in the dam so as to hasten the process of shifting of the Dhari Devi temple. Armed with all gear, the officials arrived at the temple site at 7.30 pm on Sunday (June 16) and cut off the idol from its base. Three priests and two locals then lifted the idol and placed it at the artificial platform constructed by AHPCL as the deity’s new seat.

AHPCL officials were quoted as saying that the idol was relocated in a hurry as the temple was in danger of being submerged due to heavy floods in the region.

Just when the idol was lifted there was lighting and heavy rains followed by the cloud burst in Kedarnath that has left thousands dead.

Also, two pillars of the new structure at Dhari Devi temple gave way, forcing the removal of the idol. Currently, it is said to be kept at an elevated place close to the original spot.

Shiva in the Ganga at RishikeshDhari Devi’s wrath may or may not be behind the trail of destruction in Uttarakhand but what is undisputable is the story of exploitation of the hills and the resultant ill effects.

Environmentalists describe the tragedy as a man-made disaster while geologists feel the extent of destruction could have been far lesser if stricter regulations had been put in place.

Importantly, the MoEF – in a December 2012 notification – declared the entire watershed around the 135-km stretch between Gaumukh and Uttarkashi, along the Bhagirathi River, as an eco-sensitive zone under the Environment Protection Act 1986.

This, in practice, bans all construction activity in the area. However, the state government was opposed to it as it felt that such and blanket ban would adversely affect development and the economic progress of the region.

Clearly, there are no straight answers and the choices are tough. – Zee Media Bureau, 2 July 2013

Dhari Devi Temple in the Alaknanda River

Dhari Devi Temple 2012

6 Responses

  1. i think that it is science, have written a few articles on science behind religious practices. Like to share the article on Dhari devi



  2. The Kanchi Math has offered assistance and has the resources too. The Tirupati-Tirumala Devasthanam has also offered help I think. And the Dwarka Acharya offered help right at the beginning.

    The RSS was on the scene immediately feeding both the army and the stranded tourists and pilgrims. The RSS doesn’t discriminate between those in need, unlike the missionaries who always act with ulterior motive.

    It seems that it is only the Congress government in Uttaranchal who has failed the people miserably.

    Because you are ignorant of the details does not justify you shooting off your mouth here. India is full of whiners who use social media to voice personal grievances when they do not actually know the facts.

    By the way, you have not told us how much YOU have contributed to the various funds set up to help those caught in the disaster?


  3. Tell me of one Hindu Temple Trust (who are having thousands of crores of our donation) which has come forward to help the needy, be it in ravaged Uttrakhand or anywhere in India. At least be thankful that someone is willing to do it.


  4. gods wrath exists.Remember the Tsunami that ravaged Tamil nadu almost a month after the imprisonment of the kanchi shankaracharya.The shankaracharya is at the highest order of hinduism,a chaturveda vidwan and great pandit.No wonder Tamil nadu was the worst hit by the tsunami


  5. Christian missionaries are like pie dogs. They are always looking for an opportunity to feed off the souls and suffering bodies of destitute Hindus who have been caught in a disaster.


  6. Christian missionaries hunting converts in Uttarakhand – G.S.K. Menon – Haindava Keralam – 27 June 2013

    TV news channel Headlines Today is carrying a regular advertisement from CARE seeking donations in the name of “Ganga Rehabilitation Fund”. Those who are not aware CARE stands for Christian Agency For Relief Everywhere. Funds are being solicited in the name of “Ganga” from gullible Hindus. Funds will be collected from Hindus to finance conversion operations. Followers of the [dead] Jew will flock at Uttarakhand to do “social service” and under its garb indulge in religious conversion. The visuals of the raging river will be used to attack Hinduism, and prove that the [dead] desert man is superior. Let all gullible Hindus know that Jerusalem is one of the most violent spots on the earth and blood of Jews, Christians and Muslims have poured in tons on this spot, even now it is the most bloodiest regions. Worship is carried out under cover of gunfire from Israelis. Those converts who are going on holy tours will vouch for this.

    I appeal to all Hindu organizations to write to Headlines Today to be wary of this CARE organization and WORLD VISION, both are into conversion activities all over India in the garb of social service. Religious conversion is a human rights offence.


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