Jaleshwar Dham in Pemaling draws devotees in droves

A sacred cave of Lord Shiva, which was discovered by a local farmer in 2010, about an hour’s walk down from Biru Tar in Pemaling gewog, Samtse is increasingly being frequented by hundreds of devotes during special occasions.

Lal Bahadur Gurung, 61 and from Biru Tar, says that he identified the location in his dreams and then started offering prayers. He was soon followed by other locals out of devotion. Devotees mostly visit the cave during Ram Navami, which falls in summer.

“People visit the place on other days too to seek many things from here which they believe is being granted,” said Lal Bahadur Gurung, who now resides near the cave as a caretaker of the site by offering help to the visitors.

“Since I have discovered this, I will devote my life here praying and helping devotees,” he added.

Initially, Lal Bahadur Gurung says the site did not receive many devotees but as the popularity of the site increased, now devotees visiting have also increased. He believes that the deities of the Dham have fulfilled the wishes of many devotees and hence the visits for thanks-giving. Devotees from across the country including the nearby Indian states too now visit the site for seeking divine help for their problems and make offerings during sacred dates. Now, people of the nearby community also perform annual rituals.

With the help from Pemaling gewog administration, walking steps and shed for rituals outside the cave have been constructed including bells for the devotees.

Chura Mani Gurung, 44 and a coordinator of the Dham, said the facilities have helped the devotees a lot.

“With increasing popularity of the Dham, we feel the necessity of infrastructures which is provided by the gewog administration,” he said. Still the work on the construction of the footpath is incomplete, which is being done by the local community.

The coordinator said a rest house and a road connecting to the Dham have also become necessary for the elderly devotees. “We now receive such devotees and have to look for their convenience,” Chura Mani Gurung said.

Meanwhile, Ghana Shyam Kumal, a 29-year-old man who has just returned from the Dham after thanking the deities for granting his wishes, said, “It’s a miracle. I made a wish here last year and the deities here granted it. I  came here to offer thanks.”

Pemaling Gup Khem Raj Ghalley said the gewog administration has spent around Nu 300,000 on the installation of necessary facilities and has other plans too in the future. “We value the site and will work on to install other required facilities there as its popularity has increased and more devotees are visiting the site,” he said.

Krishna Ghalley from Sibsoo