Farwest Nepal contains many predominantly Hindu holy sites and temples visited by the devout followers. Each temple is attached to a legend or belief that glorifies the miraculous powers of its deity. One of the legends tells us about seven sisters – seven temples. Each temple represents the Goddess Durga (Goddess of Power) in the different form of her reincarnation. It is believed that one can fulfill his/her wishes by visiting these seven sisters.
Moreover, Farwest Nepal has many other ancient small and big temples of other Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The temple of Siddababa (devoted to God Shiva) in Mahendranagar, Malikarjun temple in Darchula as well as the temple of Beheda baba in Kailali district are visited by thousands of devotees every year. Also, Farwest Nepal is a gateway to the holy Mount Kailash and the mythical Lake Manasarovar in Tibet.
As the legend goes, goddess Ugratara is one of the seven divine sisters residing in the Far-West. It is believed that the goddess grants any wish to her devotees by worshiping her. Pilgrims from India also come here in large numbers.
Baijnath is one of the four main religious places (Char Dham) in Nepal associated with Lord Shiva. For any Hindu, this is a sacred place with a huge religious significance. Even for those who are interested in history, the temple has something to offer. During the time of unification of Nepal, in the later part of the eighteenth century, Bahadur Shah attacked the small kingdom of Achham, but he had to retreat in defeat. In the process, he left his weapons at Baijnath temple.
Badi Malika Temple
Situated at the altitude of 4,267 m in Bajura district, Badi Malika temple is the main religious site in the region. This is an epitome of Hindu religion and the worshippers flock here in large numbers from various places of the country as well as from India which has a large Hindu population. The nature here also attracts visitors. The area has around 200 species of flora and more than 100 species of herbs. The temple is set at the top of over 22 grass plateaus. They are a big attraction of the region.
This is a temple of goddess Kali, one of the seven divine sisters believed to be residing in the Far-West region. And being one of the more important of the sisters, Tripurasundari inspires more devotion from people. It is visited by thousands of believers throughout the year, both from within the country and from India.
Melauli Bhagwati Temple
Melauli Bhagwati, located in Baitadi district, is a famous temple of the region. This temple is also associated with the Deuki tradition, now extinct. Deuki is the name of young girls who were offered to Melauli Bhagwati. The Deukis then had to serve members of the upper castes as a kind of Geisha. This tradition has since long been abolished.
This temple is the epitome of sacrifice to goddess Niglasaini. Every year, on two different occasions, hundreds of bulls and thousands of goats are sacrificed to the goddess as offering, in order to seek her protection and blessing.
Saileshwori temple located at the heart of Silgadhi. It is believed that the temple was founded 1400 years ago. Behind the establishment of this temple there is a local myth. It says that many years ago, a shepherd saw a herd of cows giving milk to a white stone (SHILA in Nepal). At the same night the shepherd had a dream of the Goddess Durga who ordered him to bring the stone to the holy place where the temple is situated now. Every year during the Navaratri festival many followers visit this temple.