Far West Nepal contains many predominantly Hindu holy sites and temples visited by devout followers. Each temple is attached to a legend or belief that glorifies the miraculous powers of its deity. One of the them is a legend about seven sisters and seven temples. Each temple represents the Goddess Durga (Goddess of Power) in her different reincarnated forms. Legend says that one can fulfill his/her wishes by visiting these seven sisters.
Moreover, Far West Nepal has many other ancient temples of various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Some of them are: the temple of Siddababa (devoted to God Shiva) in Mahendranagar, the Malikarjun temple in Darchula as well as the temple of Beheda baba in the Kailali district. Thousands of devoted believers visit these temples every year. Far West Nepal is also 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 her followers’ every wish 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 Hindus, this is a sacred place with a huge religious significance. For those interested in history, the temple also has a lot to offer. During the time of unification of Nepal, in the later half 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 an altitude of 4,267 m in the Bajura district, Badi Malika temple is the main religious site in the region. This templs is of great importantance to the Hindu religion. Worshippers come here in large numbers from various places around 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 rests on top of over 22 grass plateaus!
This is a temple of goddess Kali, one of the seven divine sisters believed to be residing in the Far-West region. Tripurasundari is one of the most important sisters. Thousands of believers visit this temple throughout the year, both from within the country and from India.
Melauli Bhagwati Temple
Melauli Bhagwati, located in the Baitadi district, is a famous temple of the region. This temple is also associated with the Deuki tradition, which is now extinct. Deuki is the name of the young girls who were offered to Melauli Bhagwati. The Deukis then had to serve members of the upper castes as women similar to Geishas. This tradition has long since been abolished.
This temple is a very important place 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 is located at the heart of Silgadhi. It is believed that the temple was founded 1400 years ago. There is a local myth behind the contruction of this temple. The legend says that many years ago, a shepherd saw a herd of cows giving milk to a white stone (SHILA in Nepal). In the same night, the shepherd had a dream of Goddess Durga ordering him to bring the stone to the holy place where the temple is now. Every year during the Navaratri festival many followers visit this temple.