Duryodhana : Respected in Uttaranchal!

Duryodhana was the eldest son of Dhritarashtra and Gandhari. He fought bitterly with the Pandavas for the throne of Hastinapur, very close to Indraprastha (Delhi). Dhritarashtra was the biological son of Veda Vyasa and the legal son of Vichitravirya, who was the son of Santanu and Satyavati, the mother of Veda Vyasa. Since Veda Vyasa’s father was sage Parasara, the grandson of Vasishtha, Duryodhana was 1/8th Brahmana, 1/8th fisherwoman and 3/4th Kshatriya. (This is possibly why he cared very little for caste and one reason why he defended Karna on the day of the archery test.) His mother Gandhari was from Gandhar (Afghanisthan) and his grandmother Ambika was a princess of Kasi.

If you look at the excerpt from the article below and at the map, you will see that Duryodhana was a respected and loved king in Uttaranchal. He was clearly more than unpleasant to Draupadi (Panchali, the princess of Punjab, his sister-in-law), but his people loved him and remember him to this day, to the extent that they worship him as God. It is said that Dehradhun was named after Duryodhana and the people here are spoken of as very nice people.

Below Material is Quoted from: Location of Duryodhana Temples in Uttarakhand (Uttaranchal)

  1. “Har-Ki-Doon Valley is a place, where Mahabharata’s, Duryodhana, is worshipped as any other deity. He, in fact, rules supreme there.
  2. This wonderland is called as Jaunsar-Bawar in Dehradun district and Rawain in Uttarkashi district. There the people are culturally distinct from their Garhwali or Kumaoni brethren. The Jaunsaris are one of the few polyandrous societies anywhere and they tend to be more liberal and their women enjoy greater freedom of choosing and divorcing. Jaunsaris are also famous for their colourful clothes and festivals.
  3. Lakhamandal is in the same area where Duryodhana had tried to get the Pandavas burnt to death in the Lakshagriha or the palace made of wax. The land is replete with icons of the Mahabharata age. The local people consider themselves as inheritors of them. It is believed that the kingdom of Raja Viraat was also in the same region.
  4. The area, has two main rivers, Tons (Tamasa) and Yamuna. Twin rivers Rupin and Supin form a confluence at Netwar where stands the wooden temple of Pokhu Veer, a local deity. From this place, these two rivers flow as Tamasa or Tons that falls into Yamuna near Kalsi.
  5. This entire region of sporadic villages is considered to be the domain of Duryodhana Maharaj. The man whom the spirit of Duryodhana visits is called Maali. He issues orders while the spirit has taken over his ‘subjects’ carry them out undefiantly. In other cases, Sayanas, or the elderly, of the villages issue orders, which are final. But, if problems still remain or are not solved, Duryodhana Maharaj is approached for the final and unquestionable judgement.
  6. The reason being that complaints are hardly directed to the government representatives like Patwari because Duryodhana is the final word. Duryodhana’s entry into this magnificent land is filled with myths and still sung by locals and narrated through Jaagars, a form of invoking the deities. Dr Nautiyal says that legend has it that during Dwapara Yuga, King Duryodhana, after travelling through Kashmir and Kullu, arrived in Hanol situated in Jaunsar-Bawar region where he was mesmerised by the sheer natural beauty.
  7. He thought it was the place for him and appealed to Lord Mahasu, the reigning local deity, that a piece of valley, next to Himalaya, be given to him, which Lord Mahasu accepted and bestowed upon him this region instructing him to look after the people carefully. Even today, inhabitants of Har-Ki-Doon believe that their king Duryodhana is the one who looks after them.
  8. Except Sukkundi, Rekcha, Rala Sankari, Sauni, Saturi, and Panwari villages, all of them have three chambered wooden temples of Duryodhana. The reverence is deep-rooted and a Naubati, or traditional playing of drum, is conducted thrice a day in honour of their beloved king.
  9. It is only Jakhol village where an idol of Duryodhana has been installed. Incidentally, Jakhol is the seat of the Lord and also it is here where his main temple is seated. Other such village temples do not have idols of Duryodhana. The icon is carried to each temple turnwise. When the customary journey is concluded it is taken back to the main seat in Jakhol.
  10. Every year, Duryodhana’s tour starts on the 21st of Ashaha month when all Sayanas assemble in Jakhol andwhich Sayanas and Bajgis to take part in the procession. The head pujari and bajigi tour and meet other sayanas and bajgis in different villages. The pujaris of the Duryodhana temples are strangely Khas Rajputs of Jakhol and Phitari villages, who also join the procession. On 25th of Asharha, Duryodhana Maharaj arrives in Kotegaon, another sear of the Lord, where he is welcomed by the representatives of the 21 villages and a fair is held in Kotegaon from 25th till 27th. The next day, i.e. 28th, is for carrying the Doli to Datmer village of the Badasu belt, where a similar fair is organised. 30th of Asharha is the day for the rest for the deity.
  11. Only dhoop deepam are offered and Arati is performed in the evening. Duryodhana’s caravan arrives in Fitari village on the first of Shravana where he is appeased with dishes cooked in milk and ghee. On 2nd of the month, famous Soni fair is held in Fitari and the same night the Doli retreats back to Jakholi where a fair is held on 3rd and 4th, traditional dances of men and women are also organised. The 5th day of Shravana is the day for rest. The idol arrives in Dhara village the next day where again a fair is held. Finally, Doli is carried to Osla on 19th. Fair, dancing, merrymaking, eating and drinking go on and thus concludes the tour of Duryodhana Maharaj.
  12. Raksha Pher, the next phase of the tour, starts on the same line. On the 15th day of Pausha, Duryodhana arrives in his capital village of Jakhol, where his return is celebrated by all young or old equally, turning the ambience perfectly euphoric as crazy dancing and drinking go on through the night.”
Location of UttaranchalLocation of Uttaranchal


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Posted on December 17, 2010, in English Language, Mahabharata. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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