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Story of Maa Chintpurni Temple, Himachal Pradesh

The Story of Maa Chintpurni Temple, Himachal Pradesh revolves around Mai Dass, a Brahmin priest. Here goes the legend of Maa Chintpurni Temple…

It is said that Mai Dass, a Brahmin priest of village RIPOH MUCHILIAN, Tehsil Amb, was on his way to village PIRTHIPUR in that very Tehsil to see his parents-in-law. Chintpurni fell in his way and when he reached here he heard devotional tunes from the peak of the hillock. Attracted by the tunes, he climbed up the hillock and witnessed a beautiful girl of about 12-13 years sitting with a lion by her side and surrounded by a number of gods humming devotional songs in her praise. He could not face the celestial light radiating from the girl and was horrified.

The girl, however, came to his rescue and disclosing that she was Goddess Durga and that she was pleased with him, she asked him to shed his fear. Addressing him further she said that she would like to stay at the site of her appearance permanently in the form of a ‘pindi’(stone) and asked Mai Dass that he and after his death, his progeny should do ‘puja’(worship) of the ‘pindi’ twice a day, regarding it as her own image. She further blessed that anyone who visited this place and worshipped the ‘pindi’ with sincere devotion would be emancipated from all worldly anxieties and worries and that hence she (the Goddess there) would be known as ‘Chintan Purni Devi’ (Goddess relieving one of all worries).

Mai Dass who was aged 80, with folded hands told the Goddess that he was issueless and the place besides being without habitation, had no trace of water. The Goddess blessed Mai Dass that he would have a son, and further directed him to a place about two furlongs away where underneath a slab of stone ‘1&1/4 hath’ (hand unit) long, he would find water. Mai Dass to his astonishment discovered water under the slab indicated by the Goddess. He brought that slab and kept it near the ‘pindi’. He gave bath to the ‘pindi’ and did its ‘puja’ as was directed to do by the Goddess. However, next day he left the place and set out for the house of his in-laws. In the way he became blind. He met a passer-by to whom he narrated the whole story repenting as to how he had become blind after leaving the place and thereby breaking his pledge of continuing ‘puja’ of the ‘pindi’.

The passer-by brought back Mai Dass to the spot, who after apologising to the Goddess regained his eye-sight. He then constructed a small ‘Chhappar’ (thatched straw-hut) there over the ‘pindi’ and became the first inhabitant of the place. The habitation grew as a larger and larger number of devotees were attracted to pay homage to the Goddess.

The village was shown in the Revenue rewards as ‘chhappro’ on account of its association with the chhappar of Mai Dass, but later on the place has come to be known as Chintpurni, after the name of Goddess. As per another legend popular in the area, an interesting debate/dispute, as to in whose principality the temple was situated took place long back in between the Rajas of Siba and Amb. Despite the tall claims made by both the claimants, the dispute was settled in a unique and novel way by the priests.

Both the Rajas were asked by the priests to sprinkle the holy water, purified after chanting hymns/mantras from religious scriptures over the head of a ram (he-sheep) turn by turn. And were further told that whosoever will make the ram shiver/tremble first, will have the decision of having the holy abode of mother Goddess in the jurisdiction of his principality’s area. It is stated that as the decision went into the favour of Raja of Amb so the temple became a part of Amb state.

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