DAILEKH, March 5: The ancient tradition of appointing young boy as the custodian of Shiva Mahadev Temple, a must-visit pilgrimage that completes the popular Pancha Koshi procession, in Tallo Dhugheshwar Bazaar of Dailekh, is still kept alive by descendents of a Giri family. The family has remained custodians of the temple for the last five centuries.
As per the custom, a young boy from their family is made the worshiper and custodian of the temple until he crosses the age of 16. Until then, he is forbidden to have any sexual relations.
Currently, a 12-year-old Chandra Giri appointed the temple custodian from May 2012.
“As per the custom, boys under the age of 16 from our family should take charge of the temple. We have been following this tradition for generations and this time it´s my turn,” said Chandra.
Chandra said that there is a belief that this chain of custodianship should not to broken. “It is believed that if one of our family members do not take charge of the temple, it bring would bring curse on our family as well as on the devotees visiting the temple,” said Chandra.
Devotees throng the temple mostly on Saturday and Tuesday.
Besides his religious duties, Chandra is also a sixth grader at Mahadev Primary School. “Whenever I am free and there are no devotees in the temple I rush to attend classes,” said Chandra. Chandra, who lives along with his family members in a small house near the temple, make a living from the offerings made to the shrine.
“We depend on the offerings for our livelihood. Apart from earnings from the temple we have no other source of income,” said Jagma Giri, Chandra´s mother.
With Chandra´s father Khadakdev Giri as the chief priest of the temple, four other religious posts of the temple has been divided among others family members.
Meanwhile, locals said that the concerned authorities should develop the temple into a tourist destination.