Satish Singh Manhas
In the annals of a practical and eye witnessed history of tales, Kuldevi Dandasan echoes with a unique blend of power, protection, and divine intervention. It is situated in the heart of a desne forest trijunctioning illagua Panshyai, Chiralla and Drab in tehsil Bhella, Block Chiralla of district Doda. Dandasan Devi temple has long been revered as a sanctuary of strength and resilience.
The sacred grounds of Dandasan: Dandasan Devi located in the thick deodar forests is dedicated to the goddess Danda, also known as Dandeshwari Mata. The temple, surrounded by lush greenery, has been a local pilgrimage site for generations. The locals believe that Dandasan guards their land, bless rain and provides divine protection to those who seek solace within its sacred grounds.
The unsuccessful siege of Dandasan Devi: The year 1947 marked a period of intense religious and political upheaval in the Indian subcontinent. The partition led to widespread communal violence as Hindus and Muslims clashed over territory and identity. Amidst the chaos, the Dandasan Devi temple stood as a symbol of unwavering devotion and spiritual strength for its believers. During the conflict the Dandasan temple found itself at the center of an imminent threat. Muslim invaders, fueled by religious animosity, sought to destroy the temple and erase its presence from the landscape. However, the divine energy that enveloped Dandasan had other plans.
Beehive Attack: The then generation people has it that when the invaders approached the temple with the intention of burning it down, an extraordinary event unfolded. The air resonated with the buzz of countless bumble bee as if nature itself had risen to defend the sacred abode. The attackers, initially undeterred, soon found themselves surrounded by a swarm of bees. These weren’t ordinary bees; they were believed to be the manifestation of the goddess’s divine wrath. The bees attacked the invaders relentlessly, causing chaos and panic among them. The aggressors, unable to withstand the onslaught, retreated in disarray, leaving the temple untouched.
Symbolism and Devotion: The miraculous defense of Dandasan Devi temple during the Hindu-Muslim conflict of 1947 is etched in the collective memory of the devotees. The incident goes beyond a mere historical account; it symbolizes the unwavering faith of the people in the protective power of their Kuldevi. The bumble bee attack is seen as a divine intervention, a testament to the goddess’s commitment to safeguarding her devotees and her sacred abode. The symbolism of bees as protectors aligns with various ancient cultures, where these industrious insects are revered for their collective strength and resilience.
Dandasan Devi a living legend: In the aftermath of the conflict, the Dandasan temple emerged unscathed, standing tall amidst the echoes of history. Today, the temple continues to attract pilgrims and devotees from far and wide and it’s popularity is expanding across local and national boundaries. The legend of the bumble bee attack has become an integral part of the temple’s narrative, emphasizing the enduring power of faith and divine protection. Another important eye witnessed and self realized power of devi dandasan is during any drought whenever the locals visit the devi and pray for rain, it has been provided every time. This is a reality beyond history and mythology.
Cultural Significance: It has become a tale of cultural significance, showcasing the interplay between history, mythology, and the human spirit. The temple stands as a living testament to the diversity of beliefs in the region, fostering an environment where people of different faiths can coexist and appreciate the sanctity of shared sacred spaces.
Conclusion: The tale of Kuldevi Dandasan and the miraculous defense of its temple during the Hindu-Muslim conflict of 1947 is a captivating narrative that weaves together elements of history, mythology, and the indomitable spirit of devotion. As pilgrims continue to flock to this sacred site, the legend endures, reminding us that even in the face of adversity, faith can be a powerful force, capable of transcending time and shaping the course of history.
Lastly eye witness recall that after the temple was constructed there was a struggle as to which side its door/face should open and all four sided were raised upto door level and after the night passed, one side got automatically opened and so is the entry of Devi Dandasan for its devotees.
Satish Singh Manhas