Legends of Khanmukheswar Temple
According to one legend the Khanmukheswar temple was constructed in the memory of Kartikeya, the eldest son of Lord Shiva. Kartikeya was deprived of the throne in preference to Lord Ganesha, the second son. Kartikeya was enraged on being cheated of his rights and vowed to remain celibate. He took a vow that he would never bear the sight of a woman and that if any woman were to come across him she would turn barren for seven births on end. Under the dread of this curse, no woman ever visited this temple until about thirty years ago.
The second version of the legend depicts that while Shiva was reciting Amarkatha to Parvati, the later fell asleep. However a parrot nestling in the tree above started repeating the words. At the end of the story when Shiva broke his trance, he found Parvati fast asleep. He then detected the parrot repeating the mantras. Out of fear the parrot flew away and took shelter in sage Ved Vyas cave. It entered the sage's pregnant wife body and was born as Sukh Dev. Lord Shiva did not enter the cave for fear of the wrath of the sage and therefore, seated himself at a place known as Khanmukheswar and himself went into trance.
All these temples of different deities have become pilgrim centres for the Hindus who go there from even much beyond the borders of the district. The religious fairs are quite a few and the most important is the Shrawan Ashtmi fair at Naina Devi temple where about a lakh persons, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims from Punjab, Haryana and even Uttar Pradeshrush alongwith the residents of Himachal Pradesh. This is the largest religious mela in the State.
Some of the other religious fairs are Markand fair known as Baisakhifair, Guga fair at Gherwin lasting for eight days and Bharnot fair at Bharnot village where a stone image known as Devta is worshipped by the pilgrims. Once women only had the privilege of worship of the Devta at Bharnot village and to have the Baisakhi bath at village Gangnon in Bachh-retu Pargana. The temple of Shiva is the attraction. The mela is ancient. It is said that even in summer a bath at the tank makes the man shiver, so cold is the water.
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