(Last Updated on : 28/09/2011)
The Gurga cult has been popular in the Himachal Pradesh
. There are many temples of Gurg that are visited and revered by devotees as well as the local people. The cult is associated with a legend that has been described below:
Legend of Gurg
According to the legend somewhere in the Dakhan (South) there were two sisters, Bachla and Kachla, wives of a Chauhan Rajput
named, Dev Raj. They did not have any children. One day in the hope of begetting an issue, Bachla went to the shrine of Gorakhnath and was told to come again when she would be given a fruit to eat after which a child would be borne to her. Kachla the sister of Bachla when heard about the incident, she went to the shrine in the guise and dress of Bachla. She received and ate the fruit. When Bachla went afterwards she found that her sister had already stolen her blessings. Bachla was, however, given another fruit half of which she ate and the other half she gave to the mare she was riding. A daughter was borne to Kachla who was named Gugri and a son was borne to Bachla. The mare in turn had a foal. Guga and this foal were brought up together. When Guga matured he heard the fame of a beautiful maiden, and thus went to woo her. For years he lived with her, being changed day by day by the sorcery of the country to a sheep, and by night resuming the form of a man. In his absence a pretender attempted to force an entrance to the palace. The door-keeper had grown blind ever since Guga's departure and thus refused his entry disbelieving his assertion that he was Guga. The doorkeeper asserted that on Guga's return he would have received his sight. Ultimately being hard pressed, his cousin Gugri sent a letter by the hand of a brahmin to Guga in Bangahal. The later realizing the state of affairs, abandoned his family life and with the help of the brahmin
escaped from the sorcery that bound him. By the same aid the horse that had grown old and thin was restored, and Guga once more mounted his steed and reached his home town. On his return home the door-keeper regained his eye-sight and Guga and Gugri both performed miracles. They fought the enemies and once Guga even fought for some time after he had lost his head. After his death he venerated as god, and has thereafter been always represented on horseback. Any person suffering from a snake-bite is usually taken to a Guga shrine, where some cases get cured. The others who die are supposed to have committed some deadly sins from which the only redemption was death.
Temples of Gurga
There are Guga temples at Bhatehr Uparli, Tiaman, Dhar, in tahsil Sadr and at Chakrana, Domehr, Ladda and Gherwin in tahsil Ghamarwin. Guga Pir is supposed to be a panacea for snake-bite. It is further said that if a vow to Guga Pir is not fulfilled the offender may be punished by a snake-bite. Both Guga Pir and Baba Balaknath have thousands of disciples in the provinces of Punjab
and Uttar Pradesh
besides Himachal Pradesh, Guga Pir's small shrine is found in almost every village. He is symbolized by a small image on a horse and people worship there.