Sui Mata Temple

The town of Chamba is famous for its temples. Chamba is popularly known as the town of temples. Here you can find various temples dedicated to lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and goddess Durga. The Laxmi Narayana temple and the Chamunda Devi temple are two of the most famous temples in Chamba. Apart from these you can also visit the Sui Mata Temple, the Vajreshwari Temple and Champavati Temple. These temples are beautiful and have an important place in the lives of the people in Chamba. The Sui Mata Temple is built in the memory of the queen of Raja Sahil Varma.

The Sui Mata Temple is divided into three parts. The main temple is on the Shah Madar hill. A series of steps lead to a small marquee above the Saho road. From here the flight of steps lead down into the town to reach another porch with stream of running water. The stream is surrounded by the sculptures of gargoyles. If you go further you can see the Sarota stream which is attached with a legend.

According to the legend, when Raja Sahil Varma established the town of Chamba he built a canal to supply water to the town. After the construction it came to the notice of the king that the water from the Sarota stream refused to flow through the canal.

He consulted the Brahmins who told him that this was due some supernatural reasons. They also advise the king to sacrifice his son or the queen to the spirit of the water, and this was the only remedy for the problem. And hence his queen was propitiated. According another legend, the raja had a dream in which he was ordered to give up his son. On hearing this, the queen pleaded and sacrificed herself as a substitute of her son. On the prearranged day the queen and her maidens were buried alive in a grave. As the grave was filled with mud the water started flowing through the canal.

A small shrine is constructed at the spot of the grave in the memory of the queen. To mark the sacrifice of the queen a fair takes place at the spot of the shrine. This fair or Mela is known as the Sui Mata ka Mela. This Mela is conducted from the 15th of Chaitra to the first of Baisakh. The women and children attend this fair wearing their best outfits. They sing songs and praise the queen for her sacrifice. The women pay homage to at the shrine and ask for the wee being of their families.

A four day festival is celebrated at the Sui Mata Temple. This is a spring festival and celebrated in the months of March and April every year. The locals offer newly harvested crops of maize at the temple to demonstrate their joy and happiness. The locals thank the deity and ask for a good crop every year.

On your trip to Chamba do visit the Sui Mata Temple, which is the proof of the love and devotion of a queen towards her public

Last Updated On: 2011/07/07