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Sui Mata Temple, Chamba

Sui Mata Temple Overview

The Sui Mata Temple dedicated to Sui Mata (a local princess, who gave her life for the people in Chamba), is located between the Chamunda Devi temple and Brajreshwari Devi temple. Colorful paintings within the temple depict the life of Sui. This temple can be divided into three parts, which can physically spread apart. The temple of Sui Mata is on an elevation of Shah Madar Hill. A steep flight of steps comes down to a small pavilion just above the Saho road. From the Saho road the flight of steps continues down to the main town a little to the east of Chauntra Mohalla. At the end of the flight of steps there is another small pavilion with gargoyles with running water.

Legend

Sarda, the Rani of Raja Jeet Singh (1794-1808) built the flight of stone steps to the aqueduct from the Sarota stream. According to the legend when Raja Sahil Varman founded the town and made this aqueduct for water supply to the town the water refused to flow. It was ascribed to supernatural causes. It was prophesized that the spirit of the stream must be propitiated, and the Brahmins, on being consulted replied that the victim must either be the Rani or her son. Another tradition runs that the Raja himself had a dream in which he was directed to offer up his son, where upon the Rani pleaded to be accepted as a substitute. Thus on an appointed day the Rani along with her maidens was buried alive in a grave. The legend goes on to say that when the grave was filled in the water began to flow. In memory of her devotion a small shrine was erected at that spot and mela called Sui Mata Ka Mela was also appointed to be held annually from 15th of Chait to the first of Baisakh. Women and children attend this fair in their best attire and sing praises of the Rani and offer homage to the Rani for her singular sacrifice.


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