Pathivara Devi is a hilltop pilgrimage site situated at an elevation of 3,794 m from the sea level. It is one of the popular and significant destinations dedicated to Goddess Pathivara. The temple is locatedon the hill of Taplejung and is worshipped with equal reverence by both Hindus and Buddhists.
It is believed that Goddess Pathivara fulfills the long-cherished dreams of her devotees, like granting sons for those without sons, and wealth for the poor. Pathivara Devi is considered one of the ‘Shakti Peeths’. Worshippers from different parts of Nepal and India flock at the temple during special occasions, as it is believed that a pilgrimage to the temple ensures fulfillment of every desire of pilgrims. The pilgrims sacrifice animals and bring gold and silver as offerings to the Pathivara Devi.
Legend says that in ancient time, the local shepherds used to take their sheep to graze in a place called Phedi that lies on the way where the temple stands today. All the shepherds became worried when one day all their sheep disappeared suddenly. At night, Goddess Pathivara blessed them in their dream and asked them to worship her to get their sheep back. They did as they were said and after that the lost sheep returned back.
The Goddess Pathivara after which the place is named is believed by the devotees as a fierce Goddess who can be easily pleased with simple and selfless act of compassion, prayer and sacrificial offerings (sacrifice in Hinduism denotes sacrifice of ego and greed), while is unmerciful and severe to one who has malicious intentions beneath.
The journey to Pathibhara starts from Suketar (2,840m) which takes about 2 hours walk to reach from Phungling Bazaar. Pathibhara Devi is about 8-10 hours from Suketar. The airport at Suketar is the only airport of Taplejung district. Suketar is connected to Kathmandu and Biratnagar by scheduled flights. Beautiful views of Kanchenjunga and Kumbhakarna can be seen from Suketar. From Suketar the trail passes through Deurali, Chhatedunga, Bhalugauda, Phedi and finally to Pathibhara.
The best time to visit the temple is from March through out to June and September to November.
Attractions and Activities
Pilgrims can also visit monasteries situated in Olangchung Gola and Lungchung. The waterfall at Sawa and the pond of Timbung, during autumn and spring are worth visiting every year. The forest ecosystem along the trial offers diversity of wildlife, birds, flowers and butterflies. The whole of Kanchenjunga range can be seen in this trek.
For tourists other than pilgrims, Limbu Cultural Trek in the region is considered equally enthralling. A week-long trek passes through ethnic villages of Taplejung, such as; Phurunga (or Phurumbu), Limkhim, Khewang, Tellok, PhawaKhola and Mamankhe.