Translated from Kokborok by Bibhuti Debbarma
Goddess Holongsiki (meaning: lucky stone) is one of the more important Goddesses for the people of Tripura. It is said that the temple came into existence through a person’s dream. The temple is situated in Khowai-Duski, 100 kms from the state capital of Agartala. There are 3 roads to reach the temple namely Khuwai-Duski, Mandai and Teliamura road.
In the earlier days, it was very difficult to visit the temple due to the bad condition of the roads; we needed to cross many hills and mountains to reach the temple. However, now as the government has provided a proper road, we can reach the temple comfortably with cars and bikes without any difficulties. To reach the main temple, we need to climb up a minimum of 60 feet of high hills.
The story behind how this temple came into existence is an interesting one. Once upon a time, there was a woman who wanted to do jhum cultivation on a high hill. To do so, one day she went to the hills, cut the trees and burned the jungle. After she did that, soon one night she saw the Goddess in her dream who told her, “Go to the hill that you have burned up and you will find a stone, worship the stone and you will be blessed.”
Dutifully heeding the advice, the next morning the woman went into the hills and sure enough, she found the stone. From that day onward, this stone was called Goddess Holongsiki. This particular stone is unlike any other stone; it is unique because, with time, it grows in size.
In the above picture, the stones that are covered with white and red clothes are the children of Goddess Holongsiki. These children are also said to gradually grow with time.
The temple does not have any priests, as this is what the Goddess had instructed. So if one visits the temple, offerings have to be given by the visitor itself. In the time of Shivratri, however, the locals form a committee and invite a priest from another temple for that duration.
People who visit the temple usually offer candles and incense to the Goddess. Many people come from afar to visit this temple, bringing kilos and kilos of rice, grain and money.
During the Shivratri Mela, many ritual offerings and animal sacrifices are offered to the Goddess here. Some of the locals say that if anyone asks for a blessing faithfully and sincerely, the Goddess truly listens and blesses them.
There are some rules to be followed before visiting this temple. Before visiting the temple, one has to consume vegetable food and the next morning, the morning of the visit, the journey for the temple must be started without having breakfast.
It is said evils and witches have no place in the temple of God and Goddess, and people believe that those who are evil may lose consciousness and sometimes their senses if they try to enter the temple.
If you visit Tripura, this temple with its mysterious history should definitely be on your to-visit list.
This article is created as a part of the Adivasi Awaaz project, with the support of Misereor and Prayog Samaj Sevi Sanstha.