Uttarkashi is always in people’s consciousness, more so when calamities occur. It is the unshakable faith of the subalterns that mountains guard their own. So strong is this belief that locals will reiterate that the mountain controls everything, including those who seek shelter or get trapped inadvertently. Faith plays a strong role in our society and the belief that forces of nature guide and protect our lives, even during adverse times is strong, said Prof. Kumool Abbi in a lecture.
The site of the now makeshift Baby Bhaulh Nag temple which benignly protected 41 trapped miners recently at Silkyara in Uttarkashi is an example of the sound belief that our mountains have fiercely protected and provided sustenance to man. It is part of folklore that the removal of the temple at the entrance to the tunnel during the construction of the Char Dham Marg led to Bhaukh Nag’s wrath, similar to the belief that the removal of Dhari Devi’s idol caused the Kedarnath floods in 2013. These temples are a part of the folk deities in the mountains, who are believed to have their abode among their devotees.
Legend says that after the battle of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna sought solace in the mountains. He rested briefly at Bhaukh Nag Tibba mountain. As he played His flute, enticed by the music, a serpent emerged, who is none other than Baba Bhaukh Nag. Krishna was also captivated by another mountain peak, called Sem Mukhimin Tehri and later made it His abode. An annual fair is held alternately at Sem Mukhim and Bhaukh Nag Tibba, where a temple was constructed with stones on the peak. It is believed that if newly-wed couples and those who are issueless make the journey barefoot, they will be blessed by the Devta.