Tarkuhwa Temple, associated with the hero of the 1857 rebellion, Bandhu Singh, where there is a tradition of offering sacrifices

There is a famous Tarkulha Devi temple in the Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh. It is a popular belief that Babu Bandhu Singh of the state prince of Dumri, the hero of the 1857 rebellion, was waging a guerrilla struggle against the British from that place. The tradition of sacrifice that had begun offering heads to the British near the present temple still continues today. According to the district’s official website, this is the only temple in the country, where the lamb is given as Prasad.

Tarkulha Devi Temple located near Chaurichaura in Gorakhpur district. (All photos: Manoj Singh)

Gorakhpur: Tarkulha Devi Temple in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh is one of those places associated with Babu Bandhu Singh, the hero of the 1857 revolt, where the goat is sacrificed as a vow and the lamb is accepted. with prasad.

The fame of this temple has increased in recent years and there is now a stage as a fair all year round. Hundreds of people are seen cooking and eating mutton at the same time and it looks like a big dinner is being made.

Located about five kilometers before the city of Chaurichaura in the historical district of Gorakhpur and about 22 kilometers from Gorakhpur, it is a popular belief that Babu Bandhu Singh of the princely state of Dumri, the hero of the 1857 revolt, was leading to end a guerrilla war against the British from this place ..

It was a dense forest at the time. Here there were tarkuls (palm trees) in abundance. Babu Bandhu Singh used to worship his adorable goddess by making balls of earth under a tree in Tarkul. He anointed the goddess with his blood after killing many Englishmen. The British were able to catch him with great difficulty and hanged him in Alinagar, Gorakhpur.

It is a popular belief that it was hung seven times, but each time the noose of the gallows was broken. All this miracle happened thanks to the power of the adorable goddess Babu Bandhu Singh. Finally, Bandhu Singh himself prayed to the goddess and expressed his desire for salvation, only then could he be hanged.

As soon as it was hung, the top of the Tarkul tree in the Tarkulha forest broke and blood began to flow from it. Since then, this place was known as the site of Tarkulha Devi and people started worshiping Tarkulha Devi by building a temple here.

Here the sacrifice was considered a petition and after sacrificing a goat, the lamb was accepted as Prasad. This tradition continues to this day.

On the official website of Gorakhpur district, the temple has been described as a major tourist destination.

This public opinion has been posted on the official website of Gorakhpur district. Referring to the Tarkulha Devi site in the district’s famous tourist sites on this website, it has been said that “this is the only temple in the country, where lamb is given as prasad”. The tradition of sacrifice initiated by Bandhu Singh offering his head to the British still continues here. Now the goat is slaughtered here. After that, the goat meat is cooked in earthenware pots (matki or handi) and distributed as a prasad. Along with this, baati (litti) is also given.

This story has also been recorded on the special cover published by the Amar Shaheed Bandhu Singh Memorial Committee on the 178th anniversary of Bandhu Singh on May 1, 2010 and on the folder issued on the occasion of a special deformation.

History books do not mention the site of Tarkulha Devi, but the dense forest of Dumri has been described as the center of his guerrilla struggle, registering Bandhu Singh as the main hero of the 1857 revolt.

Historian Syed Najmul Raza Rizvi’s book ‘The Rebel Jagat of 1857 – Purbi Uttar Pradesh’, published four years ago by East Blackswan, states that the rebellion in the area ended only after Bandhu Singh was captured and hanged. .

According to the book, ‘Bandhu Singh had a deep resentment against the atrocities of British rule. When the rebellion broke out, he joined her and Muhammad Hasan (who was the Nazim of Gorakhpur. He led the rebels in 1857. During this time, Gorakhpur remained independent for about four months: from 21 August 1857 to January 4, 1858. Hasan then independent (led the government) cooperated with the government. ‘

Shaheed Bandhu Singh Memorial built near Tarkulha Devi temple.

According to him, “A murder case was pending against him (Bandhu Singh) in Nizamat court even before the rebellion began. He began attacking British supporters and allies during the rebellion. All his Pattidars collaborated in this work, attacking the Kusmhi Kothi of Mian Sahib Syed Ahmed Ali Shah, who supported the British, and looting the existing property.

According to this book, “When Gorkha’s army led by Jang Bahadur Rana captured Gorakhpur and handed it over to the British authorities, the rebels had to hide in the woods or elsewhere and adopt guerrilla tactics to continue. By confiscating Bandhu Singh’s property, the British government appointed a receiver in charge.

It is also written: “Therefore, on April 29, 1858, Bandhu Singh, along with about 300 people, came out of his secret hideout and attacked Dumri’s receiver. Then 11 policemen and some more people died and many people were injured.In this operation, a brother of Bandhu Singh was captured by the police.

According to this, “On May 4, Babu Bandhu Singh attacked the Dumri police station and rescued his brother. Upon arriving in Gorakhpur, Joint Magistrate Muster Bird with a detachment of Gorkha soldiers went to capture them, but a few hours before his arrival, Bandhu Singh had gone with his men to his hiding place in the dense forest of Dumri and Bird had to return empty-handed.

According to the book, “Ten days later, on May 14, Babu Bandhu Singh attacked the grain carts going by the British and killed the men along with the owner and took the grain carts he had in his possession.” . Dumri’s babus set fire to a post office near Gorakhpur on May 17 and killed the mail corridor. He cut off the nose of another. The same team also looted vehicles carrying goods from Gorkha’s army.

According to this, ‘Babu Bandhu Singh again attacked the Pipraich police station and killed many policemen, including the Thanedar. Two policemen were also killed in an attack on the Hathua police station located between Gandak and Gorakhpur.

Special cover published to Amar Shaheed Bandhu Singh.

The British government was very upset with Babu Bandhu Singh and, despite all efforts, failed to catch him. Later, 350 soldiers from the 13th NI under the leadership of Colonel Qin and the Gorakhpur police squadron attacked his hideout. However, fighting with the British of the Babu brothers, he set out on the secret route.

It is mentioned in this book, ‘Babu Bandhu Singh remained rebellious even when many rebels, including the ruler Raja, surrendered in early January 1859. He along with his team disappeared from the forests of Dumri in November. of 1858. He was believed to have gone to Nepal.

In this book it is mentioned that with the capture and execution of Bandhu Singh, the rebellion in Gorakhpur district came to an end. The British gave half of the state prince of Dumri as a reward to Sardar Surat Singh, who had helped the British in Banaras. The other half of Dumri remained in the hands of Babu Ram Prakash Singh, a descendant of Raja Roop ruler Narayan Singh.

The date of Bandhu Singh’s execution does not appear in this book, but his descendants celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom on August 12th.

The tradition of sacrifice in the temple still continues today.

Ajay Kumar Singh Tappu, a descendant of his, said the hanging took place on August 12, 1858 in Alinagar. His statue was installed in this place in 2008. Now his statue has also been installed in a school that bears his name, in the historic Chaurichaura Martyr Sthal. The memorial of the martyrs and their statue have been established near the Tarkulha Devi temple in his memory. The statue has not yet been discovered.

Before there was a large market to buy and sell spices and oxen at the site of Tarkulha Devi, which lost its existence over time.

Before, in Chaitra Navratri, a big fair of a month and a half was held here. The fair is still held but now there is an influx of devotees throughout the year. Every week there are a lot of people on Mondays and Fridays.

From the main road to the whole temple complex is full. From morning to night, the darshan temple program, sacrifice and cooking and beef food continues. On Tuesdays and Thursdays there are relatively fewer crowds, as many people do not eat non-vegetarian foods that day.

People from all over come to visit the Tarkulaha Devi temple. Many people sacrifice goats in fulfillment of their vows. Here a few thousand goats are slaughtered every day.

The temple sees large crowds on Mondays and Fridays.

The goat is sacrificed in a place by the pond near the temple and people take it as prasad after cooking the lamb. It is also famous for this place that the lamb that is made here is very tasty.

Some people consider the glory of Tarkulaha Devi for this, while some people consider the water effect of this place. The fame of delicious mutton has risen so much that hundreds of people now come here to eat meat.

There are more than two dozen mutton meat shops on the temple grounds, from where people buy meat and cook by hand. Baati or litti is also made with sheep meat. All items including handi, masala and goitha that are used to make mutton are available here and have their shops.

Many Handi Mutton stores have also opened here. Many people also drink alcohol here along with lamb. There is no conversation for that. Apart from a country and English liquor store, a mock-up shop has also been opened from the main road to some time before the temple. The brewery has also opened.

Normally, liquor and beer shops cannot open near any temple, but this permission has been given here.

The chief priest of the temple, Dinesh Tripathi, is angry with the growing tendency to drink in the temple facilities. He says there is a tradition here of accepting lamb as sacrifice and prasad, but alcohol is not associated with faith or tradition anywhere. I don’t know how the government has licensed beverage stores here.

Ajay Kumar Singh Tappu also agrees with the priest and says that the growing trend of drinking here is due to the market culture.

(The author is the editor of the Gorakhpur Newsline website.)

Categories: Indian special society

Tagged as: 1857 Revolt, Ali Nagar Chauraha, Amar Shahid Bandhu Singh, Babu Bandhu Singh, Bandhu Singh, British, Chauri-Chaura, Dumari Riyasat, Freedom Fighter, Gorakhpur, Shahid Bandhu Singh Smarak, Society, Tarkulaha Devi, Tarkulaha Devi Temple, Tarkulaha Mela, The Wire Hindi, Uttar Pradesh

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