Malhari Martand – Avatar of Hindu God Shiva

Malhari Martand is an avatar of the Rudra form of Hindu God Shiva. The Malhari Martand history indicates that the deity had it origin in South India. Origin and story of Malhari Martand is found in the ‘Malhari Mahatmya'. The story suggests that Malhari Martand appeared to annihilate demons Mani and Malla and restore Dharma.

Legend has it that demons Mani and Malla became powerful by performing intense Tapas (austerities) dedicated to Brahma. After several years Brahma gave them boons. With unimaginable power on their disposal, Mani and Malla started harassing saints, Devas (demi gods) and humans. They created havoc and disturbed the peaceful life on earth and heaven.

Manichurna Mountain the abode of several holy persons was captured by Mani and Malla. Unable to tolerate their violence, saints, humans and demigods approached Shiva.

Shiva brought out several lieutenants from his matted lock to fight Mani and Malla and went to Manichurna Mountain.

He himself took the form of Bhairav, the terrible form of Shiva, and Parvati took the form of Mhalsa. Goddess Ganga took the form of Banai. In some regions, Mhalsa is believed to be an incarnation of Mohini and Parvati.

The battle began on the Amavasi day of Kartik month and ended on the sixth day Margashirsh. Mani and Malla fought hard for six days. Finally, they were killed. This happened on the sixth day of Margashirsh and is observed as Chamba Shasti. It is believed Lord Shiva decided to stay at Manichurna in the form of a Swayambhu lingam after defeating the demons.

A horse or a bull is the Vahana or vehicle of Malhari Martand and dogs surround him. A legend has it that from the blood that dropped from the body of Mani and Malla created a new demon. The dogs then swallowed the blood and thus put an end to the demons.