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Kelang Naga Worshipped near Kugti in the Bharmour Region of Himachal Pradesh

Kelang Naga is a snake deity and is worshipped in the Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh especially in Bharmour, Bhattiyat, Churah regions. The most important temple dedicated to Kelang Naga is located near Kugti. The deity protects the people and other living beings of the region from epidemics and natural disasters. He is the guardian deity of the Kugti Valley.

Legend has it that once there was a huge epidemic in the Kugti Valley and people prayed to Kelang Naga who was then residing in the Lahaul region of the Himachal Pradesh. To help the people the region, the deity left Lahaul and came riding on a horse towards Kugti Valley.

Kelang Naga stopped at Dughi, around 3 km from Kugti, and then moved towards Darun and disappeared.

People then excavated the place where the deity disappeared and found a three-headed murti in padmasana posture. A temple was built in honor of the deity near Kugti. The king of Chamba contributed towards the development of the temple. He donated an Ashtadhatu murti to the temple. He also ordered the sculpting of numerous naga murtis in the temple.

Kelang Naga is widely worshipped by the Gaddi and Lahula shepherds of the region. They believe that he is the father of all the nagas on earth.

The deity is also symbolically represented by a darat – a sickle used by shepherds.

The deity is worshipped for peace, prosperity and against epidemics. He is also invoked for the protection of the live stocks of the shepherds.

During important occasions a goat is sacrificed to the Kelang Naga deity. The first harvest of maize in a newly brought land is also shared with the deity.

One can find Kelang Naga temples in Dughi, Darun, Kugti, Jangal-Kalundi, Kalah, Ulasan, Lothal, Mehra, Aghara and Bhalad in the Chamba District.