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Bhoot Or Demon Worship In Kinnaur In Himachal Pradesh

Many of the Hindu temples in Kinnaur In Himachal Pradesh have separate enclosures for bhoots or demons. They are worshipped along with main gods and goddesses. They are propitiated to overcome fear, to defeat enemies and to cure mental illnesses.

Reason For Demon Worship In Kinnaur Temples

Perhaps an explanation lies in the fact that ‘bhoot’ derives ‘ from a root expressing existence and is applied to the elements of nature and even to deities. Shiva himself is called Bhutesha or ‘the lord of bhoots.’ Thus Bhoot worship is nature worship.

In fact, in Kinnaur, there are bhoots for every occasion:

  • Bakhar Shuna haunt forests,
  • Banshir can assume the form of giants,
  • Ruksas are the spirits of sinful persons,
  • Khunch live in houses, and can pass from family to family through exchanges like marriage.