Bhalyani Kahika – Fair of Death and Rebirth

Bhalyani is one of the most wonderful places in Lugvalley. Many festivals are celebrated here, of which ‘Kahika’ (kaa-he-kaa) is the most famous. The ‘Kahika’ is celebrated after every four years. There is a beautiful temple of ‘Shri Krishna (Shri Katrusi Narayan)’ and a huge ground in the middle of the village where ‘Kahika’ Mela (festival) is celebrated.

Why is Kahika celebrated?

It is believed that in the olden times there used to be the terror of demons in this area. To eliminate the demons, all the deities advised to celebrate the ‘Kahika’ festival and since then ‘Kahika’ is organised from time to time.

Shri Krishna Temple, Bhalyani
Shri Krishna Temple, Bhalyani

Interestingly, the ‘Kahika’ festival involves ‘Shri Katrusi Narayan (Shri Krishna)’ and three deities ‘Devta Veerunath (Gohari Deu)’, ‘Devta Kshetrapal (Thaan Deu)’ and ‘Devta Adi Brahma (Sher Deu)’. This festival is celebrated with the divine culture which is an essential part of the festival. In this festival ‘Karkuni’ (Employees of Gods) Pandit, Bhandari, Guru, Kardar etc. play a very important role. These people have made all the arrangements.

Bhalyani Temple (Spiritual View)

How is Kahika celebrated and what happens during the days of Kahika?

‘Kahika’ takes place after every four years in July or August (Sharaavana). This festival lasts for three days. On the first day of ‘Kahika’, ‘Dhauj’ is brought from the jungle by the ‘Karkuni’ and the people of the valley. ‘Dhauj’ is like a long sleeper of wood from a pine tree. The height of ‘Dhauj’ is almost equal to that of a pine tree. There are four ‘Dhauj’ in front of the temple at Bhalyani. According to ancient beliefs, each ‘Dhauj’ represents a Yuga (an era). Each ‘Dhauj’ lasts for 16 years and after every four years, the oldest one is replaced with the new one at the time of ‘Kahika’.

Dhauj Kahika

On the second day, the new ‘Dhauj’ is divinely replaced with the oldest one. It is replaced early in the morning with only hands and ropes without any modern technology, which is a wonderful and incredible thing. Divine action continues throughout the day. In the evening, a person named ‘Nad (na-da)’ is made unconscious and revive back by divine power. ‘Nad’ is shot with an arrow by the ‘Kardar’ of the deity and falls unconscious. He is then revived by divine power. The four directions resonate with the cheers of all the deities. It is believed that if for some reason he is unable to revive, then all the wealth of the deity goes to Nad’s family.

These days people are enjoying every moment of the festival. There are lots of sports during the festival. The people of the village enjoy the festival, in which ‘Nati’ is one of the main attractions (Himachali traditional dance called ‘Nati’). In addition, some other events cater to the festival.

Bhalyani Kahika

The third day of Kahika is known as ‘Koshthu Kahika’ and the last day of the festival. On this day the activities of all the deities continue throughout the day. Everyone enjoys that moment. People seek God’s blessings and wish everyone peace. At the end of the evening, all the deities return to their abode. With this ‘Kahika’ ends.


‘Kahika’ is a local festival of the valley which is celebrated every four years in the month of July or August. Kahika Mela is celebrated for three days. Four deities participate in the Kahika festival. These days people are enjoying every moment of the festival.

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