Salinadi located in Sankhu is a sacred holy place for Hindu connoisseurs. The river flows below Sankhu Bazar. Salinadi a sanctuary place in the northeast of Kathmandu valley is the former Newari settlement area, approximately 17 km away from traveller centre point Thamel. It is a 1-hour drive via vehicle from Thamel. Sankhu is shankha shaped small town so also called Sankharapur.
Poush/Margh is the month of Goddess Swastani. During this month, she is worshipped and adored by her believer- reading accounts of Goddess Swastani and Lord Shiva. Each year from the Full moon day of Poush(Nepali calendar), the celebration continuous to one month up to Magh full moon day, taking fasting-having a meal only one time a day. During this time people tell and hear the story of Swastani mata.
Why is Salinadi Important for Hindus?
Salinadi holds a strong belief from a religious point of view. It is believed that taking a shower in this holy river after a full month fast will grant any wish that a person has. Nepalese women take long fast whole-heartedly always taking bath in the morning, trimming their nails neatly and wearing clean clothes, for the long life of their husband. And unmarried women take fasting to get a good husband like Lord Shiva.
Month-long fasting is said to be completed after taking bath in Salinadi. During the long stretch of Magh, numerous enthusiasts go to Sankhu, Salinadi for a custom holy shower in the Salinadi River. There is a very strong belief- having a bath in this river will expel all wrongdoings, ends one’s suffering, granting salvation and redemption making them a very pure soul. There is a very popular myth that during the age of Gods, Goddess Parvati used to take bath in this river during her meditation. So following her footsteps, people now too go to take bath in Salinadi.
For Salinadi holds a strong religious belief and is related to our culture and tradition, it is a very important holy place for Hindus.
Salinadi: Myth behind Salinadi and Swasthani
Swasthani Brata katha is a Hindu tale of God and Goddess consisting of 31 chapters. The vrata is a tribute for God and Goddess through holding pooja in-home, or through meditating and also through the holy bath in sali river. Myths say Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva used to bath during her month of meditation dedicated to Swasthani. In every month of Poush and Magh Swasthani mata is worshipped and without a holy bath in Sali river, the ritual remains incomplete.
The book consists of many valuable stories related to Goddess Swastani. All the chapters showcase how Swastari mata has influenced even the Gods and us human beings. Going through the story, we can learn that in the mythical ages Gods frequently visited the earth and gave messages and lessons that would help us, humans, to achieve salvation. The story relates us to the formation of the river- Salinadi with interesting backstories making it it very real and blissful.
The story is not only limited to these epics, it gives us a vision of the existence and adventures of God Shiva, Sati Devi, Goddess Parvati and many others. Finding it interesting?
Rituals For Swasthani Pooja
The Swasthani Brata Katha book is adored with abir, Kesari, sesame, grain, blossoms; incent sticks and batti before the recitation. Furthermore, the ladies who keep fasting offers dhup (incent sticks), batti (spread lights), sesame Laddu (ball cakes) and blossoms, each in the check of 108.
Therefore, Salinadi and Swasthani and the month of Magh are like two sides of a coin or leaves of the same tree. Without one the other remains incomplete.
For more, from Sankhu, salinadi the hiking route to Nagarkot begins. It is a three to four hours trekking from Sankhu area. On your way to Nagarkot, you will be welcomed by great scenic beauties with beautiful greenery natural surroundings. After coming to the Nagarkot, you can view the rising sun and sunset sitting on top of a hill- which is surely going to be the best feeling.
Our belief is what makes us stronger. It gives us the strength to fight through the difficulties and evil that’s within us and our surroundings.
For Hindu people, Salinadi is a sacred holy place that they believe to be the source of salvation and spirituality. Especially, Nepalese women making their heart and mind pure, pray to Goddess Swasthani to grant her wishes and for her husband’s long life. They truly believe, worshipping and fasting for a whole month will increase their husband’s lifespan which signifies their love for their husband. Isn’t it magnificent? I believe it is.
Even if you don’t follow Hinduism, the story and the myth behind it is interesting enough that you might want to explore the sites mentioned. Your religious background shouldn’t bound you or hold you back from reading Swasthani and the myths and adventures of different Gods and Goddesses.