Sui Mata Temple is located at upper terrace in Chamba town
in Himachal Pradesh. The temple is dedicated to Queen Sunayana, a queen of
Shaila Varman. Over 1,000-year-old, Suhi Mata temple at Chamba is an
inseparable part of its cultural heritage. Sui Mata Mela 2021 date is April 10
to April 13.
Sui Mata, as she was popularly called, was buried alive,
having willingly agreed to sacrifice her life to propitiate the gods and thus
bring water to the newly formed capital.
The temple, approached by a series of stone steps constructed
later, marks the spot where the queen stopped to rest on the way to her death.
Sui Mata Mela
An evocative bust of Sui Mata forms the shrine, and this is
the site of the annual Sui Mata fair, celebrated primarily by women in
Palanquin of Rani Suhi is brought from princely palace to
the temple for the fair. The three-day fair is attended by thousands of people.
During the fair, young girls decked in their finest and
traditional costumes, sing an elegy called ‘Sukraat’ in the local dialect.
Sukraat symbolises the very night when water of the Sarotha burn (nullah)
reached the town.
Story Of Sui Mata
During the 10th century CE, the Chamba area in
Himachal Pradesh had no rain for years and King Sahil Varman tried to please the
gods in almost all possible ways but nothing worked. He finally consulted the
oracles and sorcerers who told him that he needed to sacrifice either his wife
or his son to bring water to his kingdom. With a heavy heart, the king decided
to sacrifice his son but his wife, Queen Sunayana, could not bear the son
getting sacrificed so she sacrificed herself.
It is believed that
she buried herself alive. After her death, her body was buried around the
temple’s premises. Soon, water started flowing in the kingdom and from then on,
there has never been a shortage of water in the region.