The types of Raths (Chariot of God) and number of mohras:
Devatas have different kinds of rathas which have varying capacity to carry mohras. Among others type of the rath appears to be one of the strong factors in deciding the number of mohras a rath is to be decked with. Below are given the types of rath and the number of mohras they carry in practice.
- The most common type of rath is carried on two poles on the shoulders of two men.
- The second type of rath is carried by one man over his head.
Each of these have further two varieties as follows.
- i. The first kind of the rath in local terms is called Pheta, slanting, rath. It is like a chair. There is a frame of about one cubit dimension, which may be called seat. Two strong poles pass through it laterally parallel to each other for carrying the rath on the shoulders. A plank of about two feet high and one and half feet broad stands slanting over the seat on the back end which becomes the back side of the rath. The top of the plank is curved semicircular. This plank holds the mohras. Some devatas also hold mohras on the front side of the seat, which comes on the backside of the head of the carrier of the rath who is on the front side. Such kind of rath are in use generally in the Beas valley.
- ii. The second type, which is also carried on the shoulders of two men, is locally named as Khada (standing) rath. It has a small structure standing on the middle having a small canopy. It takes mohras on all the four sides. This kind of deota sometimes is also called Saraji deo. They abound generally in the area of Saraj, i.e. Banjar, Ani and Nirmand areas.
- i. The first kind of the second variety is named as Karadu, which means basket. It is like a bamboo basket of the shape of a bucket, in size bigger than bucket. This is presumed to be the earliest form of rath. Other forms developed thereafter.
- ii. The other one is variant of the Karadu. But it is like the miniature pheta rath. It is called palki, palanquin.
Now we observe that the Pheta rath carries the maximum number of mohras. The usual number is twelve but are seen carrying generally between 12 and 24. The maximum we observe is thirty one.
The second Khada type of rath carries usually eight mohras. Many raths carry four. The maximum number reported is thirteen.
The last two types of raths, Karadu and Palki, carry usually one or two mohras. Sometimes they may not have any mohra. Sometimes they may carry four or five mohras.The maximum reported is eleven.
The following are some examples showing the typical practices followed by different devatas regarding the number of mohras possessed and decked on the rath:
Gohri deo-Virnath, v. Janaahal, teh. Kullu. He has a pheta rath. He has one main mohra of his own which is placed on its lap. Other nine mohras made of silver are common to Gohri deo and Narayan devata, both of Janaahal.
Gohri deo-Virnath, v. Vaari, teh. Kullu has Khada rath. He has three mohras, but only one is placed on the rath.
Vishnu Bhagwan, v. Dwara, teh. Kulu. He has 15 Mohras. Commonly only eight mohras are placed on the rath. When he goes on pilgrimage he takes all the fifteen mohras. Besides, two more mohras of Laksmi and Jawala are also decked.
Sheshnag: Paashukot, v. Bainchi, teh. Kullu. the devata has nine mohras. The main mohra is of ashtdhatu which is always placed on the rath, is kept concealed, wrapped in a cloth on the rath.
Singhmal of v. Gahar teh. Kullu has a karadu rath and has only one mohra,.
Jagtham, v. Pangan has Pheta rath. He has 11 mohras, 9 big and 2 small.
Dhumbal Nag, v. Mangaanhaa, teh. Manali has Pheta rath. The rath carries12 mohras. It has four mohras more which are its main mohras. They are kept concealed in the temple in a pit. They are not carried on the rath.
Tripurasundari, Naggar, teh. Manali, has pheta rath. It has twelve mohras out of which three are shaped as face of lion.
Jamlu of Shilhagran, teh. Kullu, has a Kundi (literally cauldron, a basket) which contains seventy horses in place of mohra.
Thirmal, teh. Kullu, has no rath but a Palki, a small canopied chair. He has two mohras, one is of his own. The other one is that of his associate Banaakshi.
Kaila Vir of Village Dol and Tharku, teh. Kullu, have no rath and no mohras. Their symbols are Ghanti and Dhadhachh i.e. bell and incense burning pot. Many Jamlu devatas have no rath and no mohra. Jamlu of Malana has no rath and no mohra. Its symbol is horse. But some say sword and others say ghondi-dhaudhchh. Some Vir devatas also don’t have rath. One such devata has conch shell as his symbol.
Devatas generally have no statues in their temples. But a few of them have statue, others have pindi i.e. a round stone ball, as their symbol kept in the temples.
Devatas have generally mohras of more than one metal. But a few of them have all their mohras of a single metal.
The following Table shows the types of rath, kind of mohra and their number on each rath.
|Serial No.||Name of devata and village||Type of rath||Bell metal||Gold||Silver||Brass||Total|
|1.||Arji Pal, V. Naargi, Kothi Maharaja .||Khada||1||7||8|
|2.||Chhmaahu Nag, V. Badagran 64(Paulghi), Teh. Banjar.||Khada||5||7||12|
|3.||Aayarhu Nag, Dehuri, Kothi Boonga.||Khada||8||8|
|4.||Aayarhu Mahavir, Shohool, Kothi Boonga||Khada||8||8|
|5.||Asha Puri, Dhalyara.||Khada||1||7||8|
|6.||Karath Nag, Kandi, The. Banjar,||Khada||1||7||8|
|7.||Gauhri Deo, Baagan, Kothi Maharaja||Khada||8||8|
|8.||Kali Narayan, Jonga, Kothi Maharaja||Khada||1||7||8|
|9.||Kaila Vir, Kamand, Kothi Maharaja||khada||8||8|
|10.||Khodu Mahadev, Trehan, Koth Kotkandi.||Khada||8||8|
|11.||Gautam Rishi, Manihar, Kothi Kotkandi.||Khada||1||7||1||9|
|12.||Gautam Rishi, Ved Vyas and Kanchan Nag. V. Gaushal, Kothi Manali.||Pheta||6||6|
|13.||Gauhri Dev, vi. Janaahal, Kothi Khokhan.||Pheta||4||10||14|
|14.||Gauhri deo, V. Damcheen, Kothi Hurang.||Pheta||1||15||16|
|15.||Kali Nag, Karal, Kothi Mandalgarh||Pheta||1||11||12|
|16.||Bijli Mahadev, V. Mathaanh,||Pheta||4||3||17||24|
|17.||Arji Pal, Zhokarhi, Hurang.||pheta||1||11||2||14|
|18.||Chamunda, v. Nashala, Kothi Naggar.||Pheta||2||16||18|
|19.||Chotru Nag, V. Shodha, Kothi Raghupur.||Pheta||2||11||13|
|20.||Juaanhu Mahadeva, Juaanhi, Kothi Kais.||Pheta||4||27||31|
|21.||Kaali Odhi, Village Shim near Dwara.||Pheta.||1||11||12, earlier it had 8.|
|22.||Kalia Nag, Shirad||Pheta||1.main mohra||11||12|
|23.||Jamlu, Oodsu. Kothi Kotkandi,||Khada||2||8||10|
|24.||Darvasa rishi, Paalgi, Kothi Bhalahan.||Khada||6||1||4||11|
|25.||Toondi Vir, V. Dalaasni||Khada||1||8||9 (three in front)|
|26.||Dev Gauhri, V. Vari Tuni, Kothi Kais.||Karadu.||2||5||7|
|27.||Gauhri deo, Dhalpur, Kullu.||Karadu||11 (metal unknown)|
|28.||Talaiti, Kharahl,Teh. Kullu||Karadu||No mohra|
|29.||Chambhu, V. Kasholi, Kothi Deel||Paalkinumaa form of karadu||1||5||6|
|30.||Narayan, V. Pulga, Teh. Kullu.||Karadu||1 (metal unknown)|
The above table shows that except a few all the devatas possess mohra of bell metal and in many cases it forms the main mohra of the deity.
The number of mohras can be increased. In the case of the devata of Shim earlier it had eight mohras later on the mohras were increased from eight to twelve.
A karadu can have no mohra, or may have one mohra and in once case we see eleven.