Falen (Kosikalan), 2016.02.24 (VT): In the village of Falen, which is dedicated to Bhakta Prahlad, a new temple for the deities is finally coming near completion as a result of efforts by the entire community. The temple will be grand, with a 61-foot-high pinnacle with white marble and pink sandstone.
The specialty of the village is its devotion to Prahlad and the annual walk through fire during the full moon of Phalgun month, which is Holi. The name Holi itself comes from the name of the demoness Holika, who was supposed to burn Prahlad to death on Hiranyakashipu’s order, but who herself was burnt and Prahlad saved. This event is reenacted each year when priests from the village walk through a huge bonfired unscathed.
The new temple is built on 1500 square foot plot. Villager Bachu Singh Rawat says that the entire village participated in the project, as the temple has become the village’s claim to fame. It will take another year before the temple is completed, he added.
Pandit Bhagavan Sahay recounts the local legend behind the temple. This area went under the name of Vaya Van. Cowherds from the Faraina village used to go there to graze their cattle. One day they saw the image of Prahlad near a tank in the woods. By worshiping this murti one would not be affected by fire nor experience any kind of material misery.
The cowherds reported the matter to the villagers who then started Prahladji worship. One of the herdsmen dared to enter the fire to test the truth of the promise. When he came out unscathed, a celebration was held and it became an annual event with a mela (fair) attracting thousands from the surrounding regions. Over time people come from farther an farther afield to participate in the event.
The name Faraina gradually became Falen.
A second legend is also associated with the village. It is said that Lord Krishna engaged in the Maharas dance here. By the gopis’ power of devotion Krishna revealed to them his form as Nrisingha.