2. Mathi Temple at Chitkul
Mathi is the Goddess of local people of Kinnaur. There are three temples in the same complex among which the oldest one is believed to be constructed by a resident of Garhwal around five hundred years ago. The temple houses an ark which is made of walnut wood and is covered with clothes and a tuft of yak tail. The goddess Mathi Devi sits on this ark and two poles are inserted in to the ark for carrying it around.
People of the region believe that the prosperity of the villages is in the hands of Mathi Devi. The temple opens only on Sunday and there will be at least one person representing from each family of the region, there will be a person taking attendance too. Men from chosen families will bring the goddess on the ark outside the shrine so that people can offer their prayers. There will be few rounds of procession around the temple premises. Visitors are instructed to stay away from the way and are allowed to pray from a distance. The ritual is unique and is a surreal experience.
Post procession, there will be a closed group discussion among the people from chosen villages only. During this meeting villagers share their requests and grievances with the temple representative in front of Mathi goddess. Just before this process, people from other villages and tourists are sent out of the temple premises.