Mai Das (पंडित माई दास ),
a Kalia Saraswat
Brahman, is generally believed to have
established this shrine to Mata Chintpurni Devi
in Chhaproh छपरोह
village twelve generations ago. Over time this
village became known as Chintpurni after the
eponymous deity. His descendants still live in
Chintpurni and perform archana and puja at the
According to the Kalia family lore, Bhakta Mai
Das's father lived in Athoor village in the
princely state of Patiala. He was an ardent
devotee of Goddess Durga. He had three sons
called Devi Das, Durga Das and Mai Das. The
youngest one was Mai Das. Due to political
instability in the Punjab plains, the family
moved to village Rapoh Muchalian in Shivalik
hills , about 19 km east of Amb town (now in
District Una, Himachal Pradesh). Just like his
father, Mai Das was an intense devotee of
goddess Durga and spent much of his time in
Durga puja, bhajan and kirtan. His brothers were
not too happy with him as Mai Das did not spend
much time on affairs of this world. However his
father made sure that his worldly needs were
Das had got married when his father was still
alive. After the father died, the brothers
refused to provide any financial support to him.
They told him to look after himself and his
immediate family. Mai Das had to face many
difficulties after he separated from his
brothers. However his faith and devotion to
Mother Durga remained steadfast as he sincerely
believed that Durgaji removes all difficulties
for her devotees.
Bhakta Mai Das was travelling to the village of
his in-laws. After a long and tiring walk, he
sat down to rest under a Vat tree (banyan tree,
Ficus Bengalensis) in a densely forested area.
He dozed off and started dreaming. A luminous
and beautiful young girl appeared in his
dream and said to him, " Mai Das, stay in this
place and serve me. That will be best for you."
Mai Das woke up with a start and looked around.
He could not see any other person nearby and
felt quite confused.
Bhakta Mai Das continued on to his in-laws'
house. He was still thinking about his dream.
Was that really the Devi? If so, how would he
carry out the Devi's command? He arrived at the
in-laws' house but did not stay there for long
as his mind was quite unsettled.
his way back, he sat down under the same Vat
tree and began to concentrate his thoughts on
Durga Mata. He prayed, "O Mother, I have but a
small mind and cannot comprehend your powers. If
you consider me a true devotee, please manifest
yourself and allay my doubts". Upon hearing Mai
Das's prayer, Durga Mata manifested herself in
her luminous Chaturbhuj form sitting astride a
lion. Mai Das fell to the Devi's feet and
prayed, "O Bhagavati, do command me. How may I
serve you that my life be best spent at your
Mata said, "I have been living at this very
place for many, many years but in the Kali Yug
people had neglected this spot. I will now
appear under this tree in the form of a pindi (a
round stone). Ensure that puja is performed here
every day regularly."
Das was still somewhat reluctant to live there
as panthers and other wild animals abounded in
the dense forest. Also as that spot was on a
hill-top, there was no known source of water
nearby. Durga Mata pointed to a place on the
northern slope of the hill and told him to dig
out a stone under which he would find a spring
of fresh water.
gave him a mantra - Namaskar mantra :
"om eM kleeM hreeM shri
bhayanaashini hooN hooN phaT swaha"
that he would have no fear. She also gave him
the Mool Mantra -
"om eM hreeM kleeM
said, "In the past I have been known as
Chhinnamastika. From now on people will also
call me Chintapurni as I have removed all your
doubts and worries. My devotees will arrange to
have a temple built here. Whatever offerings are
made should be sufficient for you and your
descendants". The Goddess gave him a few
other instructions and disappeared.
Das went to the spot to which Devi had pointed
and looked for water. His joy knew no bounds
when he removed the stone and a stream of
crystal clear and sweet water gushed forth. A water
tank was built there subsequently. Bhakta Mai
Das built a small hut for himself near the water
tank and began regular worship of the Devi's
pindi at the hill-top. After a few years
devotees built a small temple which has
gradually been expanded.
later, his descendants continue to offer worship
to Shri Chintpurni Devi. The forest cover has
diminished considerably and the sleepy hamlet is
now a bustling village. Descendants of Pandit
Mai Das form a majority of the inhabitants of
Chintpurni village. Although the village is
still called Chhaproh in government land
records, it is generally known as Chintpurni
after the Devi who resides there.
about the miraculous powers of the Devi have
spread far and wide. Thousand of devotees visit
the temple every year and particularly so during
the Navaratras in Shravan (July - August),
Ashvin (September - October) and Chaitra
(March-April). New year (28 December - 2
January), Sankranti, Purnima and Ashtami are the
other popular days.
Mai Das's samadhi is located a short distance away
on the eastern side of the water tank.
of Pandit Mai Das