Nestled amid the verdant valley and the undulating forests, Chauragarh Temple sits right at the peak of Chauragarh. Another name for this temple is Chota Mahadeo which is a revered shrine dedicated to Bhagwaan Shiva. Located at an altitude of 1,330 meters, atop the Chauragarh peak, the temple is accessible only by a 3.4 km long trek that begins at Mahadeo cave. On reaching, you get a splendid view of dense forest, valleys, and hills from the temple. Apart from tourists, there’re many ardent devotees from far and near who trek up the hill to visit the temple.Devotees have to make a strenuous climb carrying a trishul as an offering to Bhagwaan Shiva. This ritual of carrying three to four quintal heavy trishul to the shrine is prominent during Shivaratri. At the shrine there is a Dharmashala where devotees can stay and relax.
The myth of the Chauragarh temple begins from the part where Demon Bhasmasur, a devotee of Bhagwaan Shiva practised extreme penance to please his ancestors and the Bhagwaan himself.
His work bore the fruit and after a very long time Bhagwaan Shiva pleased with him, asked him to ask for a boon. To this, Bhasmasur asked for the boon of immortality which was rejected by him. He asked to ask him something else. On this, Bhasmasur asked for a very peculiar boon, he said to give him the power to turn anyone he touches to ashes. The boon was granted.
However, what the Bhagwaan didn’t realize was that Bhasmasurwanted to touch the Bhagwaan and kill him to become the King of the Destroyers himself. Upon realising that, Shiva started to run from Bhasmasur who was chasing to touch him. He reached the Chauragarh mountain and using his snake, his trident and his locks or jata, went to the peak and hide there. He sent a message to Bhagwaan Vishnu to save him. Bhagwaan Vishnu came down as a maiden and distracted Bhasmasur. The Bhasmasur wanted to win his heart and accepted the dance combat where he accidentally touched his head and turned into ashes.