Jwalamukhi Devi Temple

About The Temple

About Maha Shakti Peeth, Jwalamukhi Devi Temple In Kangra,

Located on the hills of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh is the holy shrine of Jwalamukhi Devi Temple. This temple has a unique significance among Hindu pilgrims for a number of reasons. First of all, this site is one of the fifty-one Shakti Peethas in India. Secondly, the reigning deity of the shrine, Maa Jwalamukhi, is worshipped here in the form of a natural flame that comes out of a rocky orifice, over which the temple is built. This temple is revered as one of the most active and influential of temples of Maa Durga. Hundreds and thousands of pilgrims visit this shrine every year, and offer their prayers to the deity with a flaming mouth.

Building of the temple

The jwalamukhi temple was built by Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch, the ruler of Kangra, who was a devotee of Goddess Durga. It is said that he had a dream in which he was instructed by the Goddess to build a temple over a scared place in the region. The king sent people in all directions to search for this site. His men located the site on the hills of Kangra and the Raja built a temple at this location. The Goddess manifests herself in the shape of fire. A flame continuously burns at the site as a result of some natural jets of combustible gas coming from within the earth.

Features and location

The temple is covered with a gold dome at the top which was built buy Maharaja Ranjit Singhji, who visited the shrine in 1815. The temple also boasts of a gorgeous folding door adorned with plates of silver. It is believed that Sati’s tongue had dropped at this site and the Goddess appears in the form of blue flames those appear through the fissures of ancient rocks. The temple is located on the Dahrmasala-Shimla road on the undulating terrains of the sub-Himalayan Himachal region. The site is overlooked by the imposing Dhauladhar range.

Worship of the Devi

The Devi is worshipped all day long in various phases. The priests of the temple perform Aarti five times a day and havan is done once every day. Excerpts from Durga Saptasati are also recited. The deity, maa jwala devi, is offered Bhog that comprises of thickened and sweetened milk called Rabri, sweet candy or Misri, fruits and milk etc. The temple houses a mystic diagram or Yantra, which is believed to be a form of the Goddess Jwalamukhi. The priests chant mantra as they adorn the Yantra with shawl and ornaments.

In and around the shrine

In front of this temple is a large mandap with a small platform. A brass bell of a great size, gifted by the King of Nepal, hangs in the mandap. A few metres above the site of the Jwalamukhi Temple, there is a pit which is six feet deep and has a circumference of about three feet. A small pit is located at the bottom of this pit which is about one and a half feet deep. It has water that bubbles all the time.

How To Reach

The Jwalamukhi Devi temple is located in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. You can reach this place via rail, road and air.

 

  • The nearest airport to this site is Gaggal airport. It is a small airport which is about 46 km from Jwalamukhi. You can also fly to the Dharamsala airport, from where you can connect Jwalamukhi by road.
  • You may also reach the holy temple of Jwalamukhi via the railways. The nearest broad gauge rail head is at Pathankot, which is 123 km away from the town of Jwalamukhi. You can take narrow gauge toy train from Pathankot and reach Jwalamukhi road station. The temple is about 20 km from this station.
  • The Jwalamukhi temple is about 140 km from Pathankot if you travel on road via Dharamsala. You can find taxi and bus services from Pathankot to take you to this shrine. From Kangra, this place is 30 km on road and from Dharamsala it is 56 km away. Besides, there are regular bus and taxi services plying between Jwalamukhi and Mandi, Kullu and Shimla through mandi. A road trip amidst the picturesque locales of the kangra valley and other parts of Himachal is an out of the world experience. Most tourists prefer to travel to jwalamukhi himachal via road. Many pilgrims choose to trek the last few kilometres to this holy temple.

 

Nearby Attractions

Besides the jwalamukhi devi temple, the places around the Kangra valley in Dharamsala are spotted with numerous sites of tourist attraction. Tourists are spoilt for choices in this excellent tourist location with attractive destinations for nature lovers, pilgrims, history buffs and adventure freaks.

  • The Kangra Fort, which is located about 20 kms away from Dharamsala and only about 3 kms from Kangra is a paradise for history lovers. This is one of the oldest and largest forts in India. Built by the rulers of Kangra in the antique times, this fort finds mention in the chronicles of Alexander’s conquest of India in 4th century BC. The fort has witnessed plunges and take-overs by invaders, Muhammad Ghaznavi and Muhammad Bin Tughlak and the Mughal ruler Jehangir.
  • Nearby are a number of famous temples such as Baglamukhi Temple and Brajeshwari Temple, the latter being one more of the 51 Shakti Peethas. These temples are dedicated to the different forms of Goddess Shakti. The ancient temple of Kaleshwar Mahadev, built in the honour of lord Shiva, is also located in the vicinity.
  • Nature and adventure lovers and even trekkers may have the time of their lives in this part of the Himalayas. The mountain range of Dhauladhar is an extremely popular destination among nature lovers. It is a branch of the southern outer flanks of the Himalayas. This range rises to the north of Kangra and Mandi. These mountains are famous for spectacular views and ethereal beauty.
  • The Kangra valley offers exciting trekking options. Tourists and trekkers may have a remarkable experience amidst the lush green nature and the diverse flora and fauna of the region. There are several trek routes those are on offer in this belt. Treks can be arranged for all kinds of trekkers, ranging from novices to experts. These routes encompass exotic locales of Laka Pass, Minikiani Pass, Chamba, Talang Pass, Parai Jot etc.

 

History Of Temple

The Jwalamukhi Devi Temple in Kangra is a pilgrimage site, of great importance, for the Hindus. It was built in the ancient times by Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch, the ruler of the region. He was a great devotee of the Goddess Durga, who got a message from the deity in his dreams to locate a site with flaming orifice and build a temple on it. The Rajah did spot the place and built a temple which we know as the jwalamukhi mandir. The unique flame is believed to be coming out of the mouth of the Goddess.

Maha Shakti Peetha

The importance of this temple lies in the fact that it is one of the fifty-one Shakti Peeths in India. According to the Puranas and ancient texts, Uma, the first wife of Lord Shiva and the daughter of King Daksha, had self-immolated after the King rebuked the Lord. Out of rage and burning grief, Shiva carried the corpse of Uma and started a dance of tantrum. The disintegrated parts of Uma’s corpse fell at various places of the earth, which became known as Shakti Peethas. The Jwalamukhi Temple is built on the site where her tongue fell.

Legends and tales

According to legends, Akbar, the emperor of India had once come to visit the Jwalamukhi Temple. He had heard of the eternal flame of the holy shrine and decided to douse the flame with steams of water. When he failed to do so, he offered a Gold umbrella out of reverence. But, within a few days, the umbrella changed into a metal, never heard of, which indicated that the Devi did not accept the offering.