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Goddess Sati

Temple History

The main attraction of Jwala Ji Temple is the eternal flames representing the image of deity, Jwala Ji. The four cornered sanctum-sanctorum of the temple is set with a small dome and a square central pit where the sacred stone is found. The main flame of this temple keeps burning constantly. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas found in different corners of the South-East Asia. It is dedicated to Goddess Jwalamukhi, the deity of Flaming Mouth. The legend of the Jwalamukhi Temple relates to Sati. Jwalamukhi temple is the place where the tongue of Sati fell. Here the goddess is manifested as tiny flames that burn through the fissures in the age old rock. The temple of Jwalamukhi is not an architectural delight. Moreover, there is no idol to worship too. Unlike any other temple, this one doesn't have a statue or an image, but a constantly burning blue flame that seems to come from the rocks.

The building has a gilt dome and a silver plated folding doors. Inside, there is a 3 feet square pit with pathway all around. In the centre, there is a hollowed rock over a primary fissure of flame. This one is regarded as the mouth of the Mahakali. Flames emit out from several other point in the pit. They are nine in total and represent the different form of the goddess - Saraswati, Annapurna, Chandi, Hing Laj, Vindhya Vasini, Mahalakshmi, Mahakali, Ambika and Anjana. There are two lions in front of the temple.

First built by the Sikh Raja Kharak Singh, the temple is ornate and heavily embellished with a gilt dome, lots of gold and decorated pinnacles. The doors to the temple are of pure silver and of such beauty that Lord Harding is said to have had a copy made for himself. A canal channels the spring waters which come from a different source around the back of the temple and another local story states that the Emperor Akbar built this canal in an attempt to put out the flames in the temple. When it didn't work, he became an ardent devotee himself. In fact one of the local women's songs has lyrics that describe how Akbar came to the temple and placed his gold crown near the flames. The Goddess turned the gold to copper.

LEGEND OF JWALAMUKHI TEMPLE : The legend of the Jwalamukhi Temple relates to Sati, who was born when gods concentrated their individual energy on the ground. These gods were looking for a respite from the atrocities of the demons. This girl was Adishakti or the first shakti (Sati or Parvati). She was brought up in the house of Prajapati Daksha and married Lord Shiva later. It is believed that Prajapati Daksha once organised a yajna and invited everyone barring Lord Shiva. Sati felt immensely humiliated at this act of her father and immolated herself in the fire of the havankund. On hearing this, Lord Shiva became so furious that he carried Sati's burnt body and moved around the three world. The gods could foresee a calamity approaching so they assembled before Lord Vishnu and asked him to do something to diffuse the anger of lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu cut apart Sati's body into several pieces with his Sudharshan Chakra. Wherever on earth the pieces of Sati's body fell, a shaktipeeth came up. These are the spot that are regarded as the power centre of the goddess. The Jwalamukhi temple is the place where the tongue of Sati fell. Here the goddess is manifested as tiny flames that burn through the fissures in the age old rock. The temple is supposed to be first built by a king who, on the complain of a cowherd, tried to find out the place where from where a female emerged and drank the milk of the cow. Since, the king was aware of the legend of Sati, he continued his search for the place and finally succeeded. He constructed a temple there and employed priest to perform pujas. Later, Pandavas came and carried out some renovation work in the temple.

According to one legend, Lord Shiva conquered the Demon Jalandhara by burying him with mountains. The flames are believed to come from his mouth.

Devotees who worship the Goddess here believe that Jwalamukhi Mata will grant any wish, any desire and many songs are composed in honour of Jwalamukhi Devi and sung on the walk to the temple.

It is said that centuries ago, a cowherd found that one of his cows was always without milk. He followed the cow to find out the cause. He saw a girl coming out of the forest who drank the cow's milk, and then disappeared in a flash of light. The cowherd went to the king and told him the story. The king was aware of the legend that Sati's tongue had fallen in this area. The king tried, without success, to find that sacred spot. Again, some years later, the cowherd went to the king to report that he had seen a flame burning in the moutains. The king found the spot and had darshan (vision) of the holy flame. He built a temple there and arranged for priests to engage in regular worship. It is believed that the Pandavas came later and renovated the temple. The folk song that "Panjan Panjan Pandavan Tera Bhawan Banaya" bears testimony to this belief. Raja Bhumi Chand first built the temple.


 

Additional Information

The ancient temple, built against a wooded spur, has a dome that was glided by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Pilgrims consider an eternally burning flame emanating from a hollow rock in the sanctum to be a manifestation of goddess Devi. The temple comes alive with Nawaratra celebrations and colourful fairs during March-April and Sept-Oct every year.

From Kangra Airport Jwala Ji Temple is 47 KM. The nearest Narrow gauge is at Ranital, 20 KM and nearest Broad Gauge Railway Station is at Una Himachal 68 KM and Pathankot station is 111 KM away. The temple is only 350 m from Jawalamukhi Bus Stand.

Jwalamukhi temple is arround 140 km from pathankot via dharamsala. Jawalamukhi is 30 km from Kangra and 56 km from Dharamsala, You can find bus service from Pathankot.
  • 5.00 to 12.00, 16.00 to 20.00
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