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Himachal Pradesh, known as the cradle of ancient culture and civilization, is home to a hub of miraculous temples that are also considered famous travel destinations. It is home to some shakti peeths, the rest of which can be found all over India. On the lap of the Himachal is the temple of Jwalaji, famous for its unexplained blazing flames that are burning from time immemorial. Read on to know more.
The Jwalamukhi temple is the origin of nine flames blazing permanently from primordial times. They are named after Goddesses Mahakali, Annapurna, Chandi, Hinglaj, Bindhya Basni, Maha Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ambika, and Anji Devi. Flames in the temple, are the abode of Goddess Jwala, which burns day and night without any external aid. It is believed that the Goddess resides in the holy flames of the temple, which miraculously burn day and night without any fuel.
Jwalamukhi Mandir: Puja Rituals And Worship Method
Jwala Devi temple is an abode of the goddess that keeps the visitor spellbound with its spectacular features and exotic surroundings. The gilded dome and the ethereal vibrations make this temple a favourite getaway for a travel enthusiast who is held enthralled by the cool vibrations of this place. Pilgrims believe that visiting the Jwalaji temple will put an end to the struggle and beginning of happy times. It is open on all the weekdays, from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and then from 4:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Navaratri is the time (March, April and September to October) during which it assumes glorious proportions, with respect to the celebrations, the observance, and the heightened festive spirit amongst the inhabitants. October is the time when special celebrations are arranged. If you love to be a part of an exuberant religious crowd and be a witness to a spiritual event, you can plan a visit to this place much beforehand. Various types of Bhog are offered to the goddess here ranging from Rabri, Misri, Chunri, milk, and flowers to exotic varieties of fruits. Every day, five aartis and one hawan are conducted. Two annual fairs are held.
Surprisingly, this temple does not have five aartis are conducted in a novel way that attracts the devotees in large numbers here. The temple conducts colourful fairs during the times of Navaratri between March -April and September-October.
Jwalamukhi Mandir: Architecture
Built-in an Indo-Sikh architectural style, on a wooden platform, Jwalamukhi Mandir has a small dome on the top with four corners. There is a square pit in the centre of the temple quadrangle that burns constantly. There are pits facing the flames where they place flowers and other offerings. The dome and spire are covered by a gold layer which was presented by Raja Ranjit Singh, and his son gifted the silver covering for the main door. The brass bell facing the shrine was a gift from Raja of Nepal.
- The greenery around contrasts pleasingly with the metallic glitter of gold and silver creating a kaleidoscopic view of the entire place.
- Jwalamukhi cave is located 1 km away from the temple which has a single opening from which waters from a spring ooze out. It earlier was known to have three such openings which closed with the passage of time and one was left, with springs of water.
- The temple was completed in the 19th century. It is also believed that Pandavas had a hand in building of this temple, during their times. This place was enshrined by Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch with a view to popularize this destination. Above the temple, we can find the shrine of Baba Gorakhnath.
Jwalamukhi Mandir: Legends And Stories
There lived a cowherd in the village of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh scores of years ago. One of his cows almost always could not provide its calf milk to drink. Intrigued by this development, the cowherd followed the cow one day and traced a little girl from the forest, coming out towards the cow and drinking the entire milk that the cow had. He reported this to Raja Bhumi, who strongly sensed a divine intervention. Therefore, he sent his soldiers to the place wherein the soliders found the nine flames blazing in a spot. He built a temple around it and called it Jwala Devi Mandir. There is a folk song which resonates with this belief and story that goes like this. "Panjan Panjan Pandavan Tera Bhawan Banaya". There is a historical background behind this occurrence.
Sati, the previous incarnation of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Shiva, grew up as the daughter of Prajapati Daksha. After her marriage to Lord Shiva, and spending sometime there in Kailas, she heard that King Daksha was going to conduct an important yaga in his palace and had called everyone except Sati and Lord Shiva. Sati, unable to contain her curiosity, visited her father's place on this day and all she heard was wily remarks about her husband from her father Daksha.
Unable to face the insult, Sati threw herself in the homagni that was set up for the yaga and succumbed to it. Lord Shiva, having heard this, was in deep agony. With a wild rage, he held the body of Sati and started roaming about the three worlds. Finally, Lord Vishnu sent his Sudarshan Chakra to shred Sati's body into pieces just to bring Lord Shiva round to his senses. At the places where Sati's severed body parts had fallen, 51 shaktipeeths were formed. Also, there is a belief that Jwalamukhi temple was where Sati's tongue portion had dropped. This is still manifesting as a blue flame that emerges through a fissure of an ancient rock.
Akbar and Jwalaji
During the Mughal period, king Akbar, out of curiosity visited this temple and tried extinguishing the flame. The more he tried, the wilder the flames grew and burnt in divine glory. This occurrence humbled Akbar so much that he paid homage to the flames by offering a golden umbrella to the goddess. Instantly, the gold in the umbrella got disfigured into an unknown metal. It was a clear signal of refusal from the Goddess. It was also attacked by Muhammad of Ghazni.
Jwalamukhi Mandir: Aarti Timings
- Mangal Aarti- Summer: 5:00 am - 6:00 am, Winter: 6:00 am- 7:00 am
- Panjupchaar Pujan is done after Mangal Aarti
- Bhog Aarti- Summer: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm Winter: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
- Evening Aarti- Summer: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Winter: 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm
- Shaiyan Aarti- Summer: 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm Winter: 8:00 pm- 9:00 pm
Jwalamukhi Mandir: Beliefs And Disbeliefs
Scientists feel there is a burning volcano under the temple that is burning as blue flames. The government of India sent a team to see if there were any reservoirs of natural gas that kept the flame burning. The team, gave up after working for some years, saying that they could not trace gas in the area.
The climate is inclined to be cold most of the time, but pleasant as well. Woollens during the winters and pieces of cotton during summers are recommended to be worn while visiting this place. Offering a coconut is a part of the rituals in the temple.
The places of visitors' interest around the Jwalaji temple are Nagini Mata. Shri Raghunath Ji temple, Ashtabhuja temple, Nadaun, Chaumukha, Pank teerth and Mahakaleshwar temple, Bankhandi, and Haripur.
Disclaimer: The information is based on assumptions and information available on the internet and the accuracy or reliability is not guaranteed. Boldsky does not confirm any inputs or information related to the article and our only purpose is to deliver information. Boldsky does not believe in or endorse any superstitions.
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