“Jwalamukhi Temple” is one of the most renowned ancient temples of Goddess Durga located in the most beautiful location of the Dhauladhar range in Lower Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh, India. Within the Dhauladhar in the backdrop and set amidst the sub-Himalayan Himachal, 30 km south of Kangra valley, this renowned temple is devoted to the “GODDESS OF LIGHT”. Dedicated to the deity of goddess Jwalamukhi, this temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeethas of India. Thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine round the year to satisfy their spiritual urge.
One of its own kinds, the temple has no idol in it. An endlessly burning blue flame emerging from a rock sanctum is worshiped as an appearance of the goddess. The mystical and astonishing fact about this flame is that it is burning since time immemorial.
Maa Jwala Devi, Kangra
Myth behind The Legend Jwalamukhi Temple
Legends speak of the ancient time when demons troubled the gods over the Himalayan mountains. When the gods consulted Lord Vishnu, they made an urge to demise the demons. Hence, all of them focused their strengths to form huge flames within the ground. Prior to the fire, a young girl took birth who is regarded as Adishakti-the first ‘Shakti’.
Known as Sati (Parvati), she brought up in the house of Prajapati Daksha and later got married to Lord Shiva. Once Daksha organized Yajna but did not invite Sati and Shiva to the ceremony. Having faced the insult of her husband, Parvati killed herself. When Lord Shiva was aware of the news, he became furious and began stalking the three worlds by holding the Sati’s body. The other gods trembled and started appealing to Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu let numerous arrows which pounded Sati’s body into 51 pieces. The places where the pieces fell, emerged as ‘shaktipeeths’.
One amongst the 51 Shaktipeetha of the country, the place where Sati’s tongue fell and manifested as tiny flames through fissures in the age-old rock”, the Jwalamukhi Temple has come to existence.
Flaming Devi Jwalamukhi Shaktipeeth
Who built the Jwalamukhi Temple?
There is a story related to a cowherd who found out that a girl from the forest drank one of his cow’s milk, because of which the cow lacked the milk. He found out that after having milk, the girl got faded within few seconds. Wondering at the incidence, the cowherd narrated the whole story to the king Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch.
The king who was aware of the legend of Sati’s tongue, went out to find the sacred spot and observed a flame been burning in the mountains. He had darshan of the holy flame and constructed a temple over it in a modern “Indo-Sikh” style of architectural design and arranged priests to worship daily. Its dome is made of gold and the folding doors are made out of silver plates. Though the structural design is simple, the religious aura is what makes it completely divine. It is believed that in the later age when Pandavas visited the place have taken up the renovation work at the temple.
Inside the Jwalamukhi Temple
Jwalamukhi Temple Architecture
Within the temple, a small platform is attached at the front before entering a large mandap (hall) where a huge brass bell hangs gifted by the King of Nepal which beautifully adorns the hall. Endlessly burning, the main flame is positioned in a square central pit of hollowed stone. A musical fountain is also situated near this temple.
After entering into the Jwalamukhi temple, people find a three feet square pit with alleyway all around. The center of the pit consists a hollowed rock through which flames emit out. This one is believed as the mouth of the Mahakali.
There are total nine pits each representing different form of goddess – Ambika, Anjana, Annapurna, Chandi, Hing Laj, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Saraswati, Vindhya Vasini.
Significance of Jwalamukhi Temple
At this temple, the different ‘phases’ of puja goes on practically the entire day.
- The main attraction of the Jawalmukhi temple is the session of Aarti. The Aarti takes place five times a day but the most splendid one is Shaiyan Aarti that performed during the evening.
- Usually milk, Misri, Rabri, seasonal fruits, are offered to the sacred flames in the pit and poems of Durga Saptasati are recited with Bhakti.
- There is also a Yantra representing the goddess covered with ornaments and clothes and mantras are recited.
Mystery behind the Eternal Flame at Jwalamukhi Temple
You might be wondering about the reasons behind the burning flame at Jwala Ji temple in Kangra. The great Akbar failed, the great Indian scientists and geologists failed and even some other scientific researchers failed to validate the reason. According to beliefs, there must be surely some other phenomena that is forming the reason behind this eternal flame. However, till now no scientists or geologists couldn’t predict anything. That might be the ”Supreme Nature” of God.
Finally, everything cannot be tested and verified on principles of science and that is why it is often said: “Where the thinking boundary of Science ends, Region of Spirituality begins”.
No scientist could explain why there are nine flames in the temple, as Hindus believe Goddess Shakti has 9 forms and all these can be seen as flames in the temple.
Jwalamukhi Temple – Some facts that can be traced in this regards
- The flame burns flawless and in blue color. (Scientifically this signifies complete combustion.)
- It is burning continuously since the first date of its known history. (Scientifically the source could be renewable in nature)
- To the knowledge of the source, some believe it is nothing but a reserve of natural gas.
- The legend goes that Akbar even tried to douse this eternal flame but wasn’t successful and the same could be validated in the form of a golden umbrella which turned into copper (gift of Akbar in honor of Goddess Jwala Ji) in the temple.
- The government of India with a team of Geologists tried to get the right solution but in vain.
At the Jwala Ji temple, under the divine grace of the Goddess, the priest who performs prayers regularly remains unaffected by the eternal flame (blue in color) despite putting his hand in the flame to give blessings of “Maa” to her devotees. This can be stated as the ”Supreme Nature” of God.