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Jwalaji Temple in Himachal Pradesh – Nine Flames Burning In Jwalamukhi Temple

Jwalaji Temple, located in Kangra District in Himachal Pradesh, is one among the 51 Shaktipeeths. This unique temple is known as Jwalaji as it does not have an idol instead there are nine flames burning continuously from the fissures in the temple. Since the Goddess is worshipped in the form of celestial flame, she is known as Jwalamukhi or Jwalaji. Nobody has been able to recognize the fuel source of the sacred flame.

Story of Jwalaji Temple

The main belief is that the eternal flame present in the shrine is the one created by Goddess Sati to perform self-immolation at Daksha Yajna.

Legend has it that the tongue of Sati (Shakti) fell here when Lord Vishnu cut the dead body of Sati into pieces to pacify Lord Shiva. Thus it is one among the 51 Shaktipeeths.

Another legend has Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva concentrated at a point on earth and from it appeared a huge flame. A young girl appeared from the flame and she then destroyed the demons that were spreading Adharma.

History of Jwalaji Temple

It is said that a cowherd found out that one of his cows never gave milk. He tracked the cow when it went for grazing and found out that it gave all its milk to a young girl who came from the forest and disappeared like a flash of light after drinking the milk. People scanned the area to find the divine girl but their search proved futile.

Years later, a shepherd accidentally discovered the nine flames. The original temple was built by the king of the region.

The temple was later renovated by Pandavas during their visit to the area.

Thousands of Devotees Come to Witness Jwalaji

Mother Goddess Shakti who is worshipped in form of flaming tongue is a very powerful deity who has the capacity to annihilate the universe when Dharma is overpowered by Adharma. The nine flames appear from the fissures of a rock.

There are no idols in the temple. The constantly burning blue flame is worshipped in the shrine.

The architecture of the temple is not great as it was rebuilt many times. The highlight of the temple is a gilt dome and silver plated folding doors.

Nine Flames – Nine Goddesses

The nine flames are believed to be nine goddesses. They are:
Mahakali,
Annapurna,
Chandi,
Hinglaj Mata,
Vindhyavasini,
Goddess Lakshmi,
Goddess Saraswati,
Ambika and
Anjani Devi

Rulers of Ancient and Modern India Attempting to Find the Source of the Flame

Believers had no problem in seeing divinity in the flames. They had no doubts. But many rulers of ancient and modern India attempted to block and find the source of the nine flames. But the attempts to block and find the source turned futile.

Mughal Emperor Akbar attempted to extinguish the flames. But when he understood about the power of the flames he donated a golden parasol. But it is said that an angry goddess changed the color of gold.

The attempts of first prime minister of India to find natural gas and oil in the region also proved to be futile.

Unique Worship and Puja in the temple

Five aartis are performed in a day in the temple. The last aarti of the day is known as Shayan Aarti and it is unique. A bed filled with flowers, dresses and ornaments are set for the Mother Goddess to sleep.

During the Shayan Aarti, Soundarya Lahari of Adi Shankaracharya is chanted daily.

Festivals
Chaitra Navratri (March - April) and Sharad Navratri (September - October) attract maximum crowd. The temple festival is observed during the Ashad Navratri (June - July).

Location of Jwalaji Temple
Jwalamukhi Temple is located in Kangra District in Himachal Pradesh. To reach the temple the ideal option is road. There are buses from important towns in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi to Jwalamukhi.

Jwalamukhi is located on National Highway 88 (Shimla to Kangra). The temple is around ½ km walk from the Bus Station. From Shimla take the Highway to Kangra.

Jwalamukhi Temple is around 205 km from Shimla.

Related
Chintpurni Temple – Chinnamastika Temple at Chintpurni in Himachal Pradesh