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Renuka Devi Temple At Sirmaur – Himachal Pradesh

Renuka Devi Temple is located around 98 kms from Ambala and 36 kms from Nahan in Sirmaur – Himachal Pradesh. The place is also known as Renuka. The holy place is famous for its temples and holy lakes.

Four Temples In Renuka Devi Temple Complex

Renuka Devi Temple complex built on the banks of the Parashurama Lake has four temples. The first one is with pink domes and beautiful murals on its outer walls, houses the ten avatars of Bhagwan Vishnu.

Facing the Vishnu avatar shrines with a Shikhara roof is the Purani Deorhi or ancient shrine of Parashurama. It houses a beautiful murti of Parashurama with his warlike accoutrements.

Behind the Parashurama shrine is a small white shrine facing the Parashurama Lake. Known as Shri Parashurameshvara Mandir, it depicts Parashurama worshipping a panchamukha linga of Shiva.

A little further one reaches a flight of stairs that takes one to a temple dedicated to Renuka Devi. She stands in the sanctum sanctorum dressed in dazzling red, holding a number of red bangles in her right hand, a sign of her devotion to her husband.

Looking up from the temple complex one can see another temple dedicated to Parashurama. It is located on aride overlooking the Parashuram Lake. This was built by the Kings of Sirmaur. An inviting structure, the temple remains locked for most of the day other than at dawn and dusk, when it is opened for aarti.

The main wooden door of the temple has a hole in it and a light is left on throughout the day to make the murti visible to devotees in the otherwise dark interior.

Holy Lakes Of Renuka Temple

Apart from the shrines, Renuka is also famous for its two holy lakes – Renuka Lake and Parashuram Lake. Since time immemorial pilgrims eager to take a holy dip in the lakes have thronged the place. An underground channel connects Renuka and Parshuram lakes.

Parashuram Lake is formed by the overflowing Renuka Lake. As one walks towards Parashuram Lake there is a life-size image of Renuka Devi enshrined in an unconventional square temple with grilled walls and a concrete roof. Further ahead is the sacred Ram Baoli, a holy tank, where devotees can take holy dip in the sacred water of Renuka Lake flowing towards the Parashuram Lake.

Renuka lake itself resembles a sleeping woman – legend tells how Renuka sacrificed herself in this lake, making it holy.

Renuka Devi Temple Fair

A popular fair is held in the temple complex in Kartik month (October – November). On the occasion, a brass murti of Parashurama travels to the temple on a silver palanquin from the neighboring Jamu Village on an adjacent hill. The priest of the temple adorns the role of an oracle and answers the queries of village in a state of trance.