Kangra City Guide
Travel to Kangra, to see one of the most powerful temples of Himachal Pradesh. Located amidst lush green forests and gushing river, the Jawalaji temple is known for its flames and 'Shaktipeeth' (power of goddess). Temple attracts huge number of devotees from entire state to see the famous Aarti session, which is performed in the temple at five different timings.
The flaming temple of Himachal Pradesh, Jwalaji temple is located at a distance of 34 km south of Kangra Valley. Dedicated to Goddesses Jwalamukhi with flaming mouth, the temple is believed to have nine permanent flames named after the goddesses- Mahakali, Unpurna, Chandi, Hinglaj, Bindhya Basni, Maha Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ambika and Anji Devi. The temple is considered very powerful, hence count as one of the 51 Shakti-Pitha temples in India. Besides, there are Gorakh Dibbi, Chaturbhuj temple and many small shrines situated in the vicinity of Jwalji temple.
The Legend Associated
Raja Bhumi Chand - an originator of Katoch family of Kangra, begins the construction of the Jwalaji temple in Kangra valley and later-on the structure was completed by the Maharaja Ranjit Singh in collaboration with Raja Sansar Chand in the year 1835. Located amidst high hills of Shivalik range of Indian Himalayas, the temple remains as a famous tourists attractions throughout the India.
The legend says that a Yajna was performed by the Prajapati Daksha (father of sati), who had invited all the gods to attain the 'Yajna except Lord Shiva. Parvati the associate of Lord Shiva travelled to 'Yajna' location and found that there were no defined place for Lord Shiva. She felt so humiliated that she plunged into the Havankund of Yajna. On hearing the incident, Lord Shiva ran to the spot and found the body half burnt. The God ran to Lord Vishnu (the preserver of the universe) for help who then accumulated Sati's body into pieces. It is believed that in the process of accumulating the pieces of body some of the body parts got scattered at different locations. These places later-on came to be known as Shaktipeeths, as the power of goddess. From then, the place is regarded as one of the auspicious pilgrimage centers in Himachal Pradesh. The temple is now converted into a national heritage by the state government and in the present scenario, the temple is looked after by the 102 'Pojaris' (priests), who perform rituals on a daily rotation basis.
The building of the temple is adorned by the beautiful folding doors of silver plates, presented by Sikh Emperor Raja Kharak Singh,.The dome of the temple is beautified by the gold plated material. The interior of the temple is built in the form of a square pit about 3 feet deep with a pathway all around. Amidst the temple premises, nestles a hollow rock which is considered as the fiery mouth of Mahakali and claims to be the major attraction of the temple.
The main attraction of the temple is the Aarti session, which is performed five times a day that begins early morning then at sun rise, afternoon, evening and continues till bed time of the goddesses. Apart from these, the evening Aarti (Shaiyan Aarti), performed before bed time is unique and different. The bed of the Goddesses is piled up with rich dresses decorated with precious ornaments. Tourists from all over the state throng to the temple to attend the grand 'Puja'. During the Puja ceremony the goddesses are offered Bhog (food) that comprises of milk, sweets, fruits etc.
Morning Aarti:- 5.00 A.M
Panjupchaar Pujan (after morning Aarti)
Afternoon Aarti:- 12.00 A.M
Evening Aarti:- 7.00 A.M
Shaiyan Aarti:-10.00 P.M
How to reach
Devotees can hire private taxi from the city of Kangra or one can also take ride in the state transport buses that directly approaches towards the temple.