Jwalamukhi Devi Temple
Recognized as one of the 51 Shaktipeeths of India, the Jwalamukhi Devi Temple, tended by the followers of Goraknath, is set against a cliff. The picturesque temple, built in the Indo-Sikh style, is a modern building whose dome is of gilt, gold and pinnacles and possesses a beautiful folding door of silver plates, presented by the Sikh Raja Kharak Singh.
Dedicated to the “Goddess of Light”, the Jwalamukhi temple is one of the most popular Hindu temples in Northern India. The temple located on a small spur on the Dharamshala-Shimla road at a distance of about 20-kms from the Jwalamukhi Road Railway Station attracts lakhs of pilgrims every year. In this temple there is a copper pipe through which natural gas comes out.
After Daksha Yoga Bhagna, Lord Shiva placed the burnt dead body of Sati on his shoulders and started wandering about in a state of madness. To save the world from the destructive wrath of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu started cutting the limbs of the dead Goddess Parvati one by one. The places where they fell became sacred centers for the worship of Shakti. The tongue of Sati fell at the place where the temple of Jwalamukhi is situated. The flames that come out of the openings in the earth?s surface are regarded as the manifestations of the fallen tongue of Sati and are worshipped as “Jwalamukhi Devi” (Goddess, who emits flames from her mouth)
It is said that Guru Gorakhnath once visited Jwalamukhi. The Jwalamukhi Devi requested Guru Gorakhnath to receive her hospitality. Gorakhnath refused to have food even if cooked and served by the Devi as people visiting her were not all strict about their food. On the Devi’s repeated request Gorakhnath agreed to cook khichiri (rice and dal mixed and boiled with some condiments and served with ghee) at her place but said he would go round begging for alms as usual and on return would cook khichiri himself. He asked the Devi to keep water boiling so that he could straightaway cook without wasting time.
The Jwalamukhi Devi agreed and kept the hot water boiling but Guru Gorakhnath has not yet returned. The Devi waited and waited and then sent her disciple Naga Arjan to trace the Guru. Naga Arjan failed and started meditating on the top of the Jwalamukhi range. He has not returned also.
The Devi then deputed another disciple Bhim to find out the whereabouts of Gorakhnath and to bring him back. Bhim traced Gorakhnath at the confluence of the Rohini and Tapti rivers. This place has come to be known as Gorakhpur. The Guru had a begging bowl, which would never get filled up though maunds of rice and dal (lintels) might be put into it. Similarly he cooked khichiri with five seers of rice and dal and the food would never be exhausted though thousands ate.
Getting there and around
The nearest airport at Gaggal in Himachal Pradesh is 50 km from Jwalaji.Chandigarh Airport is about 200 Kms .Airport at Shimla is about 160 Kms. The distance from Kullu airport in Himachal Pradesh is about 250 Kms. National & International Airport is at the national capital Delhi is about 480 Kms.
By Rail –
The nearest narrowgauge railhead is Jawalaji road Ranital at a distance of 20 km from the shrine.The nearest broadgauge railhead is Pathankot at a distance of 120kms.Chandigarh Rly Station is at a Distance of 200 Kms.
By Road –
Motorable roads connect this Shrine from Delhi, Chandigarh & Dharamshala. Taxis can be hired from these places.This all is hilly area with a beautiful scenic view all along the valley. Frequent state transport bus service is available from all important cities of Punjab, Haryana, New Delhi and J & K. The shrine is well connected by road. Frequent bus and taxi services are available. Deluxe coaches are also available at various places.
There are a number of dharamshalas, guest houses and hotels of varying quality in and around Jwala devi temple.
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