Jwalamukhi Temple – Sati Shakti Peeth
Jwalamukhi is one among the 52 shakti peeth in India. This is 30 kms from kangra and 56 kms from Dharamshala. There is no idol, the eternal and shinning blue flame emanating from a rock sanctum is worshipped as manifestation of goddess, which is burning without any fuel or assistance. During March-April and September-October every year colourful fairs are held during the time of navratri.
Legend of Jwalamukhi Temple
Sati was daughter of king Daksha she married Lord Shiva against the wish of her father. Once King Dakha was having a yagna and he didn’t invite Lord Shiva and Sati. When Sati went to her father’s palace, he insulted Lord Shiva and Sati. Unable to bear this disrespect for her husband she killed herself, when Shiva came to know this he was enraged, he began to wonder holding the dead body of Sati in his arms and he started the dance of distruction of universe. Lord Vishnu in order to save the universe and to break this attachment of Lord Shiva cut off Sati’s body into pieces with his sudarshan chakra. Sati’s body fell at different places these places are called shakti peeth.
Jwalamukhi temple is the place where Sati’s tongue fell. These flames are burning without any fuel or assistance from ages. Inside the temple, there is a 3 feet square pit with pathway all around. In the centre of which is a hollowed rock over a primary fissure of flame. This one is regarded as the mouth of Mahakali. Nine flames in total emanate from different points in the pit and represent Saraswati, Annapurna, Chandi, Hing Laj, Vindhya Vasini, Mahalakshmi, Mahakali, Ambika and Anjana-nine form of goddess.
This Indian Temple has some great historical significance, Mughal emperor Akbar was amazed at the continuity of flame so he tried to extinguish them. He ordered to construct water channel to douse the flame, but all in vain. Finally, he submitted to the power of the goddess, he went to the shrine bare footed and presented a golden umbrella to goddess. But when leaving , he looked back with immense pride at the valuable gift he made, but he was mortified to find that the gold turned into a colossal metal.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh, gilded the roof of the temple as a thanks giving after his success in Afghan war. Later his son Khadak Singh presented a pair of silver plated folding doors to the temple.
There are 102 pujaris in the temple who perform rituals on daily rotation basis. The deity is- offered Bhog of Rabri or thickened milk, Misri or candy, seasonal fruits, milk and arti is done. There is a mystic Yantar or diagram of the goddess, which is covered with, shawls, ornaments and mantras are recited. The puja has different ‘phases’ and goes on practically the whole day. Arti is done five times in the day, Havan is performed once daily and portions of “Durga Saptashati” are recited.