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Jwalamukhi Temple

Jwalamukhi Temple – Goddess of light

Surrounded by the heavenly beauty of the Kangra valley, Jwalamukhi Temple is famous and is considered extremely scared for Hindu devotees. This place is known for being a temple that doesn’t house any idol,and the worshippers pay respects to the flame inside the temple which is believed to be the manisfestation of Goddess Jwalamukhi.It is one of the 51 Shaktipeetas where Goddess Sati’s tongue fell.According to Hindu mythology,when Lord Vishnu cut Sati’s corpse by using his Chakra,her body got scattered into 51 pieces at various places where Jwalamukhi is considered as one such place where her tongue fell.The temple consists of a copper pipe from which natural gas is emitted aand priests of the temple lit it to produce a flawless blue flame.Legend has it that Lord Shiva killed Jalandra,the demon whose flaming mouth represents the Jwalamukhi(‘Jwala’ is Flame and ‘mukhi’ is ‘mouth’).The flames are believed to be coming from his mouth.A total of nine flames are ignited in the temple,which represents and also named after the nine Goddess-Mahakali,Annapurna,Chandi,Hinglaj,Vidhya, Basni,Mahalakshmi,Saraswati,Ambika and Anji Devi which burn evreyday without fail. It is believed that the Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch of Kangra,a great devotee of Goddess Durga dreamt about this scared place and ordered his soldiers to have a lookout for this place.After discovering the site,the Raja built the temple at this very location Jwalamukhi Temple is built in modern having its dome made from gold and a beautiful folding door crafted out of silver plates.

Jwalamukhi Temple

History & legend of Jwalamukhi Temple

  • Jwalamukhi Temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths. According to the hindu mythology,Sati who was a Goddess was born when Gods concentrated their entire energy on the ground.The Gods were looking for some protection from the atrocities of the demons.Goddess Sati was born and brought up by Prajati Daksha and later married Lord Shiva.Once Prajati Daksha organized a yajna in which everyone got invited except Lord Shiva.Sati felt humiliated and insulted by such act of her father.She decided to take revenge by immolating herself in the yajna. With this action of her’s,Lord Shiva became extremely furious and carried her corpse around the three worlds.
  • All the deities became furious by Lord Shiva’s act and decided to contact Lord Vishnu for his help.Lord Vishnu for his help.Lord Vishnu decided to take action and therefore cut down Sat’s body By his Sudharshan Chakra which got scattered into 51 pieces at various places,and these places are called as Shaktipeeths which is regarded as the power centre of Goddess Sati.
  • Jwalamukhi is one of the form of Maa Durga where the tongue of Sati fell.The Goddess is beleived to be the tiny flames that ignite everyday through the fissurer in the age old rocks.
  • Jwalamukhi Temple was first constructed by Raja Bhumi Chand who had a dream about this sacred place where he decided to go and search for.After discovering this place,he decided to built a temple at this very place which came to be known as ‘Jwalamukhi’.
  • The history of the temple reveals about Mughal emperor Akbar once visited this place and tried to douse the fire but did not succeed.After this incident,he submitted himself to Goddess and presented her a gold umbrella which is said to turn into copper when he looked back before leaving the temple.

Significance of Jwalamukhi Temple

  • The main feature of this place is there is no idol to worship.The temple consists of a copper pipe from where natural gas gets emitted and priests of this temple lit it to produce a flawless blue flame where worshippers pay respects to this flame which id beleived to be the manifestation of Goddess Sati.
  • Several Flames emit at various points inside the temple.There are nine in total which are given various name of different Goddesses which are Mahakali,Annapurna,Chandi,Hinglaj,Vidhya,Basni,Mahalakshmi,Saraswati,Ambika and Anji Devi which burn continuously.
  • The temple has a dome which is made of gold and the door is a beautifully crafted crossfolding which is made out of silver plates.Inside the temple,,there is a 3 feet pit having pathway all around it and this is considered as the mouth of the Mahakali Goddess.
  • At the entrance,there are two lions statues and the temple’s architecture consists of a dome and several pinnacles.There is a small platform in front of the temple and a (check usage) big mandap where a huge brass bell presented by the King of Nepal is hung. Usually milk and water are offered and the ahutis or oblations are offered to the sacred flames in the pit, situated in the centre of the temple in between the floor pillars supporting the roof.
  • Jwalaji (flame) or Jwala Mukhi (flame mouth) is probably the most ancient temple besides Vaishno Devi. It is mentioned in the Mahabharata and other scriptures. There is a natural cave where eternal flames continue to burn. Some say there are seven or nine flames for the seven divine sisters or the nine Durgas. The physical manifestation of Jwala Ji is always a set of flames burning off natural gas.

Jwalamukhi Temple timings

  • Jwalamukhi Temple gates remain open all days of the week.The visiting hours of this temple is between 5:00 am and 8:00 pm.
  • The Pooja in temple occurs in gradual stages.Havan takes place everyday and the goddess is offered bhog of Rabri(thickened milk),misry or candy apart from the regular bhog of seasonal fruits and milk.
  • Aarti is conducted five times a day where the first aarti happens early morning around 5:00 am when the temple gates open.This aarti is called as the “Mangal aarti ” and takes place just before dawn.
  • The next aarti called as “Panjupchaar pujan” is performed during sunrise.The next aarti is known as “Bhog ki aarti” where the deities are showered with fruits,milk by the devotees as a gesture of saying thank you to the goddess.The next aarti is performed around 7:00 pm and does not hold a specific name.
  • The last and the final aarti happens around 10:00 pm.This is a very special aarti known as “Saiyan ki aarti” where the bed of Devi is beautifully decorated with flowers and ornaments.The aarti is performed in two phases.The first phase happens inside the main temple and the second happens inside the sejabhavan.Apart from these five aartis,shlokas are recited daily to the deity.

Festivals celebrated at jwalamukhi temple

  • The Jwalamukhi fair is held twice a year during the Navratri of Chaitra and Aswin. The devotees go round the ‘Jwala Kund’ in which the sacred fire burns, making their offerings. The ‘Gorakh Tibbi’ a centre of the Gorakhpanthi Naths is placed near the Jwala Kund. Folk-dances, songs, plays, wrestling matches and athletics are some of the important attractions of the fair. The Jwalamukhi Temple in Kangra becomes the venue for the major fair.
  • In April and October, the people of the area who believe that the jets of the inflammable gas coming from the volcano are actually the sacred fires coming out from the mouth of their Goddess, worship the Goddess of the Jwalamukhi volcano in the district of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. People come with red silken flags (dhwaja) to greet the Mother Goddess, ‘JwalaJi’. The fair is attributed to the worship of that Eternal Flame which is coming out of earth spontaneously and perpetually.

How to reach

  • By Air: The nearest airport to Jwalamukhi Temple is Gaggal airport,Dharamsala which is located at a distance of 46km from Jwalamukhi Temple.The airport connects only three major cities i.e Delhi,Chandigarh and Kullu.Indian Airlines flies to Dharamsala thrice a week from Delhi.
  • By Rail : The nearest railway station to Jwalamukhi temple is Kangra railway station which is located at a mere distance of 2 km from Jwalamukhi Temple.The closest broadguage railhead is at Pathankot, 123 km away. Nearest narrow gauge is the mountain train at Kangra.
  • By Road : Jwalamukhi temple is arround 140 km from pathankot via dharamsala. Jawalamukhi is 30 km from Kangra and 56 km from Dharamsala, You can find bus service from Pathankot. If going by car from Delhi/ Chandigarh to Dharamshala/ Kangra follow Una-Amb-Mubarikpur, follow NH20A, Chintpurni, Dehra Gopipur, turn right on SH 22 to reach Jwala ji, come back to Ranital on NH88 to go to Kangra.

Hotels to stay

There are a lot of good rated hotels that one can find near Jwalamukhi Temple.One can accomodate these hotels which are located within 1 km radius.

Where to Eat

There are many good restaurants that one can visit after paying respects to Goddess Sati. Also Kangra is known for its various food joints that one can enjoy after visiting this place.

Nearby attractions

  • Nagini mata is a site that is located about 4.5 km from the temple where an annual fair is held in July/August which is located on the hill above Jwalamukhi.
  • Shri Raghunathji temple is about 5 km from Jwalamukhi where it is believed that Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman used to stay here.
  • Ashtabhuj is a temple located at a distance of 1 km from Jwalamukhi and is one of the ancient temples in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
  • Nadaun is a princely state about 12 kms from Jwalamukhi.There are several old temples and ruins of old temples built during the princely rule of Karota Rajahs.
  • Chaumukha temple is about 22 kms via Nadaun.The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva with a huge four faced image.Chaumukha temple has four temples,of which three doors are permanently closed.
  • Panj Teerthi and Mahakaleshwar – these are about 9 kms and 28 kms via nadaun from Jwalamukhi.These places are located by the banks of River Beas.Panj Teerthi is said to be built by Pandavas during their exile.This place is considered as scared as Haridwar.
  • Bagulamukhi temple in Bankhandi is 36 kms from Jwalamukhi.There is a stone image of goddess Bagulamukhi located there which is worshipped so that one can win over enemies.
  • Haripur is about 45 kms from Jwalamukhi.There are several attractive temples and an old fort.Haripur is a historic place where the famous Kangra miniature paintings were born.
  • Mangarh is located about 37 kms from Jwalamukhi where there is an octagonal fort named after Raja Man Chand on top of a hill.Also there is an ancient temple located near this fort which was built by Pandavas.

Jhaku Temple

Jhaku Temple

Jhaku Temple is an ancient temple situated in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. This temple is dedicated to Hindu God, Lord Hanuman. Jhaku Temple is situated on the Jhakoo Hill which is 2.5 km /1.3 miles east from the Ridge. Shimla at a height of 2,455 m (8,000 feet) above sea level.  Shimla’s highest peak offers a panoramic view of the Shivalik Ranges and the town of Sanjauli. An ancient “Lord Hanuman” temple is there and every year a big festival is held on Dushera . You can go to the temple by foot from Ridge or can hire a pony/horse. Taxis are available too.

At the top of the famous Jakhu hill is located the famous Jakhu Temple of Shimla. It is hardly 2 kilometers from the Ridge and is an uphill climb through the beautiful deodar trees. The Jhaku Temple of Simla is dedicated to the monkey God, Hanuman. The Jakhu temple is located at a height of 2455 meters and is situated on the highest peak in Shimla. The scenic view that surrounds this beautiful temple of India is absolutely breath taking and splendid.

Jhaku Temple has an interesting legend behind it. It is said that a deadly arrow injured Lord Rama’s brother Lakshmana when he was fighting the battle with the demon king Ravana. A priest diagnosed Lakshmana and said that he needed a particular Sanjeevani herb from the Himalayas to cure Lakshmana. Hanuman was sent to get that herb from he lofty mountains. Upon reaching the Himalayas, Hanuman couldn’t make out as to which herb was the Sanjeevani. So he dug up the entire mountain and flew back to where Lakshmana was lying injured.

After Lakshmana was cured, Hanuman went back to place the mountain in its original site. He rested on top of the Jakhu hill for sometime. It is said that the top of the hill got flattened due to Hanuman’s weight! The temple has been built around the place that is supposed to have the footprints of Hanuman. It is a highly revered religious place of Shimla and devotees throng in huge numbers to pray. The shrine is a hotspot for monkeys who flock here in great numbers and generously accept eatables that are given to them by devotees and tourists.

Jhaku Temple

History of Jhaku Temple

  • There is a story that Lord Hanuman stopped here to take rest while he was searching for Sanjivni Booti to bring back Lakshman to life in the epic Ramayana.
  • On arrival at the temple signs advise visitors to secure all personal belongings and beware of the monkeys, which are everywhere. This is appropriate as the temple is in honour of the Monkey Lord. Visitors must remove shoes before entering the temple.
  • There are several eateries at the Jhaku Temple site. Local visitors ring the bell for good luck before making the descent back into Shimla.
  • Just on the outskirts of this erstwhile summer capital of the British raj, a giant 108-feet-high idol of Hanuman (the Monkey God) was unveiled at Jakhoo Hanuman temple in 2010, overlooking the entire city.
  • Given its titanic size, it would not be out of place to say that monkeys will be omnipresent in this famous tourist destination which already has a large monkey population.
  • At 108 feet at the highest altitude of over 8100 feet and constructed at a cost of Rs 1.5 crores, it surpasses the statue of ‘Christ the Redeemer’, which measures at 98 feet and stands at an altitude of 2296 feet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • The moment Hanuman landed on the hill, the hill could not bear his weight. As a result, the line runs hilly ground. More than half the land went into the original mountain.
  • The name of the hill ‘Jakhu’ is. It Jakhu ‘was named after a sage named James. Hanuman bowed to the sage and received detailed information about the lifesaving herb sage promised to bring lifesaving time will surely come to the hermitage of sage.
  • Hanuman in the way ‘Kalnemi called’ war on the way stop by the monster and beat him. The bustle and Smayabav the hermitage of sage Hanuman could not. James did not want to offend sage Hanuman because vanish suddenly appeared and were making their Deity.
  • The Hanuman temple built in memory of James Wiseman. Hanuman temple where he had put his foot that steps have been made from marble. Hanuman, the monkey god blessed sage until it is mountainous, worshiped by the people will.

Significance of Jhaku Temple

  • 9 Jakhoo Hill, is a play set in a home in 1950’s Jakhoo Hill, directed by Sunit Tandon.
  • World’s tallest statue of Lord Hanuman was unveiled to public by Abhishek Bachchan on November 5th 2010.
  • Jakhu Temple is situated at Jakhu hill which is at the height of 8048feet above sea level.
  • The snowy peaks, valleys offers a panoramic view of Shimla. The religious center dedicated to Lord Hanuman ‘ridge’ is located near to it.
  • From here visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset. According to legend Manyata Ram and Ravana during the war between Lord Rama’s brother Lakshman Meghnad arrows were injured and unconscious.
  • All the time due to abortive treatment Vadyraj Susen said that one solution is left. Laxman saved the lives of Himalayan herbs can be lifesaving. I said Lord Hanuman devotee this crisis will bring lifesaving. Hanuman Himalayan and flew down the hill on the way, he ‘Jas’ walked down the hill, they saw the sage.
  • Jakhu Temple is now fitted with a giant statue of Hanuman, whose height is 108 feet. The statue was installed in 2010. Previously only 135 feet in Andhra Pradesh is a statue. Hanuman you appear anywhere in Shimla. To avoid monkeys at the gate of the temple also get stick. But if there is no tampering with the monkeys is good. It is said that the crews are Jakhu temple monkeys centuries.
  • Various trekking and mountain climbing mountaineering activities by the state government are held. Trekking path is surrounded by picturesque pine forests. Jakhu temple visitor to reach the ‘pony can also be hired. Jakhu hill by many shops in the area, which offer up to Trackers to help provide walking sticks etc.

Jhaku Temple Timings

Jhaku Temple is opened for darshan all the seven days of the week. The darshan timing starts from 7am to 8pm. It hardly takes 1 to 2 hours for darshan. There is no entry fee in the Temple.

Place to eat in Shimla

Jhaku Temple provides food to its devotees. They are free of cost and all the expenses incurred are borne by the Trustees. Once the daily Puja is over, devotees are allowed to move for food. These food are made in a very hygienic condition maintaining the dignity of the Temple. The food includes three main course and are given in plenty. All the expenses incurred are borne by the temple trust. Apart from the prasad provided in the temple, one can also have food from hotels outside the campus. These hotels provide clean and hygienic food. There are various other places to eat food. There are many hotels and cafe which provide food keeping the taste and needs of the devotees. They cost very nominal keeping the needs and budget of the tourists.

There are a lot of dishes which are given to the devotees. There are one-time free prasads served to the devotees. There are many other dishes that are served to the devotees for which they need to spend money. The food is prepared in a very hygienic conditions. All the eatables are taken good care while preparing food. Foods are prepared in a very hygienic atmosphere.

Apart from the food we get in the temple, there are many other hotels and places where one can have food. In Delhi, we can find food stalls everywhere. There are hotels and cafes like Cafe Coffee Day, Pind Balluchi, The First Floor Restaurant and many more. There are many other hotels which have nominal charges keeping the taste of the consumer in mind. They prepare food in a very clean and hygienic environment.

Places to stay

There are various dharamshala facility provided fo the devotees. The Temple Trust has themselves made dharamshalas for the devotees as well as tourists. Apart from dharamashalas, there are many hotels as well as private organizations that provide dwelling facilities to the people. The hotels have nominal charge keeping the need and budget of the devotees and the tourists. The hotels provide clean and hygiene environment to the tourists as well has good and hygienic food. Many hotels provide wifi facilities to the tourists so that they keep themselves connected to the whole world.

How to Reach- Road, Air and Rail

  • Air- The nearest airport to Jakhoo Temple is simla airport , shimla which is 10 km away from Jakhoo Temple.
  • Rail– The nearest railway station to jakhoo temple is Shimla Train Station which is 2 km away from Jakhoo Temple.

 Places to visit near Jhaku Temple

  • Kali Temple– The trek up to the Kali Temple is an amazing experience as one comes across rare species of various animals, which also makes for some interesting photography. Situated at the Jakhoo Hills, the temple is believed to be about 150 years old and houses idols of three goddesses, namely Kali, Shyamala and Chandi. Kali Devi, however, remains the prime deity of importance here and sees devotees come to offer their respects from near and far. The place is surrounded with breathtaking views of the Shivalik Range. Situated atop a grassy knoll kept judiciously manicured by the local bovine population, the temple presents two manifestations of Kali to humble and inspire you. It’s also a great spot for a picnic.
  • State Library– As you walk down the charming street of the ridge in Shimla, you can see a small colonial style building, standing as a lone structure right behind the Christ Church. It is the State Library in Shimla that was built back in 1860s. Today it’s an important structure in the city from a cultural point of view and has preserved numerous rare and age old books that awaits keen readers. It is a quaint building built in stone and timber with a sloping roof and wide wood penaled windows adding to the splendor of the structure. Try taking out some time from your schedule and visit this lovely place to find some timeless books that you have always wanted to read.
  • The Ridge– A wide open street in Shimla lying next to the Mall Road adjoining the Scandal Point is he Ridge . A hub of all activities, this place also offers a panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains around Shimla. The age old Christ church is also located on the ridge which is yet another reason for the tourists to swarm the place during the peak season. Moreover, just like the Mall road no vehicles are allowed on the ridge. This place is also where festivals like Summer Festival, New year’s Eve and Christmas are celebrated with much fervor and joy.
  • The Mall– Once you are at the Mall in Shimla, you will witness the myriad of activities happening all around the street. Tourists roaming around scrutinizing the place, locals busy with their daily activities, enthusiastic groups enjoying street food, others actively bargaining at the roadside stalls and many such scenes are a regular part of a normal day at the Mall. Vehicular movement is restricted inside the Mall Road to maintain a pristine environment as well as for the shoppers’ and tourists’ convenience. It is the most important place of the city with the presence of places like the Viceregal Lodge and the Cultural complex. Spend some quality time at the mall road on your visit to Shimla. Be it shopping or eating at your favourite food joints, Mall road will offer you with some memorable moments here.

Baijnath Temple

Baijnath Temple

Baijnath Temple of Palampur in Himachal Pradesh, is located in the Kangra district. It is located in a popular mountain resort. In 1204 AD the two regional merchants ‘Ahuk’ and ‘Mnyuk’ established Baijnath Temple, is a major attraction of Palampur and 16 km from the city located at a distance. Since the establishment of the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is constantly being built. The famous Shiva Temple of Palampur is located 22 km from Chamunda Devi Temple. Baijnath Temple is a place where people come from far and holds an important place for religious faith. This temple has devotees from all over India throughout the year and foreign tourists attracts a large number of pilgrims. Himalayan Dhauladhar mountain ranges in beautiful and green valleys nestled among the largest of the ancient Shiva temple Shiva devotee hears the tale of devotion. It is installed on the lingam it, to see who is like any ordinary Shivling. But it gives a sense unique touch to the devotees. The immense power of Shiva devotees worship Ravana because he fills the lingam, which she used to worship. According to legends Lanka Ravana wanted to take with them the lingam.

Baijnath Temple

History of Baijnath Temple

  • Treta Yuga king of Lanka Ravana meditated on Mount Kailash for Shiva’s sake. He initially denied the fruit of a severe penance. Finally he cut off the head with a fire pit, laid down in the Shiva began to pay. The tenth and final approval by Shiva appeared before decapitating grabbed the hand of Ravana. Shiva restored him all ends Ravana demanded bridesmaid.
  •  Ravana in Lanka said I want to set up the appearance of your lingam. You and me in two very strong and make their appearance. Amen said by Shiva and disappeared. Shiva lingam his appearance before vanishing before Ravana two marks on the ground that they have not.
  • Both went to Lanka to Ravana Shivling. on their way ‘Gukarn’ area (Baijnath) to reach Ravana experienced urination. He ‘Baju’ lingam explaining all things handed to name a Gwale went to prevention and suspicion.
  • Shiva’s Maya because of the weight of Baju Shivlings them and they could not endure longer placing their cattle grazing on the land left. While both the lingam was installed.
  • Ravana had kept the lingam in the casket. The casket was in front of the lingam. He was known as Chandrabal’s and the one which was towards the back was Baijnath’s known.
  • Some small temple in the courtyard of the temple and the statue of the bull Nandi. Nandi his oath of pilgrims seeking the ear.The Pandavas could not complete the temple. The exile of the Pandavas in the Dwapara Yuga the temple was built. According to locals, the remaining construction of the temple ‘Ahuk’ and ‘Mnuk’ of two businessmen in 1204 AD. Since then, the place was full, “Shivdham’s name is well known in northern India.
  • According to the mythology of Shiva Ravana meditated Treta Yuga. Despite harsh austerity Mahadev pleased when they did not cut their heads one by one at the end Ravana laid down in the fire pit, dedicated to Lord Shiva started. The tenth and final head’s been cut off by Shiva appeared before Ravana grabbed the hand of a physician, like Ravana and all the ends of the re-established.
  • Ravana was pleased with the penance demanded Shiva blessed him. Ravana in Lanka to establish the format I want your lingam. Amen said by Shiva and have disappeared. Disappeared before the Shiva lingam form the two signs before Ravana said they do not keep on the ground. Ravana of Lanka, Ravana, came and went in the way Gukarn was the urination. He caught the lingam Baju name Gwale explaining all things and went to surmise prevention.
  • Due to the weight of the Maya Shiva Baju Shivlingon them could not endure much longer and put them on earth to feed their cattle left. While both the lingam was installed. The casket was placed in the casket in front of Ravana both Shiva lingam which was known as the Cndrabal and Baijnath which he was known to the back.

Significance of Baijnath Temple

  • Baijnath Temple was built in the thirteenth century, namely the ‘vaidyanath’, meaning ‘Lord of therapy or medicines’. Baijnath Temple is situated very close to the Pathankot-Mandi national highway. The old name is ‘Kirgram’, but over time it became known as the temple and the village named ‘Baijnath’ fallen. Binwa river flows north-west end of the temple, who later joins the Beas.
  • Baijnath Temple is a fine example of extremely attractive composition of art and construction of the temple sanctorum. After entering a porch there is a large square in front of the pavilion is made, and the north and south sides are made large balcony.
  • Pavilion rests on four pillars in the front is a small porch, in front of the small temple of stone and stood under huge Nandi bull statue.
  • Baijnath Temple is surrounded by a high wall and the south and north entrances. The outer walls of the temple sculptures, statues of gods and goddesses are several vents.
  • Many of the walls are made by etching. The entrance porch leads to the inner sanctorum and Antynt door is filled with countless pictures to illustrate the beauty and importance.
  • Himalayan Dhauladhar mountain ranges in beautiful and green valleys nestled among the largest of the ancient Shiva temple Shiva devotee hears the tale of devotion. It is installed on the lingam it, to see who is like any ordinary Shivling. But it gives a sense unique touch to the devotees. The immense power of Shiva devotees worship Ravana because he fills the lingam, which she used to worship. According to legends Lanka Ravana wanted to take with them the lingam.
  • 54 km from Kangra in Himachal Pradesh and 56 km from Dharamshala Binwa Baijnath Dham lies on the banks of the river. Because of the natural beauty around her has a specific location. Say two traders in the 12th century Mnyuk and Ahuk name of the temple was built after the renovation of the temple built in Raja Sansar Chand.

Festivals celebrated at Baijnath Temple

Maha Shivaratri.
Baijnath Temple, people coming from far and holds an important place for religious faith. Baijnath Temple devotees from all over India throughout the year, foreign tourists and attracts a large number of pilgrims. Every morning and evening prayer is. Also special occasions and festivals are special prayers. Makar Sankranti, Maha Shivaratri, Vaishakh Sankranti, the festival of Shravan Monday etc are Mnaae with huge excitement and elegance. Shravan falling in prayers at the temple every Monday is considered to be particularly important. Monday of Shravan is celebrated as fair. Maha Shivaratri festival is held every year on the five-day State level.

Dussehra festival
Dussehra festival, which traditionally is celebrated to burn the effigy of Ravana, but here in Baijnath by Ravana devotion to Shiva’s penance is celebrated as the honor. Baijnath Another interesting thing about the city is not here goldsmith shop.

Bath’s importance
Flowing with milk remained at the temple Vinwa ravine bathing in the Ganga ghat has a special significance. After bathing the Shiva devotees bathe Panchamrit Bilwa get letters from him, flower, hemp, etc. Dtura Bhole Nath please pay by the sins and virtues earn their sufferings.

How to Reach Baijnath Temple

To reach Baijnath from Delhi or Chandigarh-Una via Pathankot rail, bus or private vehicle and can be reached by taxi. Delhi to Pathankot and Kangra districts Gaggal air service is also available.

By Road– The temple is situated around 10 km west of Palampur, on the Baner River and can be reached by bus or taxi.
By Rail- The nearest railhead on the narrow gauge line is at Moranda near Palampur, 30 km.
By Air– The nearest airport is Kangra airport at Gaggal near Dharamshala. It is 28 Km from Chamunda Devi Temple.

Hotels in Kangra

There are various dharamshala facility provided fo the devotees. The Temple Trust has themselves made dharamshalas for the devotees as well as tourists. Apart from dharamashalas, there are many hotels as well as private organizations that provide dwelling facilities to the people. The hotels have nominal charge keeping the need and budget of the devotees and the tourists. The hotels provide clean and hygiene environment to the tourists as well has good and hygienic food. Many hotels provide wifi facilities to the tourists so that they keep themselves connected to the whole world.

Place to eat in Kangra

Baijnath Temple provides food to its devotees. They are free of cost and all the expenses incurred are borne by the Trustees. Once the daily Puja is over, devotees are allowed to move for food. These food are made in a very hygienic condition maintaining the dignity of the Temple. The food includes three main course and are given in plenty. All the expenses incurred are borne by the temple trust. Apart from the prasad provided in the temple, one can also have food from hotels outside the campus. These hotels provide clean and hygienic food. There are various other places to eat food. There are many hotels and cafe which provide food keeping the taste and needs of the devotees. They cost very nominal keeping the needs and budget of the tourists.
There are a lot of dishes which are given to the devotees. There are one-time free prasads served to the devotees. There are many other dishes that are served to the devotees for which they need to spend money. The food is prepared in a very hygienic conditions. All the eatables are taken good care while preparing food. Foods are prepared in a very hygienic atmosphere.

Apart from the food we get in the temple, there are many other hotels and places where one can have food. In Delhi, we can find food stalls everywhere. There are hotels and cafes like Cafe Coffee Day, Pind Balluchi, The First Floor Restaurant and many more. There are many other hotels which have nominal charges keeping the taste of the consumer in mind. They prepare food in a very clean and hygienic environment.

Nearby places to visit

Kangra Fort– The Kangra Fort are located on a strategic height overlooking the Manjhi River and Ban Ganga River. The remains of the Kangra fort are still a dominating feature of the Kangra Valley. Mohammed Ghazni occupied the Kangra Fort in 1009 AD and at that time the place was called Bhima Nagar, after the name of Bhima, one of the Pandavas. Muhammed Tuglaq also conquered the fort in 1337, but could not occupy it for long. Feroz Tuglaq also plundered the fort in 1365 AD. This is known as Nagarkot, located 42 km from Palampur. There are two entrance, it is currently preserved by archaeological department. It has very beautiful entrance and very amazing.

Jwalamukhi Temple– Located at a distance of around 30 km from Kangra, the temple of Goddess Jawalamukhi is also famously called “Flaming Goddess” or “She of the flaming mouth.” Nestled in the valley of Beas, the temple of Jawalamukhi is built over some natural jets of combustible gas. It is on of shakti peeth temple, it is 35 km from Kangra dedicated to goddess light, this temple is very famous to north Indians. There are all types of facility available like hotels, restaurants etc.

Kangra Art Gallery– The Kangra Valley Art Gallery showcases artefacts that can be traced back to the 5th century. It encompasses a gallery of Kangra’s renowned miniature painting and a representative collection of pottery, sculptures and anthropological items.

Bhagsunath- The ancient temple of Bhagsunath is located 3 km east of McLeodganj and 11 km from Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. The annual fair held at the place in September is quite popular. With the forests and hilly ranges, there is also a waterfall located nearby.

Naina Devi Temple

Shri Naina Devi – Temple of Strength

One of the major attractions of Himachal Pradesh, Naina devi Temple,one of  the 51 Shaktipeeths is connected to NH-21 highway and is 70 kilometers from Bilaspur.The Temple has presiding deties belonging to both Hindu as well as Sikh community.Naina devi was named after the famous mythological story about Goddess Sati.As the temple is one of the Shaktipeeths,it therefore signifies the place of strength i.e Shakti in Hindi.

Naina Devi Temple is located on a triangular shaped hill also known as Naina Dhar hill,which is 3535 feet above the sea level.The temple attracts large number of worshippers as the place is believed to be the famous shrine of Goddess Sati.One of the popular hill resort located in Himachal Pradesh known by the name of Nainital has been named after the famous Naina devi temple.This one of the place where the devotees can have a complete spiritual experience,with breathtaking views on the way and at the temple.People from every part of the country come here to seek blessings of Naina Devi Maa.It is situated 20 kms from Anandpur Sahib and is surrounded by famous land marks of Bhakra Dam,Anadpur  Sahib and Govind Sagar lake.

Naina Devi Temple

History & legend of Naina Devi Temple

  • Naina Devi Temple is based on many mythological stories and one of the interesting story is of the Lord Shiva and Goddess Sati.
  • Goddess Sati,also known as Goddess Parvati was wife of Lord Shiva.Goddess Sati burnt herself alive in yagna(sacrificial bonfire) which distressed Lord Shiva.
  • Lord Shiva,therefore, took the corpse of his wife Sati on his shoulder and started his Tandav dance,carrying the corpse across the country,
  • This angered all the deities in the heaven.Lord Vishnu,on seeing this,decided to take action about the ongoing situation,as it would lead to holocaust,Therefore,Lord Vishnu unleased his Chakra onto Sati’s body that cut her body into 51 pieces.These pieces fell on different parts of the country and the place where this pieces fell are now known as Shaktipeeths,and thats why there are in total 51 Shaktipeeths across the entire country.Shri Naina Devi Temple is the place where eyes of Goddess Sati fell down.
  • Another story related to this temple is of a Gujjar boy named Naina.Once,he was grazing his cattle where he saw that a cow was showering milk from her udders on a stone.This continued for a few days.One night when he was sleeping,Goddess came in his dreams and told him that the stone is her Pindi.Naina told about the entire situation and his dream to Raja Bir Chand.When Raja saw this happening for real,he built a temple on that spot and named after Naina’s name.
  • Shri Naina Devi temple is also known as Mahishapeeth temple because of defeat of demon Mahishasur by the Goddess.According To legends,Mahishasur was immortal by power acquired in him given by Lord Brahma,but had one condition that only an unmarried woman would defeat him.Due to this boon,he started spreading terroe on Earth and Gods.To cope with the demon,all Gods combined their power an created a Devi (Goddess) to defeat him.When Mahishasur got mesmerized by the immense beauty of Devi,he proposed to marry her.Devi told him that she would marry him if only he overpowers her in a battle.And thats when Devi defeated demon by taking out both his eyes.As “naina” means eyes in Hindi,the temple was thus given the name as “Naina Devi”.

One more famous tale is associated with the temple is of the great Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. when he left for his military campaign against Mughals in1756,he performed a sacrificial yagna to seek blessings of the Goddess.After getting the blessings,he eventually defeated the Mughals in the battle and thats why the place is called as the  “Temple of Strength”

Significance of Naina Devi Temple

  • The temple is situated on a triangular hill which offers a great view of the foothills near Naina Dhar hill and also offers the view of beautiful Gobind Sagar lake which was created Bhakra Nangal dam.
  • The temple is dedicated to Goddess Naina,legend say its a spot where Goddess Sati’s eyes fell and hence the name.It is situated at the end of the naini lake and also its surrounding areas is really serene,positive and peaceful,a perfect place to have a getaway with your spiritual side,The moment you enter the vicinity of this temple,a calming aura of the place that take over your senses and certain lightness and calmness is experienced.Also,the temple compound provides unobstructed view of the Nanital lake.
  • The best part of this temple is there are no “holy men” distracting you,no beggars,very serene environment conducive to meditation and prayer.

Naina Devi Temple Timings

  • Naina Devi Temple gates remain open all days of the week.The visiting hours of this tempe is between 5:00 am and 7:00 pm.
  • The first morning aarti is known as the “Mangal aarti” which happens around 4:00 am in the morning when the priests open the temple gates and ring the bell to wake up the deities which is a part of daily tradition.
  • The next aarti happens around 6:00 am which is known as the “Shringaar aarti”.
  • All the rituals and poojas,shanas are done in front of devotees and by the priests who present themselves in the premises without fail everyday.
  • This is then followed by the afternoon aarti which is performed by everyone in chorus which occurs around 12:00 pm.This aarti is known as the “Madyaanh aarti”
  • Evening aarti is the best to attend as the surroundings and weather becomes serene and the worshippers get a spiritual experience and also the temple gets beautifully decorated and lit up during evening and night.There are two bells which are rang by the devotees where the sound of those big bells mesmerizes everyone.The evening aarti occurs around 6:30 pm and is the final aarti of the entire day.

Festivals celebrated at Naina Devi Temple

  • Navratras:Navratri denotes a 9-day & night festival and gives opportunity to worship Divine Goddess. Each day of Navratri is celebrated in honor of Nine Goddesses. Different forms of Goddess Durga are as following:
  • Shailputri
  • Brahmacharini
  • Chandraghanta
  • Kushmanda
  • Skandamata
  • Katyayni
  • Kaalratri
  • Mahagauri
  • Siddhidatri

Makar Sakranti: Makar Sakranti is celebrated in almost all states of the country in different cultural forms. People take dips in holy rivers like Ganga Sagar and Prayag to get blessings of Lord Sun. Makar Sakranti is celebrated as Pongal is South India, Maghi in Punjab Uttarayan in Gujarat and Magh Bihu in Assam. The festival falls on January.

Vasant Panchami: Dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, Vasant Panchami spreads yellow color all around. Goddess is dress in yellow and worshipped with Puja and Yajna. People wear yellow clothes and share yellow hue sweets with their friends & relatives. The festival falls on February .

Maha Shivratri: Also known as Great Night of Lord Shiva, Maha Shivratri is dedicated to worship of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati. Some people fast on this day while others celebrate it by reciting Shlokas and singing bhajans. The celebrations and worship continue till late night when devotees offer fruits, coconut, Ganga Jal and Bilva leaves to Lord and Goddess. The festival falls on February.

Holi: The festival of Holi is to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. According to the legends, the demon Hiranyakaship wanted to kill his son Prahlada because he was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. So, the demon made a plan with his sister Holika to kill the son. Holika tried to kill Prahlada and sat with him in fire. She died in fire and Prahlada rescued. The festival falls on March.

Ram Navami: This festival celebrates the birth of Seventh Avatar of Lord Vishnu; Shri Rama who was born on the 9th day of Chaitra month. Shri Ramchandra killed the evil king Ravana. The festival falls on April .

Raksha Bandhan: The festival of Raksha Bandhan denotes and further strengthens the bond of brother and sister. Still celebrated in a traditional manner, sister ties Rakhi on wrist of her brother and expresses her love. In return, brother promises to protect her forever and offers her gifts. The festival falls on August .

Shri Krishna Janamashtami: Also known as Sri Krishna Jayanti and Krishnaashtami, this day is celebrated as birthday of Lord Krishna. The festival falls in August.

Ganesh Chaturthi: This festival is celebrated in honor of Lord Ganesh, one of the most popular Hindu Gods and a symbol of good luck. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated by offering laddoo and milk to the Lord. The festival falls in September.

Dussehra: Also known as Vijaya Dashmi, Dussehra is celebrated as the day of victory of Shri Rama over Ravana in Satya Yug. Demon Mahishasura was also defeated by Goddess Durga on the same day. The festival falls in October.

Karva Chauth Vrat:On Karva Chauth, married ladies observe a rigorous fast without meal and water so as to pray for long lives of their husbands. Nowadays, young girls also observe this fast to get good life-partner. The festival is celebrated mostly by North Indians and falls in October.

Diwali: Diwali or Deepawali signifies the return of Lord Rama after 14-years of exile from Ayodhaya. The night of Deepawali is celebrated by lights and fireworks. The festival falls in November .

New Year Eve: Every year, the New Year Eve is celebrated with great zeal in the temple. The entire complex is decorated combined with special Pooja of Shri Naina Devi Ji.

How to reach

By Air: The nearest airport is the Chandigarh International airport which is about 100 km from Naina Devi temple.Domestic flights are available from the main cities i.e Bangalore,Delhi,Mumbai,Bhubaneshwar,Ahmedabad, Hyderabad,Kochi,Shrinagar and Chennai.One can hire taxis directly to Naina Devi Temple or can take trains running between Chandigarh railway station and Anandpur sahib by coming to chandigarh railway station from airport which is 16 kms from the airport.

By Train: Anandpur railway station is at a distance of 30 km which is the nearest railway station to Naina Devi.Devotees can hire taxis from there to reach Naina Devi bus stand where one can take Palkis to reach the destination.

By Road:The temple is connected with national Highway-21.Transport bus services are provided by the government of Punjab and Haryana from all important cities.One can also take bus from delhi which is located about 350 km from the temple.

Delhi to Naina Devi temple

By Air: Connecting flights are available from Delhi where one can reach Chandigarh airport and from there hire taxis directly to the temple.

By Train:There are trains available between Delhi and Anandpur Sahib railway staitions.One can hire taxis from Anandpur station which is situated at a distance of 30 km from the temple

By Road:Naina Devi Temple is located on the National Highway,thats why becomes easy for the worshippers coming by road.Delhi is at a distance of 350 km from the temple and transport buses are available to and fro from Naina Devi and Delhi.

Mumbai to Naina Devi Temple

By Air:Connecting flights are available from Mumbai where one can reach Chandigarh airport and from there, hire taxis directly to the temple.You can take IndiGo (flight) from Mumbai to Chandigarh then take Uhl Janshatabdi(train) from Chandigarh to Anandpur Sahib

By Train:There are no direct trains available between Chatrapati Shivaji Terminas (Mumbai) and Anandpur Sahib railway staitions.There is no direct train between Mumbai and Anandpur Sahib. The cheapest way to reach Anandpur Sahib from Mumbai is to take Swaraj Express (train)from Mumbai to Ambala Cantt then take Koaa Nldm Exp(train) from Ambala Cantt to Anandpur Sahib.

By Road:There is no direct bus between Mumbai and Anandpur Sahib. You can take Paschim Express(train) from Mumbai to Jalandhar then take State Transport Bus from Jalandhar to Anandpur Sahib

Hotels to stay

Free stay maintained by temple trustees:Trust has constructed the Patiala Dharamshala, langar and another motel near langar area that provides free staying facility to 1,000 devotees.

Paid stay maintained by temple trustees:Temple Trust has also constructed Matri Aanchal,Matri Chahya and Matri Sharan  staying shelters with a capacity of 45 rooms and 14 dormitories. The cost of staying at these places is very nominal and affordable.

Also,there are lot of Private hotels and lodges available which are at a close proximity to Naina Devi temple.Good rated hotels are available where one can accomodate.

Cuisine

  • Trust is running the shop no. 1 in the temple complex since 01-03-1994. This shop provides pure ghee sweets to the visitors that include Halwa, Besan Laddoo, Jalebi and Barfi. This shop is running on a no-profit and no-loss basis & also provides other things like coconut, hara meva and dhoop, etc.
  • There are many restaurants near Naina Devi temple where the food and ambience is good.One can explore visit these restaurants after taking the tour of Naina Devi temple.

Nearby Attractions

  • Located in the Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh, Naina Devi wildlife sanctuary is one of the most visited sanctuaries by the tourists coming to Himachal. Located at an altitude of around 500-1100 meters above sea level, the sanctuary is situated in the inner hills of Shivaliks harboring a wide variety of flora and fauna.
  • Bhakra Dam:Bhakra Dam, is situated at a height of 226 m above sea level, stuns the visitor with its sheer height. The 90 km long dam is spread over an area of 168 sq km and is a combination of Bhakra dam and Nangal dam. Bhakra dam is 13 km upstream from Nangal city and Nangal dam, on the other hand, is 13 km down-stream.
  • Gobind Sagar Lake:Gobind Sagar Lake over the Sutlej River is a huge reservoir and is the result of Bhakra Nangal, the world’s second highest gravity dam. It is a major landmark of Bilaspur District. It covers an area of 170 sq km and its length extends up to 90 km. The lake is named in honor of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last guru of Sikhs.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple

Lakshmi Narayan Temple

One of the oldest and largest temples at Chamba which stands proudly is in the form of Lakshmi Narayan Temple. It has six different temples in its complex. Lakshmi Narayan Temple was built in the 10th century. The entire temple in the complex is arranged from north to south dedicated to Lord Shiva or Vishnu. There are other temples housed in the complex including Radha Krishna Temple, Shiva Temple of Chandragupta and Gauri Shankar Temple.

Lakshmi Narayana Temple, which is the main temple of Chamba town was built by Sahil Varman in the 10th century AD. The temple has been built in the Shikhara style. The temple consists of Bimana i.e. Shikhara and GarbhGriha with a small antralya. Laxmi Narayana Temple has a mandapa like structure also. The wooden Chhattries, the shell roof, atop the temple were in response to the local climatic conditions as a protection against snowfall.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple

History of Lakshmi Narayan Temple

  • Legend states that the image of Lord Vishnu present in this temple was made of a rare marble imported from Vindhyachal Mountains. The erstwhile king of the region, Sahil Verma, who constructed this temple, sacrificed eight of his sons to get the marble. And finally, his eldest son, Yugkara succeeded to fetch the marble.
  • He was also attacked by the robbers, but with the help of a saint he managed to save himself. Thus with great effort, the idol of the Lord could be made which is the most revered one here.
  • The legend of the Lakshmi Narayan Temple has the history that Raja Sahil Verma, who constructed this temple, sent nine of his sons to the Vindhyas mountains to get marble which was suitable for the construction of the Vishnu Idol.
  • A variation of this origin of Chamba is that it originated as a hermitage which Champavati, a devout Hindu, used to frequent. The king, being suspicious of his daughter’s fidelity, one day investigated and followed her to the hermitage, but surprisingly he found neither his daughter nor the hermit there. Suddenly he was said to have heard a voice which informed him that his suspicions were ill founded, admonishing him and informing him that his daughter had been taken away from him permanently as a punishment of his lack of trust in her morals. The King, fully chastened, sought redemption for his sin by expanding the hermitage into a temple, named in his daughter’s honour and built a city around the temple. Today this temple, called the Champavati Temple, belongs to the Royal family and the King’s daughter is venerated as a goddess. Every year, since 935, the Minjar festival or fair has been held. It lasts for 21 days, coinciding with the first day of Baisakhi.
  • The remoteness and ruggedness of the Ravi River valley secured Chamba from successful invasions for around 1,000 years.
  • Since Raja Sahil Varman, the dynasty ruled without successful invasion for around a millennium, until the British gained power. The isolation of the town and its rugged hilly terrain is believed to have been a contributing factor to this unusual state of security. Later, Mughal emperors Akbar and Aurangzeb did attempt to annex Chamba but were unsuccessful in subjugating this territory into their kingdoms. Raja Prithvi Singh (1641-1664 AD), who was on amiable terms with Emperor Shahjahan was instrumental in introducing the court life styles of the Mughals.

Significance of Lakshmi Narayan Temple

  • Lakshmi Narayan Temple is the most famous temple of Chamba. It is both an architectural marvel as well as a place of great historical significance. Built by Raja Sahil Varman in the Shikhara style, it was first erected in the 10th Century.
  • Wooden Chhatris or umbrella-like structures are built to keep the snowfall off the roofs. There is also a wheel shaped roof that staves off the cold. Every following ruler of Chamba added to the temple. A Radha-Krishnan temple was built by Rani Sarda, the wife of Raja Jit Singh in 1825.
  • A Shiva Temple in the temple complex was built by Sahil Varman and the Gauri-Shankar Temple is said to have been made by his son Yugkar Varman. A Garuda (the mythical eagle) statue in metal watches over the main gate, placed there by Raja Balabhadra Verma.
  • The latest addition to the temple in historic times was in answer to Mughal threat. Apparently Aurangzeb the Emperor ordered that the temple be demolished and Raja Chhatra Singh, to prove that he wasnt afraid, added gilded pinnacles to the temple in 1678. There were also some shrines built in the temple complex. All of which you will see when you visit this most revered temple in what is known as Himachals Holy Valley.
  • The Lakshmi Narayan Temple complex is opened first between 6 am to 12.30 pm and then from 2.30 to 8.30 pm.
  • The ‘garbhagriha’ or the innermost shrine houses a mandapa (altar) that is prohibited to the public. It also has idols of several other deities.
  • The entire complex consists of six temples in a row from the north to south direction. They are mostly dedicated to Lord Shiva or Vishnu. The other important ones here are of the Gauri Shankar Temple, Shiva Temple of Chandergupta and temple of Radha and Lord Krishna. Divine symbols and images of deities adorn the outer walls of these temples.
  • The shell roofs or the umbrella like structures made of wood was built keeping in mind the climate of the place. Snowfall is inevitable in this part of the state.

How to Reach Laxmi Narayan Temple

Lakshmi Narayan temples is situated in the main market. You can reach this place by bus or taxi. So when you reached in the Chamba district then it is 200 meter from the bus stand. Its distance from various places is mainly in km are given which is approximated but not exact. From Kangra it is mainly 100 km, from Hamirpur it is 210 km, from Shimla it is nearly 350 km and from Mandi it is about 295 km.

Time to visit Laxmi Narayan Temple

The Lakshmi Narayan Temple opens up twice a day for the devotees in two halves. The Lakshmi Narayan Temple Complex is opened first between 6am to 12:30pm and then from 2:30pm to 8:30pm.

In between these periods the deities are supposed to be taking rest and at night they retire to the interiors of the temple for rest. The best season to visit Chamba for  the temple would be from between April and October.

Places to stay 

There are various dharamshala facility provided fo the devotees. The Temple Trust has themselves made dharamshalas for the devotees as well as tourists. Apart from dharamashalas, there are many hotels as well as private organizations that provide dwelling facilities to the people. The hotels have nominal charge keeping the need and budget of the devotees and the tourists. The hotels provide clean and hygiene environment to the tourists as well has good and hygienic food. Many hotels provide wifi facilities to the tourists so that they keep themselves connected to the whole world.

Places to eat

Laxmi Narayan Temple provides food to its devotees. They are free of cost and all the expenses incurred are borne by the Trustees. Once the daily Puja is over, devotees are allowed to move for food. These food are made in a very hygienic condition maintaining the dignity of the Temple. The food includes three main course and are given in plenty. All the expenses incurred are borne by the temple trust. Apart from the prasad provided in the temple, one can also have food from hotels outside the campus. These hotels provide clean and hygienic food. There are various other places to eat food. There are many hotels and cafe which provide food keeping the taste and needs of the devotees. They cost very nominal keeping the needs and budget of the tourists.

There are a lot of dishes which are given to the devotees. There are one-time free prasads served to the devotees. There are many other dishes that are served to the devotees for which they need to spend money. The food is prepared in a very hygienic conditions. All the eatables are taken good care while preparing food. Foods are prepared in a very hygienic atmosphere.

Apart from the food we get in the temple, there are many other hotels and places where one can have food. In Chamba, we can find food stalls everywhere. There are hotels and cafes like Cafe Coffee Day, Pind Balluchi, The First Floor Restaurant and many more. There are many other hotels which have nominal charges keeping the taste of the consumer in mind. They prepare food in a very clean and hygienic environment.

Festivals celebrated in Lakshmi Narayan Temple

Chamba is one of those places where Basohli effect actually reached. Two melas or fairs, also known as Jatras, are of particular note in Chamba; “Suhi Mata Mela” and “Minjar Mela”. A notable event of such fairs is when the ‘chela’. a subordinate of the deity who is being worshipped goes into a trance and answers the queries and prayers of the devotees.

An important festival held in Chamba is known as the “Suhi Mata Mela”. It is held annually in March–April for four days to commemorate the sacrifice made by the queen of Chamba with her life, to bring water to the town. The legend associated with this festival and the Sui Mata temple, built in memory of the queen (wife of Raja Sahil Varman), relates to the sacrifice she made to fulfill a prophecy in a dream, which said that water from the Sarota stream could only be accessed through an aqueduct if the queen or her son was sacrificed. Rather than kill her own son she sacrificed her own life for the town. To commemorate this event, women and children take a lead role in the festival. An image of Champavati, with banners of the Rajput solar emblem, are taken by them in a procession, dancing and singing, through the Chaugan to the Suhi Mata temple.

Another popular festival held in Chamba is the “Minjar Mela”, held on the second Sunday of the Shravana month, corresponding to the month of August in the Gregorian calendar. It marks the triumph of the Raja of Chamba over the ruler of Trigarta (now called as Kangra), in 935 AD and also celebrates the paddy and maize crops grown at this time of the year. The festival commences with offerings of ‘minjar’, consisting of a bunch of paddy plant and golden silk wrapped in red fabric. The offerings also include a rupee, a seasonal fruit, and a coconut. This occasion is also celebrated with a flag hoisting ceremony at the Chaugan that initiates a week of cultural and social programmes. The image of the deity, Lord Raghuvira, and more than 200 other deities, are taken in a procession, in a chariot pulled by ropes. Folk dances and music performances known as ‘Kunjari Malhar’ are part of the festivities. On the last day of the festival, a parade is held from the Akhand Chandi Palace to Ravi River, where offerings are made to the river. This commemorates an event in which Raja Sahil Verman changed the course of the river, to make the Hari Rai temple accessible to all devotees.

Chamba and the surrounding district have many local customs in dancing, illustrating the differences in geographical, anthropological and social cultures and religious beliefs in the area. A solo dance or a dance of two people such as the Pharati or Khad-dumbi is commonly performed during the Nuwala ceremony and other important occasions, such as marriages etc. and the Dangri and Sikri are said to be of note. Notable male dances include the Gaddi and Gujjar dances, Dandaras, Nat, Ghorda, Nachan, Dharumsde, the Khad-dumbi and the Chhinjhati. Notable female dances include the Ghurei, Dangi and Kikli, whilst dances such as the Shain, Dhamal, Sohal, Sal Kukdi Nachan, Ratege and Til-Chauti are performed by both sexes. Several forms of masked dance are also performed in Chamba, such as the Chhatradhi Jatar.

Chamunda Devi

Chamunda Devi Temple

Apart from scenic beauty, Kangra has many other places that attract a large number of tourists. This place has a very beautiful temple known as Chamunda Devi Temple. Chamunda Devi Temple is a temple of a Hindu Goddess, the supreme mother goddess. The name Chamunda is derived from two words, Chanda and Munda. Chanda and Munda were two monsters who were killed by Devi.

Chamunda Devi Temple is situated in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Chamunda is also known as Chamundi, Chamundeshwari, and Charchika. Goddess Chamunda is also one of the chief Yoginis, a group of sixty-four or eighty-one Tantric goddesses, who are attendants of the warrior goddess Durga. She is closely associated with Kali, another fierce aspect of Devi. She is sometimes identified with goddesses Parvati, Chandi or Durga as well. The goddess is often portrayed as haunting cremation grounds or fig trees. The goddess is worshipped by ritual animal sacrifices along with offerings of wine and in the ancient times, human sacrifices were offered too. Originally a tribal goddess, Chamunda Devi was assimilated in Hinduism and later entered the Jain pantheon too. Though in Jainism, the rites of her worship include vegetarian offerings, and not the meat and liquor offerings.

The famous Chamunda Devi is an abode of Shiva Shakti since the saga of Puranas. According to a legend, the Goddess Chamunda was enshrined as chief Goddess with the title of Rudra in the battle between demon Jalandhra and Lord Shiva which made this place famous as ‘Rudra Chamunda’. Another legend has it that ‘Savarni Manamantra’ battle between the gods and demons, Chamunda emerged as Chandika from an eyebrow of Goddess “Kaushiki” and was assigned the task of eliminating the demons “Chand” and “Mund”. Chandika fought a fierce battle with these two demons and, at last, killed them. Goddess Chandika took the slain heads of the two demons “Chand” and “Mund” to the Goddess “Kaushiki” who being immensely pleased, blessed Chandika and bestowed upon her the title of “Chamunda,” the name which is famous all around the world.

Chamunda Devi is worshipped daily while the sermons include ‘Aartis’ at intervals. Reciting the hymn of ‘Shat Chandi’ with devoted heart at this temple is considered auspicious. In the corner of the temple, one can see small footsteps of the Goddess on a stone. Besides the main shrine, there is a marble staircase that takes down to the cave of Lord Shiva. This is a cave-like scoop where Shiva Lingam is placed. People visit this cave and worship Lord Shiva with great devotion.

Lord Shiva is said to be one of the complex Gods of the Hindu pantheon since he is the destroyer as well as the restorer. Here, Lord Shiva is believed to have been present in the form of death, destruction, and dead bodies. One can also observe ancestral worship near the banks of Ban Ganga River. In the vicinity of this temple, there is a cremation ground that serves to 22 villages of the nearby areas.In the temple complex, there is a huge pond with images of Lords and people can take bath here. There is the sculpture of Goddess, in which, she is garlanded with serpents, scorpions, and skulls. During the time of Navratras, the temple is crowded by a large number of people. Pilgrims from far and near come to visit this temple of the great legacy and religious importance. Chamunda Devi blesses all her true devotees. The temple is situated in the picturesque beauty of lush green mountains. Many saints can be seen here involved in penance and meditation. In the past days, the image of the Goddess was situated on the hill above the present site of the temple. The site was found to be in a remote area, where it was not possible for everyone to reach and moreover, it was quite risky. There is a story behind the establishment of this temple.

Chamunda Devi

 History of Chamunda Devi Temple

  • Legends says that originally Chamunda was worshipped by the Munda people living in the Vindhya range of Central India. It is believed that these people offer animals as well as humans as offerings. They even offer liquor to Chamunda.
  • This goddess has a fierce nature because of her association with Vedic Rudra. She is even identified as fir god Agni at times.
  • The story behind this temple is that around some 400 years ago, the king and a Brahmin priest prayed to Devi for the permission to move the temple to some easily accessible location.
  • Devi appeared to the priest in a dream giving her instructions. She directed him to dig in a certain spot and an ancient idol would be found and that idol should be installed in the temple and worshipped as Her form.
  • The king sent out men to bring the idol. Although they were able to locate it but were not able to lift it. Again Devi appeared to the priest in a dream. She explained that the men could not lift the holy relic because they considered it an ordinary stone.
  • She instructed him to get up early in the morning, take a bath, wear fresh clothes and go to the place in a respectful manner. He did as he was told and found that he could easily lift what a large group of men could not. He told the people that it was the power of the Goddess that brought the idol to the temple.

Significance of Chamunda Devi Temple

  • The idol of Chamunda is made up of black and red coloured stone. In the idol, she is wearing a garland of several heads or skulls.
  • It is said she has four, eight, ten or twelve arms, holding a Damaru, trishula, sword, a snake, skull-mace, thunderbolt, a severed head and panapatra or skull-cup, filled with blood.
  • She has been described as having a skeletal body with three eyes, a terrifying face, drooping breasts, protruding teeth, long nails and a sunken belly. She is standing on a corpse of a man or seated on a defeated demon or corpse.
  • There is a scorpion sitting on her navel like a decoration. Chamunda is depicted adorned by ornaments of bones, skulls, serpents and scorpions, symbols of disease and death.
  • She also wears a Yajnopavita of skulls. Yajnopavita is worn by Hindu male priests. She wears a jata mukuta, that is, headdress formed of piled, matted hair tied with snakes or skull ornaments. Sometimes, a crescent moon is seen on her head. Her socket eyes are described as burning the world with flames.
  • She is accompanied by fiends and goblins. She is also shown surrounded by skeletons or ghosts and beasts like jackals, who are shown eating the flesh of the corpse which the goddess sits or stands on.
  • The jackals and her fearsome companions are sometimes depicted as drinking blood from the skull-cup or blood dripping from the severed head, implying that Chamunda drinks the blood of the defeated enemies. This quality of drinking blood is a usual characteristic of all Matrikas, and Chamunda in particular.
  • Sometimes she is depicted seated on an owl, her vahana. Her banner figures an eagle.

Timings of Chamunda Devi Temple

Darshan in Chamunda Devi Temple starts from 6am to 12pm and then 1pm to 9pm. The temple trust gives Naivedyam to the Goddess from 12pm to 1pm. During this time, the devotees are not allowed to enter the temple. During summer, Arti begins from 8am to 6pm whereas during the winter season it begins from 8am to 8pm.

How to reach- Road, Rail, and Air

  • By Road– The temple is situated around 10 km west of Palampur, on the Baner River and can be reached by bus or taxi.
  • By Road– The nearest railhead on the narrow gauge line is at Moranda near Palampur, 30 km.
  • By Air– The nearest airport is Kangra airport at Gaggal near Dharamshala. It is 28 Km from Chamunda Devi Temple.

Hotels in Kangra

There is various dharamshala facility provided fo the devotees. The Temple Trust has themselves made dharamshalas for the devotees as well as tourists. Apart from dharamashalas, there are many hotels as well as private organizations that provide dwelling facilities to the people. The hotels have nominal charge keeping the need and budget of the devotees and the tourists. The hotels provide clean and hygiene environment to the tourists as well has good and hygienic food. Many hotels provide wifi facilities to the tourists so that they keep themselves connected to the whole world.

Place to eat in Kangra

Chamunda Temple provides food to its devotees. They are free of cost and all the expenses incurred are borne by the Trustees. Once the daily Puja is over, devotees are allowed to move for food. These food are made in a very hygienic condition maintaining the dignity of the Temple. The food includes three main courses and is given in plenty. All the expenses incurred are borne by the temple trust. Apart from the prasad provided in the temple, one can also have food from hotels outside the campus. These hotels provide clean and hygienic food. There are various other places to eat food. There are many hotels and cafe which provide food keeping the taste and needs of the devotees. They cost very nominal keeping the needs and budget of the tourists.

There are a lot of dishes which are given to the devotees. There are one-time free prasads served to the devotees. There are many other dishes that are served to the devotees for which they need to spend money. The food is prepared in a very hygienic conditions. All the eatables are taken good care while preparing food. Foods are prepared in a very hygienic atmosphere.

Apart from the food we get in the temple, there are many other hotels and places where one can have food. In Delhi, we can find food stalls everywhere. There are hotels and cafes like Cafe Coffee Day, Pind Balluchi, The First Floor Restaurant and many more. There are many other hotels which have nominal charges keeping the taste of the consumer in mind. They prepare food in a very clean and hygienic environment.

Nearby places to visit

  • Kangra Fort– The Kangra Fort are located on a strategic height overlooking the Manjhi River and Ban Ganga River. The remains of the Kangra fort are still a dominating feature of the Kangra Valley. Mohammed Ghazni occupied the Kangra Fort in 1009 AD and at that time, the place was called Bhima Nagar, after the name of Bhima, one of the Pandavas. Muhammed Tuglaq also conquered the fort in 1337, but could not occupy it for long. Feroz Tuglaq also plundered the fort in 1365 AD. This is known as Nagarkot, located 42 km from Palampur. There are two entrance, it is currently preserved by an archaeological department. It has very beautiful entrance and very amazing.
  • Jwalamukhi Temple– Located at a distance of around 30 km from Kangra, the temple of Goddess Jawalamukhi is also famously called “Flaming Goddess” or “She of the flaming mouth.” Nestled in the valley of Beas, the temple of Jawalamukhi is built over some natural jets of combustible gas. It is on of shakti peeth temple, it is 35 km from Kangra dedicated to goddess light, this temple is very famous to north Indians. There are all types of facility available like hotels, restaurants etc.
  • Kangra Art Gallery– The Kangra Valley Art Gallery showcases artefacts that can be traced back to the 5th century. It encompasses a gallery of Kangra’s renowned miniature painting and a representative collection of pottery, sculptures, and anthropological items.
  • Bhagsunath– The ancient temple of Bhagsunath is located 3 km east of McLeodganj and 11 km from Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. The annual fair held at the place in September is quite popular. With the forests and hilly ranges, there is also a waterfall located nearby.