|Location:||At a distance of 34 kms in south of Kangra|
|Built by:||Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch|
|Dedicated to:||Jwala ji (a form of Shakti)|
|Also known as:||Flaming Goddess|
|Attraction:||Nine flames that are burning without fuel|
|Significance:||One of the 51 Shakti Peethas|
|How to reach:||One can easily reach Jwala Devi Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring Taxis from Kangra, Himachal Pradesh|
The famous temple of Shaktipeeth Jwalamukhi is 35 km from Kangra and 53 kms from Dharamshala. Dedicated to the "GODDESS OF LIGHT", the temple is one of the most popular Hindu temples in northern India.
Jwalamukhi is a famous temple to the goddess Jwalamukhi, the deity of flaming mouth, built over some natural jets of combustible gas, believed to be the manifestation of the Goddess. Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch of Kangra, a great devotee of goddess Durga, dreamt of the sacred place and the Raja set people to find out the whereabouts of the site. The site was traced and the Raja built a temple at that location. The building is modern with a gilt dome and pinnacles, and possesses a beautiful folding door of silver plates. Under the gaze of the Dhauladhar range and set amidst the undulating hills that character sub-Himalayan Himachal Sati's tongue is believed to have fallen at Jwalamukhi and the goddess is manifest as tiny flames that burn a flawless blue through fissures in the age old rock.
The temple located on a small spur on the Dharamsala-Shimla road at a distance of about 20 km from the Jwalamukhi Road Railway Station attracts lakhs of pilgrims every year. No idol is located in the temple and the deity is worshipped in the form of flames which come out from the crevices of the rock. They are natural jets of combustible gas. 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.
The deity is offered Bhog of Rabri or thickened milk, Misri or candy, seasonal fruits, milk. There is a mystic Yantra 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. Aarti is performed five times in the day, havan is performed once daily and portions of Durga Saptasati are recited.
The Mughal Emporer Akbar, learning about the legends of Jwalamukhi tried to douse the flames with a stream of water. However , the great power of the Goddess, still kept the flames burning. Realizing the power of Jwala Devi, Akbar came with his army to this temple. He brought a Gold umbrella (Chatra) for the Goddess, but on offering, the umbrella turned into an unknown metal suggesting that the Goddess didn't accept his offering.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh paid a visit to the temple in 1815 and the dome of the temple was gold-plated by him. Just a few feet above the Jwalamukhi temple there is a six-feet deep pit with a circumference of about three-feet. At the bottom of this pit there is another small pit about one and a half feet deep with hot water bubbling all the time.
The temple is identified as one among the 52 Shakti Peethas . It is also one of the most renowned temples of Goddess Durga .
Legend about Akbar, the Mughal Emperor
During the ruling period of Akbar, he learned about the legends of Jwalamukhi. In a fit of anger, he tried to douse the flames with a stream of water. The great power of the Goddess, still kept the flames burning. Realizing the power of Jwala Devi, Akbar came with his army to this temple. He brought a Gold umbrella (Chatra) for the Goddess, but on offering, the umbrella turned into an unknown metal suggesting that the Goddess didn't accept his offering.