One of Hinduism’s most sacred shrines and an important centre of pilgrimage, the temple of Jwalamukhi (Jwalaji) is one of the 51 ‘Shaktipeeths’. This is located along the Shimla-Kangra highway in the Shiwalik hills. The goddess is manifest as tiny flames that burn through rock fissures.; these are regarded as embodiments of the tongue of goddess Sati. The original temple was built centuries ago at the instance of Raja Bhumi Chand of Kangra – though local belief has it that the Pandavas visited the spot and raised the first structure. The gilded dome was presented by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab after his visit in 1815. The great Mughal emperor Akbar presented a gold parasol which supposedly debased itself to iron and was taken as a sign that the goddess did not accept the offering. The aarti, prayers with chants are performed five times a day, sections of the Durga Saptasati are recited and a havan, worship with a sacred fire is done once a day. The evening aarti is considered to be the most significant; htis is when the goddess is believed to go to rest for the night in her bedchamber.
Height: 1350 m
Climate: Summers are warm and cotton clothing is recommended.
Getting There & Away: How to reach Jwalamukhi
Road: Jwalamukhi is 123 kms from Pathankot through Kangra town, 212 kms from Shimla, 473 kms from Delhi. From Dharamshala, it is 53 kms, from Kangra 37 kms, from Hamirpur 38 kms and from Hoshiarpur, in the stateof Punjab, it is 74 kms.
Rail: The nearest broad gauge rail head are Hosiarpur at a distance of 78 kms and Pathankot is at a distance of 123 kms. The closest narrow gauge railway station is Ranital at a distance of 22 kms.
Air: Nearest Airport is Gaggal which is 46 kms from Jwalamukhi.
Tourist Attractions in Jwalamukhi
Navratra fair in March-April and September-October are auspicious occasions for a pilgrimage to Jwalamukhi Temple.
Evening prayers (aarti) when goddess Jwalamukhi symbolically retires for the day has a soothing effect in visiting devotees.
The other Temples in and around the vicinity of Jwalalaji are Gorakh Dibbi, Sidh Nagarjuna, Lal Shivalaya, Ambikeshwar Temple, Tedha Mandir, Gayatri Temple, Bhairva Temple, Tara Devi, Ashtabhuj Durga Temple, Ganesh Temple, Nagni Mata Temple, Raghunathji Temple, Chamukha, Panj Teerthi, Mahakaleshwar and Baglamata.