Jawala Ji Temple




Jwala Ji is a Hindu Goddess. Alternative spelling and names for Jwala Ji include Jawala Ji, Jwala Devi and Jwalamukhi Ji. The physical manifestation of Jwala Ji is always a set of eternal flames, and the term Jwala means flame in Sanskrit (cognates: proto-Indo-European guelh, English: glow, Lithuanian: zvilti) and Ji is an honorific used in the Indian subcontinent.

Jwalaji/jawalaji (flame) or Jwala Mukhi (flame mouth) is probably the most ancient temple discussed here 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 nine flames for the nine Durgas … Several schools of Buddhism also share the symbolism of a seven-forked sacred flame.
The best known Jwala Ji shrine is located in the lower Himalayas in Jawalamukhi town of the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh state of India, about 55 kilometers from the larger town of Dharamsala. The temple style is typical of Jwala Ji shrines, four cornered, with a small dome on the top and a square central pit of hollowed stone inside where the main flame burns endlessly. An annual fair is held in the environs of the temple every July/August months during Navratras. Maa JwalaMukhi is family Goddess or Kuldevi of Gujrals and Bhatias. The temple had an associated library of ancient Hindu texts, many of which were translated from Sanskrit into Persian at the orders of Firuz Shah Tughlaq when the Delhi Sultanate overran the Kangra area. According to the legend, when Sati’s body was divided into 51 parts, Sati Mata’s tongue fell here. The flames/ Jyotis are the representation of the same. Some say that Sati’s clothes fell here. When they fell they were on fire; the fire has never blown out.

Jwalaji (flame) or Jwala Mukhi (flame mouth) is probably the most ancient temple discussed here 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. It is here that Sati’s tongue fell which can now be seen in the form of the flame.
Ancient legends speak of a time when demons lorded over the Himalaya mountains and harassed the gods. Led by Lord Vishnu, the gods decided to destroy them. They focused their strengths and huge flames rose from the ground. From that fire, a young girl took birth. She is regarded as Adishakti-the first ‘shakti’.

Known as Sati or Parvati, she grew up in the house of Prajapati Daksha and later, became the consort of Lord Shiva. Once her father insulted Lord Shiva and unable to accept this, she killed herself. When Lord Shiva heard of his wife’s death his rage knew no bounds and holding Sati’s body he began stalking the three worlds. The other gods trembled before his wrath and appealed to Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu let fly a volley of arrows which struck Sati’s body and severed it to pieces. At the places where the pieces fell, the fifty-one sacred ‘shaktipeeths’ came into being. “Sati’s tongue fell at Jawalaji (610 m) and the goddess is manifest as tiny flames that burn flawless blue through fissures in the age-old rock”.

It is said that centuries ago, a cowherd found that one of his cows was always without milk. He followed the cow to find out the cause. He saw a girl coming out of the forest who drank the cow’s milk, and then disappeared in a flash of light. The cowherd went to the king and told him the story. The king was aware of the legend that Sati’s tongue had fallen in this area. The king tried, without success, to find that sacred spot. Again, some years later, the cowherd went to the king to report that he had seen a flame burning in the mountains. The king found the spot and had darshan (vision) of the holy flame. He built a temple there and arranged for priests to engage in regular worship. It is believed that the Pandavas came later and renovated the temple. The folk song that “Panjan Panjan Pandavan Tera Bhawan Banaya” bears testimony to this belief. Raja Bhumi Chand first built the temple.

Jawalamukhi has been a pilgrimage centre for many years. The Mughal Emperor Akbar once tried to extinguish the flames by covering them with an iron disk and even channeling water to them. But the flames blasted all these efforts. Akbar then presented a golden parasol (chattar) at the shrine. However, his cynicism at the power of devi caused the gold to debase into another metal which is still unknown to the world. His belief in the deity was all the more strengthened after this incident. Thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine round the year to satisfy their spiritual urge.
Jwaladevi Temple is in Shaktinagar township in Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh. This is an old age Ashtagrih temple of Jwala Devi & one of the 51 Shaktipeethas of India. The old temple is believed to be 1000 years old. The old temple was constructed by Raja Udit Narayan Singh of Gaharwal. The new temple has been built replacing the old one. Here the tongue of Parvati is worshipped. The Idol of the main deity is located in the Sanctum Sanatorium (central place of the temple). The old black stone idol which was in the old temple has been installed along with other deities surrounding the main idol. It is believed that people offer their tongue as offerings here after their wishes are fulfilled
The “eternal flame” at the Jwala Ji shrine in the village of Muktinath is located at an altitude of 3,710 meters at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass in the Mustang district of Nepal. There is a small amount of natural gas present in the Himalayan spring that emerges near the shrine which gives the appearance of the fire burning on the water itself. This shrine is usually called the Jwala Mai (Jwala Mother) temple, and is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists.
The Baku Atashgah is a fire-temple in Surakhani, a suburb of Baku in Azerbaijan. Historically, some Hindu pilgrims have referred to it as the Baku Jwala Ji. Given that fire is considered extremely sacred in both Hinduism and Zoroastrianism (as Agni and Atar respectively), and the two faiths share some elements (such as Yajna and Yasna) from a common proto-Indo-Iranian precursor religion, there has been debate on whether the Atashgah was originally a Hindu site or a Zoroastrian one.

The presence of several Hindu inscriptions in Sanskrit and Punjabi (as opposed to only one in Persian), encounters with dozens of Hindus at the shrine or en route in the regions between North India and Baku, and assessments of its Hindu-character by Parsi dasturs have led to many scholars and officials deciding that it is a Jwala temple. There were local claims made to a visiting Parsi Dastur in the early twentieth century that the Russian czar Alexander III had also witnessed Hindu fire prayer rituals at this location.

Rate and write a review