There are various temples scattered in and around Dharamshala. The revered Jwalamukhi Temple is one of these. It is much sought after among the devotees and pilgrims visiting Dharamshala. Placed at a distance of about 56 km from Dharamshala, it is frequented by tourists. It is one of the most popular Hindu temples of north India.
The temple is dedicated to the Goddess of Light. It is made up of a dome and peak like pinnacles. An interesting facet of the temple is that you won't find any solid image of the Goddess in the premises of the temple. Instead you will come across a perennially burning blue flame here, which is emanating from a rock. People line up to worship this blue flame. The flame is believed to represent the Goddess.
This dome of the temple has much historical significance as it was contributed by the great Mughal King Akbar. The large bell made out of brass, which is suspended at the mandap, has been gifted by the King of Nepal. The structure of design of the temple has traces of the Indo-Sikh style, and comprises of a door made out of silver. This door is a folding one and is a delight to watch. In the 18th century, the dome of the temple was enveloped in gold by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who came here to offer his prayers. Another interesting feature of the temple is the pits, placed above the temple. There are two pits and one of them has water which is extremely hot.
The Jwalamukhi temple witnesses crowds of devotees who make various offerings to the deity and seek her blessings. The characteristic bhog is offered to the Goddess. It includes rabri(a milk preparation), misri, fruits and milk. Regular arti and puja also take place within the temple. In the temple, you will also come across a diagrammatic representation of the Goddess, which is showered and ornamented with various jewels and shawls. Various sections of the holy Durga Saptasadi are also narrated. The Navratri festival has great importance here. During this occasion, the temple witnesses a gala celebration and many hundreds and thousands of devotees attend the celebration and bask in the festive spirit. Lively fests and fairs can be seen here, on this occasion. These fests commence sometime in early April and late October. So do not forget to visit this temple while enjoying your stay in the calm and peaceful Dharamshala.
Last Updated On: 2011/07/07