Table of contents for Himachal Yatra2012
After having visited Naina Devi, and viewing Bhakra Dam, we reached Jwalaji by evening. In the way I wanted to visit Praag Pur, a UNESCO Heritage village, but we lost way and reached Nadaun from where Jwalaji is just 10 Kms.
Jwalaji was buzzing with travellers, passing the main bus stand we reached Hotel Jwalaji run by HPTDC. Jwalaji is well connected by bus to Delhi, Haridwar, Chandigarh, Jullundur and Amritsar. If one wishes to come by train, there are two routes.. one is Delhi-Una by train and then Una-Jwalaji by taxi or bus. Another longer but more beautiful route is Delhi -Pathankot by train and then Pathankot – Jwalamukhi Road by toy train, a journey which you will never forget. From Jwalamukhi Road there are regular bus services to Jwalaji, which is 17 Kms from Railway Station.
There are plenty of hotels and Dharamshalas in Jwalaji. During our earlier visits, we used to stay at Kuthiala Dharamshala, the only good place then. Hotel Jwalaji, run by HPTDC is the best option now, because they have budget rates (from Rs.900 to Rs.3500 per room) and their food is clean and tasty.
Next day after getting refreshed we went to visit the temple, perhaps my 20th visit. In my first visit, I saw Jwalamukhi as a lonely temple with a few dharamshala, some shops and small temple complex where goats and sheeps were sacrificed.
Now Jwalaji has become a huge complex, with dozens of hotels, long bazars with shops and no sacrifice in the temple…tks to more and more non-himachali visiting the temple which forced the authorities to stop sacrifice in the temple. The main gate of Jwalaji opposite bus stand is donated by Dogra Regiment.
Passing the long bazar of 1 Km, among the invitations of the shopkeepers to take prashad from them we continued our journey towards the temple.
At the last shop, we kept our shoes, took some prashad and entered the Jwalaji temple.
Story of Jwalaji is well known..but just to refresh memories let me re-tell it in short. This is a sidhha peetha where Sati’s tongue fell. This is the only temple in India where there is no idol or pindi or linga to be worshipped. Instead there are 7 flames continuously burning for 1000s of years.
When Akbar came to know of this place, he tried to extinguish the flames first by bringing a rivulet from uphill, but the flames kept burning above the water. Then he tried to fix iron plates on the flames to kill them, but the flames melted the iron and came out of iron plates.
Maharaja Ranjeet Singh was also devotee of Jwalaji and donated the gold for its dome, which we can still see.
As the name suggests, Jwalamukhi village is situated on a sleeping volcano and as the scientists suggest that the natural gas reserves underneath are leaking some gasses from the fissures which is burning as Jwalaji flames. IN 60s & 70s ONGC with the help of German and Russian companies tried to extract the natural gas. But three such efforts were failed and money lost and the scientists declared that the natural gas underneath is quite low pressured and of lesser volume for any extraction. The Jwala-bhaktas took it as a defeat of science over devotion. in 1977 I had gone 3 Kms uphill to see the machinery left there by ONGC after failed attempts to get natural gas. I do not take it as a failure of science …because science is also made by God and any miracle is done with the help of scientific facts…which may be unknown to us now.
Shakti as we call it is also in natural gas, volcanoes and oil…so for me even that natural gas is worth worshipping as a direct manifestation of god….प्रभु व्यापक सर्वत्र समाना… प्रेम से प्रकट भये, हम जाना.. God is every where and it is our love which makes him manifest any where… so for me even the Natural gas flame is Jwala Devi.
It was again first time, that saw a long que…otherwise everytime, I came here and straight away entered the temple. Perhaps due to various videos on shakti peethas are causing more and more people come here.
If anyone of you are a little aware of the 10 Mahavidyas, Jwalaji is the sidha peetha of Mother Dhumavati, one of the 10 Mahavidyas. 10 Mahavidyas hold supreme place in Tantra philosophy. She is ugly, causes death of children, loss of money, brings sorrows, pains and illness…. just opposite Laxmi. No one literally worships her and people are afraid of her demonic figure. But Mother Dhumavati is very kind and compassionate. Anyone worshipping her with devotion and love gets the boon – I Dhumavati will never visit your family… means the Bhakta is free from poverty, child death and sufferings and remains happy in life.
Mother Dhumavati is adored by Tantrics and Top Tantriks of olden times, like Nagarjuna and Guru Gorakhnath did a lot of tantrik worship here. In fact, no tantra worship is complete without having a visit here.
Guru Gorakhnath was so powerful in his tapasya that Mother appeared before him and asked for a boon. Guru Gorakhnath asked her to give him khichri. With Jwalaji’s power the cold water started boiling and Guruji asked mother to wait for him till he comes back. After this Guru left Jwalaji and never returned… so that Shakti remains there as per her promise.
Gorakh Tibbi (wrongly spoken as Dibbi) is the place where that cold water is boiling. If you enter this temple, a Nath sadhu will show you the small pit where water is boiling and is cold. This is due to the fact that gas is bubbling out from the water and it looks like boiling. Then the Nath will put a burning flame on the surface of water and with a booom, the blue flame comes out of water and goes upto roof…. people cry Jai Matadi… nath gets some donation and the show is over.
Devotion or scientific marvel… both ways Gorakh Tibbi is worth visiting.
Then we visited the Shaiyya bhavan (resting place) where in the night they ritually make the goddess sleep with all her ornaments, blankets and beds. Earlier this was decorated by 10 Mahaviday fotos and mantras all over the walls. But this time they had removed them..donno why.
Above Jwalaji temple, there is another temple of Mother Tara Devi, the second Mahavidya among the 10 mahavidays.
We came back to our hotel, had the refreshments and were ready for our next destination Kangra which is about 35 Kms from Jawalamukhi
Passing by the zig-zag road, rivulets and hills we passed through the only tunnel in this way. The tunnel is very old and I am always surprised as to why they left the tunnel half-way keeping it unfinished and kuchha.
The journey towards Kangra was easy with a careful driving because the road has many dangerous curves, high hill roads and lot of traffic…
Till we reach Kangra – Jai Jwala ji ki