Himachal Yatra – ज्वालामुखी

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.

 

Main bus stand, Jwalaji

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.

Hotel Jwalaji, HPTDC

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.

Main Gate for Jwalaji temple

 

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.

Way to Jwalaji temple

Way to Jwalaji temple

 

Main Gate temple complex

 

At the last shop, we kept our shoes, took some prashad and entered the Jwalaji temple.

Jwalaji Main 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.

 

Jwalaji temple

 

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.

 

Jwalaji

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.

 

Gorakh – Tibbi

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.

Shaiyya bhavan

 

Above Jwalaji temple,  there is another temple of Mother Tara Devi, the second Mahavidya among the 10 mahavidays.

Tara Devi Temple

We came back to our hotel, had the refreshments and were ready for our next destination Kangra which is about 35 Kms from Jawalamukhi

Out of Jwalaji..towards Kangra

 

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.

 

tunnel before Kangra

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

 

42 Comments

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Jai Jwala Ji ki. Never been there.

    You didn’t miss by skipping Paragpur. We went once (Judge’s court or something like this) and after looking around the property, wondered on its Unesco’s tag. We moved on to Dharamshala.

    • SilentSoul says:

      Judges court is just a part of village. I heard the whole village is Unesco heritage due to some old paintings, heritage buildings and bylanes. Perhaps one day I will visit again and show its true colors to ghumakkars

      tks for your comments

  • Laxman Bhatia says:

    jai jwala maa

  • Supreme account on Supreme power ( Shakti) .

    I am completely overwhelmed by this post. The narration was ultimate and precise and so are the photos.
    SS jee , Your posts in this series are getting better and better , each being the best one. Can’t compare . Excellent Post . SS jee . FULL MARKS.

    As per my knowledge , there are 10 manifestations of Shakti . In 9 manifestations Lord Shiva is present and united with Shakti . But the tenth one , Dhumavati , is without Lord Shiva and only and only Shakti . That is the also the reason why Maa Dhumavati is not worshiped.

    Once Sati asked Lord Shiva to give her food. When Lord Shiva declines the goddess eats him to satisfy her extreme hunger. When Lord Shiva requests her to disgorge him, she obliges. Shiva then rejects her and curses her to assume the form of a widow. This was how the Shakti Dhumavati was manifested .

    Also , name of the wife of Shani Dev is Dhumavati. Not to be mistaken with the above Mahavidya or Shakti .

    Anyways, SS jee, thanks for the Darshan of Jwalaji . I am eagerly waiting for next one.

    • SilentSoul says:

      Big thanks vishalbhai. I am so happy ! I am also overwhelmed to see your knowledge on Shakti.
      The stories may be many but 10 Mahavidyas play an important role in our life. You can read some rare material on mahavidyas here

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/saadhnaa/message/17711

      Dhumavati is worshipped by those who know her well… common people are afraid of her. No shiva means she is uncontrolled energy creating havocs. She is also called Jyestha.. the elder sister of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

      I had great fascination for Ma Dhumavati…. and had deep faith in Jwalaji. Quite later I came to know that Jwalaji is sidha Peetha of Ma Dhumavati, and my devotion has really pleased her :)

      Jai Jwalaji ki

      • Thanks SS jee for appreciating.

        But I know only some Kathas or Legends. I don’t have or understand much knowledge or gyaan of Supreme Power . I tried reading some scriptures like Sutras and Upanishads , all went in vain. I understand only some part of Bhagwadgita and that is what I am trying to catch by Supreme’s grace. So I thought rather than Gyaana, I would go for Bhakti or Karma which is easier for person like me who cannot grasp much on knowledge of supreme.

        I read your link and tried to understand but in vain , because it does not go in my head.

        Thanks.

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Thank you, SS bhai, for the wonderful description of the Jwalaji phenomena, the cold “boiling” water, the unquenchable flames, etc. As a person who teaches Natural Gas processing technology for a living, I know that there is a scientific explanation for the miracles. As a lay devotee, I am impressed.

    The ONGC did not find it viable to commercially exploit the gas reserves because Jwalaji did not allow them to. The Himalayas were formed when the Indian subcontinent collided with the Eurasian landmass. Hence, there must be millions of tons of fossils trapped under the Himalayas which have become petroleum. If there is commercial exploitation of these natural resources, it will spell doom for Planet Earth.

    Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that there are two ways of looking at miracles – everything is a miracle or nothing is; for me, everything as a miracle, a manifestation of God’s will. Science can help us understand the physical world; the metaphysical can only be known by faith.

    • SilentSoul says:

      TKS DL..!! Natural gas reserves are spread all over the world and gasses are leaking too, but there is no other place in the world where such gas flames have been burning for 1000s of years… although there is one such place in Baku where the flames burnt for a century or so but finally extinguished in 1969 (said to be due to extraction of gas underneath).

      Also there are always 7 flames (7 divine shakti sisters) or 9 flames ( nav-durga)… from my 1977 to date, I have never seen less than 7 flames…only once I saw 9 flames and that was a boon time for me :)

      something surely is divine about this place.

      tks for your valuable comments

  • Vipin says:

    Thank you very much SS Ji for sharing such a nice detailed account of Jwala Ji…you are really lucky to have visited this place so many times…we visited this shrine last year, your post revived those memories…

  • Surinder Sharma says:

    ?? ??? ?????????? ??,
    I never tried to count flame there, nice to know 7 and 9, Baku ka Hindu Mandir I read it in my text book. Well written post good photos.

    Thanks

    • SilentSoul says:

      Tks Sharmaji, the Baku mandir actually belongs to Zorosthrians but hindus also visited there and called it Jwalaji of Baku

  • KAnu says:

    interesting fact about jwalaji

  • Praveen Wadhwa says:

    Jai Jwala Devi.

    Wow! Several times I walked from Chintpurni to Dera-Gopipur but never visited Jawalimukhi. After reading you post, now I realize that I missed something very important.

    Your pictures are so good that one feels one is there.

  • vinaymusafir says:

    Jai Jwala ji,
    Very beutiful and devotional travelogue.
    You made my morning blessed.
    Thanks a lot

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    S.S.ji…
    ?? ?????? ???? ?? ??….| ???????? ??? ?????????? ?? ???? ??? ???? ?? ?????, ??????? ?????? ????? ….???? ???? ?? ????? ???…| ???? ???-??? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ????….|
    ?????????? ??? ?????? ?? ????? ???? ?? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??????? ?? ??? ?? …..?? ???? ???? ??????? ?? ??????? ?? ??? …?? ?? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ????? ?? ????? ???, ?? ?? ????| ???? ???? ?? ???? ???? ?? ???? ?? ????? ???? ???? ?? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ?? ?? ????? ??? ??? ??? ??? …| ???? ????? ?? ???? ?? ????? ?? ???? ???? ?????? ?? ????? ???? ??? ? ???? ??????? ?? ?? ???? ??? ???? ??? ???? ???? ??…?? ??? ??????? ???…| ???? ?? ???? ???? ????? ?? ???? ???? ??…..|
    ??? ???? ???? ?? ??? ?? ????? ???? ???? ??? …….???? ??? ????-???? ???????……

    • SilentSoul says:

      ??????? ????? ??, ?? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ??? ???? ??? ?????? ????. ???? ?? ????? ?? ????? ?? ??, ??? ???

      ?? ?????? ??? ??

  • Praveen Wadhwa says:

    It is very tempting to buy the same camera that you have. I checked but prices are listed for Body only so what kind of lens are you using. Anyway I don’t know anything more about these cameras.

    • SilentSoul says:

      As DL and Nandan said – it is the photographer, not the camera who shoots good fotos.

      I think imagination of person is more important, but camera too helps a lot in taking good pictures.

      I have bought two lenses one is 14mm and another is 14-42 mm. This camera works double … one as a point and shoot and the other as professional one.

      so I am using it as point and shoot for the time being till I learn the professional tactics.

      The best camera in market is now Sony NEX7, a bit costly but great…the other good choice would be Nikon 1J1. I suggest you take advice from DL also.

  • Jai Mata Di..
    I have never went to Jwala ji.. but with this travelogue ,I have virtually visited the place.
    thanks and Jai Mata Di.

  • Nirdesh says:

    Hi SSji,

    Thanks for introducing me to Jwalaji. I remember going on the same roads but to Dharamshala and Kangra Fort.

  • Dear Icelandic SS,

    It is often said that photographs don’t say anything. When we see a photograph, the response and its meaning comes to us from within. It is therefore subjective and not objective. Same is true of all places that we visit and see. All of us find ourselves responding to them in our own unique way and from our own unique perspective. My upbringing, cultural traditions, education, my own way of thinking and my present mental make up decide to a great extent how I would respond on seeing a place or photograph of something. One feels some vibrations while others doesn’t.

    As I said in my previous post also, I had visited these temples way back in 1980s but was not overwhelmed as you might have been. In fact, my father was a mix of sanatani and arya samaji. He encouraged me to read Gita, Quran, Bible, Ram Charit Manas, Vedas and Upnishads far more than he asked me to worship in front of idols. Since he was not a hardcore arya samaji, he never criticised worshipping idol. More than sitting in front of an idol of Hanuman Ji in a temple, I enjoy hearing Sundar Kand sung by Mukesh. When I hear Pt. Ram Kinkar Ji Upadhyay or read Narendra Kohli, I feel more connected with God spiritually than my paying a visit to a temple. The connect is simply not there. I bow my head in front of all gods but still, I feel I worship Him in His Niraakaar swaroop.

    Shakti is Niraakaar swaroop of God so I feel blessed when I happen to have a chance to visit such place. Hearing the story of 7 or 9 flames and scientific attempts to trace their origin interests me a lot – much more than the story of tongue of Sati dropped at this place. I feel that these stories are more figurative than literal. There are some deeper meaning attached to all these stories which I try to, but don’t understand.

    • SilentSoul says:

      Sushantji, I wrote this log as my experiences. I explained all the aspects…mythological, spiritual and scientific, in my story…. without an iota of expectations for anyone to accept my views. You enjoy the liberty of looking at something as per you mindset… and I have my liberty to explain as I think.

      For me, everthing is correct… be it idol worshipping, or book worshipping or listening to kirtan or yoga or meditation or tantra… all are various steps towards the truth…rejection of either is imperfection of our limited mind.

      When I saw the 100 deg boiling water coming out of frozen snow…here in Iceland I folded my hands to Jwalaji… after all Shakti works through different tools.. be it heat, electricity, gravitation force or chemical reactions…..all are controlled and manifested by that One divine power called Shakti in our scriptures.

  • Absolutely true. I believe that our various gods are in fact personification of different forms of energies and / or natural forces. Varun, Pawan, Laxmi, Saraswati, Jwala Ji etc., – each of them represents a particular energy or force. Seeing hot water spring in snow capped mountains is bound to bring us memory of Ma Jwala Ji. Such miracles can take place by His divine powers only.

    Moreover, we Hindus have a very long tradition of thankfulness and appreciation. Next to our own mother, cow supports us through its milk so we treat her as goddess. Mother Earth gives us food so we look at her also as goddess. Trees give us fruits and vegetables and also offer us their shade, so we pay our tributes to them also. Same is the case with river, fire, sun, moon and air.

  • Rahul says:

    Sir,

    Excellent travelblog.. We are planning Jawala mata yatra this weekend from Delhi. We are going by train up to Pathankot and from Pathankot we are planning to take state roadways bus or shared taxi to Jwala mata mandir. Just want to understand if local buses or sharing taxis ply between Pathankot-Jawala ji?
    Also advice since we are budget travelers, is dharmshalas or budget hotels available nearby?

    Many thanks Sir
    Rahul

    • SilentSoul says:

      Thanks Rahul for visiting this old story. If you really wish to enjoy I will suggest.. from Pathankot take the toy train… it will take long time but you will remember this journey all your life.

      Get down at Rani Taal (Jwalamukhi Road) station and just outside station ,you will get many buses for Jwalaji which is 17 Kms from there.

      There are not many buses from Pathankot to Jwalaji but you can take a bus to Kangra and from there lot of buses to Jwalaji….but still toy train is the best.

      Yes there are many budget hotels in Dharam Shala and Mclod gunj… if you move away from main bazar, you will find plenty of cheap options.

      In Jwalaji, there are many hotels from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 300-500 or Kuthiala Dharamshala which is the cheapest.

      Happy journey… Jai Jwala mata

  • Suunil says:

    Sir,

    I was searching how to reach Jawalaji and landed on your blog. Its well written and I could not find this type of information on any other website. I am planning to go to Jwalaji in August. My questions are:

    1. Is August is good time to go to Jwalaji?

    2. If yes then I would prefer your advise by taking toy train from Pathankot. When I try on IRCTC website, I found 1 more Pathankot station i.e. Pathankot Cantt. Which station I should get down to catch toy train i.e. Pathankot and Pathankot Cantt?

    3. Can I get ticket easily on Pathankot station for toy train or I have to book in advance?

    4. As I will be with my family, please let me know nearby attractions which I can cover within 2-3 days.

    5. Do I need to take woollen clothes?

    Thanks in Advance.

    Suunil

    • SilentSoul says:

      Thanks Sunil for reading my blog….the answers to your questions :-

      1- Yes August is a good time… In July there is a big fair, so the crowd is gone in August. You may even find the temple almost empty and can enjoy the darshan freely.

      2- Earlier place called Chakki Bank has been renamed as Pathankot Cantt. The toy trains starts from Main Pathankot (city) station.

      3- Yes the tickets for toy train are easily available one hour before train starts….there is normally no rush on toy train. the platform for toy train is inside the Pathankot station itself… just opposite to the one where you will disembark from the train from Delhi.

      4- There are many attractions around Jwalaji, most of them you will find in my blog. Chintapurni, Masrur rock cut temple, Kangra fort ruins, Chamunda temple, Palampur tea gardens, Mcload gunj are some of the nearby places which are not to be missed… you will get info about most of them in my blogs (only in Mcload gunj -you may need warm clothing for night…all other places are hot)

      5- If you wish to enjoy the toy train then only you should go via Pathankot… otherwise short route is… go to Delhi- Una by train and there are many buses and taxis from Una to Jwalamukhi… there is a delux bus also from ISBT to Jwalamukhi direct overnite.

      Happy journey and Jai Jwala Mai

  • Suunil says:

    I appreciate your prompt response Sir. I will go through all your blogs and plan accordingly. I would like to enjoy toy train and it is my childhood dream but this time I will enjoy with my children. :)

    Till now my understanding is after reaching Jwalaji, I can take taxi to go to all the places which you mentioned in your reply. If yes, could you give me some idea of taxi fare?

    Again thank you very much for helping me.

    Jai Jwala Mai

    • SilentSoul says:

      Dear Sunil,

      You need taxi to go to Masrur only… all other places are well connected with buses and remember HPRTC
      buses are quick, not crowded and clean.

      From jwalamukhi take bus to Ranital from where you can take taxi to Masrur and back… (i dont know the rates but it needs lot of bargaining)… then there is bus upto Kangra, Chamunda and Palampur… and from there you get direct bus to Dharamsala. From Dharamsala lot of buses and shared taxis are available for Mcloadgunj.

      From Mcloadgunj there is a direct Volvo to Delhi in the night. 11 Kms down in Dharamshala there are many overnite buses to Delhi.

      If you have return booked from Pathankot then you can take toy train from Kangra Mandir station.. or direct bus to Pathankot from Dharamshala or Kangra.

      • Rajeev Sharma says:

        Sir,

        I want to visit Maa Jawala Ji. I prefer to travel by Train.

        Can you guide me how to plan my journey from Delhi.

        How much time / day are require to visit maa jawala ji & its sorrounding places.

        Kindly reply me at keshav3024@gmail.com

  • Suunil says:

    WOW!!! Great information Sir. I have taken out print and kept for the future reference.

    I would prefer taxi instead of bus as my daughter (6 years old) can’t travel in bus. She starts throwing up when in bus or car. But we can stop car whenever we want.

    I am collecting more information for hotels/guest houses, total time and cost, etc. I may bother you again, if needed.

    Again thanks for the great information.

    Suunil

  • Spirit says:

    Hi
    Just a curiosity. I have read on the net and here that Jwala Devi is connected to Ma Dhoomavati. But how. Is it somewhere in the scriptures or it is something else. Can anyone clarify the relation of the two manifestations.

    Thanks

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