Famous Hindu temples and pilgrim places in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is the land of Lords. It is a very beautiful place. We can see not only see the temples but many ancient palaces also. Wow! Many interesting information about those can be gathered from there also!

While returning from Vaishno Devi the first place we got down to eat was the Punjabi Dhaba. The lassi there was yamm! There we saw the dam. The dhaba was on the shore of the river dam. Any ways after finishing our meal we started our journey again.

I clicked many pictures through the car window. Sharing some of them here. On the way we came to know about a Lord Shiva temple there at Himachal. It was decorated just like Shiv Khori. Shesh Naga is around the Linga of Shiva and drop of pure water falls on the Linga. They were saying Shiv Khori also looks like that.

The waterfall

As I love water falls, I couldn't stop myself from sitting on the stones. I was so small in front of the stones I sat!

I am so small

The Gaggal airport is situated 14 km away at south-west from Dharmshala. The temples we visited are :

  • It was falling evening when we reached Kangra. We visited the Kangra devi temple, which is dedicated to Sui Mata. It is said that she was a princess. We can see the paintings of Her on the temple walls which explains about Sui Mata. She sacrificed her life for the well being of Her people of the kingdom. Shikara style is adopted to build the temple which gives it a different look from the other temples. A wooden amalaka is also seen on the top.

    As it was dark evening when we were inside the temple, we noticed that the temple authority was serving Langar, that means they were serving Prasad. So, we also joined and have that.
    A click of the people having at Langar inside temple :

    Langar at Kangra Devi

  • The next morning we woke up early in the morning to start our Devi darshan.
    Checked out the next morning
  • Jwala Ji : The temple is situated at 610m and 46 km (aprox) from the Gaggal airport. From Pathankot the shortest distance is about 123 km and if you come from Delhi by road then the distance you have to come across is 472km (approx). From Shimla is situated 212 km away from the temple.

    Anyways, select the convenient way for you from the above to reach there.
    Waiting in the queue at Jwala Ji

    There are nine different flames inside the Jwala Ji temple. Long time ago a shepherd went inside of the cave in search of its lost pet. He was the first to carry the news to the ruler emperor of that place that time. He said how the flame burns blue on its own in the rocks inside the cave. The emperor Raja Bhumi Chandra, after seeing the reality by his own eyes, decided and then ordered him men to built the original temple, they say.

    The legends' words are somewhat like the following :
    Once there ruled many demons over the mountain Himalaya and tried to harass the Gods. So, being helpless they went to the Lord of lords, lord Vishnu. He said them to destroy the evils and showed path. By being influenced by the assurance all the Gods focused on their powers and strengths that rose from the Earth in the form of a huge flame. It is said that a girl child was born from the flame, who is renowned by the name of 'Aadi Shakti' where 'Aadi' means the first or oldest and 'Shakti' means Power or Strength.
    This child was taken care by Prajapati Dakharaj. She was given the name Sati or Parvati there. She grew up soon and was the consort of lord Shiva. Once her father insulted Lord Shiva and unable to accept this, she killed herself. Strange, I don't understand where does this love go! When Lord Shiva heard the news 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 His 'Chakra' which struck Sati's body and severed it into pieces. At the places where the pieces fell, the fifty-one sacred Shaktipeeths came into being.

    Satis Story painting at Jwala Ji
    N.B. : This painting was at Jwala Ji

    Sati's tongue fell at Jwala Ji at about 610m. From then the goddess is manifest as tiny flame that burns flawless blue through fissures in the age-old rock. Even the Pandavas are regarded to have visited this sacred place, they say.

    Once the Mughal Emperor Akbar came to know that a powerful goddess lives in the cave of Himachal in the form of flame. So being a warrior he decided to test the reality of the story. He was young, of great height and strong emperor. No I've not seen him but after seeing his chhatra you'll also say that how strong he must be to carry that easily. Well, It is said that where ever He hit His sward a flame had come out. That is why now there are nine flames. The legendary story says that He then gifted His Chhatra to goddess Jwala Ji.
    The Akbars Chhatra
    There is Jwala devi's bed chamber across the courtyrd. Samrat Akbar had also installed a gold parasol. Emperor Ranjait Singh had dome gilded. Above the temple there is the shrine of Gorakhnath Babaji.

  • Chintpurni : This place is 43 km away from the Hoshiarpur railway station of Punjab. We went to this place from Jwala Ji, which is about 35 km away. Taxis and buses are available from there.

    In front of Devi Chintpurni temple

    The place where Sati's feet is said to be fell is known as Chintpurni 940 m. The other name of Devi Chintpurni is Mata Chhinnamastika which means body without head. Don't get scared. The temple is built around the Devi's pindi. There you'll get to know about a devotee named Maya.

    A view behind

    People come to worship devi here. It is said that to assuage of the thirst of blood of her companions, devi cut her own head. And that is why the name given, Devi Chhinnamastika. Devotees' strongly believe that a prayer from the bottom of true heart is always granted by Devi, here.

  • Some other temples can be seen around are :
  • Nagini Mata: Situated above Jwala Ji at about 4.5 km.

  • Naduan : Here you can see some ancient palaces also. Wow!

  • Haripur : Situated at about 45 km. Many old forts can be seen here.

  • Devi Chamunda : Situated at a height of about 1000 m approx and 28 km away from Gaggle airport. 30 km from here the nearest rail-head is Moranda (near Palampur). From the Dharmshala the distance is 15 km by the road. From Jwala Ji it will be about 55 km.

    It is said in ancient stories that once Devi Ambika got angry with two demons sent by Shambh and Ni-Shambh because they tried to harass Her. From Her anger a Goddess emerged named Kali. This devi punished and killed the two demons in the battle. Being delighted by Devi Kali, Devi Ambika declared her name to be worshiped by then and gave her the name 'Devi Chamunda', the combination of the two demons names, Chand and Mund.

    Many other places can also attract us, like - Baijnath Dham etc. And yes, If you go to the Yatri Niwas, you can also see the Devi Durga Temple on the facing hill.

  • I enjoyed the whole darshan of Devies. It was an amazing feeling too! Devi Jwala at Jwala Ji must be declared the Queen of Hills. At this Era, the 21 century, one mustn't believe but once you enter the temple at Jwala Ji, it feels like someone is there to hold and support you in real need, like a Mother, the Queen! I can't explain the feeling in words. One must go to this holy place once in life-time.

    Time to move forward

    Shall have to move on. Hope you enjoyed the journey. Have a nice day.



    Guest Author: Sujay Adusumilli04 Jul 2016

    I am on a trip to Himachal Pradesh and indeed this state is a tourist paradise. There are also a lot of pharma industries around Baddi, Solan etc that pumps the earnings of Paharis. So, Tourism alone is not what is driving Himachal. Nice to read the list of temples. I will surely want to visit a few. But, isn't temples you've listed lies so far from each other for a tourist to completely visit all the temples in a day?

    Guest Author: Rakesh Tiwari05 Feb 2017

    The information given in this post is very useful for those traveling to Himachal mainly for Pilgrim purpose. Locations can be Traced from Google Maps and Trips can be planned accordingly. Thanks for a Nice post.

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