Situated in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, the Jwala Devi Temple is a prominent Shakti Peeth (holy place where parts of Sati fell). It is easily accessible from Dharamshala and parts of Kangra district. The presiding goddess here is Jwala Devi. According to Hindu mythology, the tongue of Sati fell here during the Tandav of Lord Shiva. The flame (Jwala) that burns from an ancient rock fissure represents this tongue. This is what gives the temple its name. The other attraction apart from this eternally burning flame is a heavily ornamented bed of the goddess.
Architecture of Jwaladevi Temple
This temple, in the Kangra district, reflects the Indo-Sikh style of architecture. It has a simple built but exudes a divine aura. The top dome and spire is made of gold while the main door has silver plating. A brass bell that was presented by the king of Nepal, greets you at the temple entrance. This complex also houses the Gorakh Dibbi and the Chaturbhuj Temple besides the main shrine. There is no idol of the goddess present in the temple's sanctum. Offering of rabri is made to the goddess by the pit of the ceaseless flames.
Legend behind Jwala Devi Temple
Like many other temples of Himachal Pradesh, the Jwala Devi Temple is also famous for its legends. As per popular folklores, the tongue of Sati fell here after Lord Vishnu had dismembered her body to control the wrath of Lord Shiva. Parts of her body were scattered in around 51 locations in India (known as the Shakti Peeths), the Jwala Devi Temple being one.
Another legend is about the dream of Raja Chand Katoch about this holy site where this temple stands now.
How to Reach Jwala Devi Temple
There are several ways of reaching this temple. Gaggal in the Kangra district is the nearest airport. Shimla airport is around 160 km from here. The railhead of Jawaliji Road is the nearest and lies at a distance of around 20 km away from the shrine. Pathankot railhead is around 120 km from this temple. There are state and private bus services from New Delhi, Punjab and Haryana.