The Jwalamukhi Temple, famous for being a temple without an idol, is one of India’s 51 Shakti Peethas. The temple is located 35 km south of Kangra Valley in the Himachal Pradesh town of Jwalamukhi. The temple is dedicated to Jwalamukhi, popularly known as the Flaming Goddess or ‘She of the Flaming Mouth’.

The temple is built between rolling hills and overlooks the Dhauladhar range. According to Hindu mythology, when Lord Vishnu sliced through Sati’s corpse, her tongue came out at this location. The Pandavas are said to have visited this sacred place.

Jwalamukhi is also thought to symbolise the blazing mouth of Jalandhara, the demon who was crushed to death by Lord Shiva. The flames are said to be coming from his lips. Nine continuously burning flames have been named after the goddesses – Mahakali, Annapurna, Chandi, Hinglaj, Vidhya, Basni, Maha Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ambika, and Anji Devi.
It is said that Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch of Kangra, a great devotee of Goddess Durga, dreamed of the sacred site and sent people to find it. After locating the place, the Raja built the temple there. The temple was built in a contemporary style. Its dome is constructed of gold, and the temple has a lovely folding entrance made of silver plates.

According to mythology, Akbar, the great Mughal Emperor, visited the shrine to test its authenticity after learning about the legend. Akbar attempted to put out the flames with a stream of water, but the Goddess’s enormous strength kept the flames blazing.
Recognising Jwala Devi’s power, Akbar headed his army to the temple and presented the Goddess a gold umbrella (Chatra), but soon after, the umbrella became copper, implying that the Goddess refused his sacrifice. With great humility, Akbar became a devotee of the Goddess. Today, the water drips into a tank within the temple grounds.

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