Last month during my trip back home in India I finally got a chance to go to a divine temple of Jwala Ji (The Goddess of Light) and it was a wonderful lifetime experience. The temple is situated on the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas(Coordinates: 31°52’48″N 76°19’12″E). Jawalamukhi, the town is named after the Goddess and is located in Kangra district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
Jwala is a Sanskrit word which means flame and Ji is a commonly used word in India to give respect. Alternative spelling and names for Jwala Ji include Jvala Ji, Jwala Devi and Jawalamukhi Ji. It is a rare Hindu temple where the physical manifestation of Goddess is a flame. The flame are based out of fissure from which some natural gas seeps out itself and burns endlessly. There are always 7 or 9 flames burning all the times.
The temple was built by King named Bhumi Chand of Kangra, a great devotee of goddess Durga. The King had a dream of the sacred place and set people to find out the
whereabouts of the site. There are lots of stories associated with this temple but the most famous one is associated with The Mughal Emperor Akbar. He once ordered to extinguish the flames by getting it covered with thick Iron plates and even channelized water through them. But all went in vain and the flames continued to burn. This forced Akbar to realize his mistake and urged him to repent. He presented a golden chattar (parasol) at the temple of the Goddess. His
disbelief at the power of the Goddess caused the gold to turn into another
metal which is still unknown to the world.
I strongly suggest if you are traveling to India and planning to visit North India, for sure have this temple on your itinerary. Besides visiting the holy shrine you can also enjoy the local food at the numerous shops near the temple. The other nearby places to visit are Kangra and the famous town of Dharamshala which is known worldwide as home to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political head of the Tibetan Buddhists.