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Jwalamukhi Devi Temple
Jawalamukhi is located in Himachal Pradesh
Location in Himachal Pradesh, India
Coordinates: 31°53′N 76°19′E / 31.88°N 76.32°E / 31.88; 76.32Coordinates: 31°53′N 76°19′E / 31.88°N 76.32°E / 31.88; 76.32
Country  India
State Himachal Pradesh
District Kangra
Elevation 610 m (2,000 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 4,931
 • Official Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Jawalamukhi is a town and a nagar panchayat in Kangra district in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.


Jawalamukhi is located at 31°53′N 76°19′E / 31.88°N 76.32°E / 31.88; 76.32.[1] It has an average elevation of 610 metres (2,001 feet).


At the 2001 India census,[2] Jawalamukhi had a population of 4931. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%.

Area Profile of Jawalamukhi Town[edit]

As of 2001 India census,[3]

  • Number of Households - 1,012
  • Average Household Size(per Household) - 5.0
  • Population-Total - 4,931
  • Population-Urban - 4,931
  • Proportion of Urban Population (%) - 100
  • Population-Rural - 0
  • Sex Ratio - 906
  • Population(0-6Years) - 608
  • Sex Ratio(0-6 Year) - 961
  • SC Population - 812
  • Sex Ratio (SC) - 961
  • Proportion of SC (%) - 16.0
  • ST Population - 0
  • Sex Ratio (ST) - 0
  • Proportion of ST (%) - 0
  • Literates - 3,777
  • Illiterates - 1,154
  • Literacy Rate (%) - 87.0

Jwalamukhi Devi Temple[edit]

Jwalamukhi is a famous temple to the goddess Jwalamukhi, the deity of flaming mouth, built over some natural jets of combustible gas, believed to be the manifestation of the Goddess. Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch of Kangra, a great devotee of goddess Durga, dreamt of the sacred place and the Raja set people to find out the whereabouts of the site. The site was traced and the Raja built a temple at that location.[4] The building is modern with a gilt dome and pinnacles, and possesses a beautiful folding door of silver plates. Under the gaze of the Dhauladhar range and set amidst the undulating hills that character sub-Himalayan Himachal Sati's tongue is believed to have fallen at Jwalamukhi and the goddess is manifest as tiny flames that burn a flawless blue through fissures in the age old rock.

In this temple there is a copper pipe through which natural gas comes out and the priest of the temple lights this. [5]

The temple located on a small spur on the Dharamsala-Shimla road at a distance of about 20 km from the Jwalamukhi Road Railway Station attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year. No idol is located in the temple and the deity is worshipped in the form of flames which come out from the crevices of the rock. They are natural jets of combustible gas. There is a small platform in front of the temple and a(check usage) big mandap where a huge brass bell presented by the King of Nepal is hung. Usually milk and water are offered and the ahutis or oblations are offered to the sacred flames in the pit, situated in the centre of the temple in between the floor pillars supporting the roof.

The deity is offered Bhog of Rabri or thickened milk, Misri or candy, seasonal fruits, milk. There is a mystic Yantra or diagram of the goddess, which is covered with, shawls, ornaments and mantras are recited. The puja has different 'phases' and goes on practically the whole day. Aarti is performed five times in the day, havan is performed once daily and portions of Durga Saptasati are recited.

The temple was looted and destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1009.[6]

The Mughal Emperor Akbar, on learning about the legends of Jwalamukhi, tried to douse the flames with a stream of water but could not succeed in doing so. Out of reverence, Akbar offered a Gold umbrella (Chatra) to the Goddess, but the umbrella turned into an unknown metal suggesting that the Goddess did not accept his offering.[7]

Maharaja Ranjit Singh paid a visit to the temple in 1815 and the dome of the temple was gold-plated by him. Just a few feet above the Jwalamukhi temple there is a six-feet deep pit with a circumference of about three-feet. At the bottom of this pit there is another small pit about one and a half feet deep with hot water bubbling all the time.

The temple is identified as one among the 52 Shakti Peethas . It is also one of the most renowned temples of Goddess Durga .[8]

The Jwalamukhi shrine as a Shakti Peeth[edit]

Main articles: Daksha Yaga and Shakti Peethas
Shiva carrying the corpse of Sati Devi

The shrine is regarded as a Maha Shakti Peetham. It is believed that Sati Devi's tongue fell here.Shakti Peethas are shrines of Devi, the primodial Mother Goddess. Each Shakti Peetha has a shrine for the Shakti and Bhairava. Siddhida (Ambika)is the Shakti and Unmatta Bhairava is the Kalabhairava. The mythology of Daksha yaga and Sati's self immolation had immense significance in shaping the ancient Sanskrit literature and even had impact on the culture of India. It lead to the development of the concept of Shakti Peethas and there by strengthening Shaktism. Enormous mythological stories in puranas took the Daksha yaga as the reason for its origin. It is an important incident in Shaivism resulting in the emergence of Shree Parvati in the place of Sati Devi and making Shiva a grihastashrami(house holder).[9][10][11]


Jwalamukhi has produced some eminent people like Major.Sohal lal Sood from (Bohan) who served in the British Indian Army and later retired as a Major. Major Sohan Lal Sud popularly known as Major S.L. Sud and was the son of Shri Gauri Nand Karol and was also the first one to get a commission in the Royal Indian Army of the British days from his community i.e Soods.Major Sood and is also credited with having introduced the Sandalwood plants in his native village.The sandalwood plants at that time were not only new to this place but for the entire northern region of India. A few plants of sandalwood numbering 3/4th have today developed into a full fleged jungle in the hills over looking the town of Jwalamukhi and this plantation has also spread to many parts of Himachal Pradesh.His three sons later on joined the Administrative services. The eldest son is Prithvi raj Sood who was also the first one to join the Foreign Services from the state and retired as an Ambassador, while the second one is Surinder Kumar Sood who joined the Indian administrative service and the youngest Ashok Kumar Sood joined the Indian Police Service in 1977 and later on retired as Additional Director General of Police from shimla in the year 2010.