Naturally Occurring Flames at Jwalaji Temple

Jwalamukhi temple is revered as a Shakthi Peet where the tongue of Sati (Devi) fell. The temple is located in the town of Jwalamukhi, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. Here Devi is worshipped as Ambika and Lord Shiva as Unmatta. Devi Jwalamukhi is also referred to as “Goddess of Light”. Jwalamukhi is regarded as one of the Maha Shakti peetas. The temple is dedicated to goddess Jwalamukhi, the god of Flaming Mouth. One significant aspect about the temple is the absence of deity. The temple priest lights the natural gas that comes out of a copper pipe in the temple which (the flame) is worshipped as a manifestation of Sati or Jwalamukhi. The most amazing sight at this temple is the eternal burning of the blue flames without any fuel or any assistance emanating from a rock side. Inside the temple, is a three feet deep pit with pathway all around. In the centre of the temple is a hollowed rock, which is the main source from where the flames emanate. This is regarded as the mouth of goddess Mahakali. There are several other places in the pit from which the flames emanate. There are nine flames emanating named after goddess- Mahakali, Anpurna,Chandi, Hinglaj,Bindya Basni, MahaLakshmi, Saraswati, Ambika and Anji Devi.  Eternal burning of blue flames from the rocks must be due to the presence of some natural jets of combustible gases. There are two lions in front of the temple.

An interesting legend about the temple is that once a cowherd found that one of his cows was always devoid of milk. He followed the cow into the forest to find out about the mystery of the missing milk. He then saw a girl who drank the milk and disappeared in a jiffy. The cowherd then complained to the king.  The king was aware of the legend about Sati’s tongue having fallen at this place. He searched for the place but in vain. After some years, the cowherd reported to the king that he had seen flames coming out of the rocks. The king had a vision or darshan of the holy flames and was able to locate the place. He built a temple and arranged for the regular conduct of poojas. There was a time when demons lorded over Himalayan Mountains and troubled gods. All the gods led by Lord Vishnu decided to put an end to the demons. They focused all their energies on earth and huge flames rose from earth. From those flames, emerged a young girl, who is considered as Adi Shakthi the first Shakthi, known as Sati or Parvati.