The term “land of gods” or as called in the native language of Himachal Pradesh, “Dev Bhoomi” means that it belongs to the gods. Himachal Pradesh is very diverse and rich in its culture and there are many gods and goddesses, who belong to its ancient rituals and traditions. There are thousands of temples and holy places in Himachal and some of them are discussed here:
1 Naina Devi Temple
This temple is dedicated to the goddess Sati, who sacrificed herself to burn alive to avenge her husband. The myth tells that Lord Shiva saw this in distress and picked the corpse of Sati on his shoulder and started Taandav. This dance could have brought destruction of the entire earth, so lord Vishnu unleashed his Chakra and cut the corpse of Sati into 51 pieces. The pieces of her body, wherever fell, it became a holy place for the Hindu religion. The place, where her eyes “Naina” fell is the temple of the Naina Devi today. It was built by Raja Bir Chand in the Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh and is one of the holiest places for the Hindus.
2 Bijli Mahadev Temple
Another holy place for the Hindus is the Bijli Mahadev temple situated in the Kullu district of Himachal. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, a Hindu god worshipped as “The Destroyer” or “The Transformer” and regarded as the supreme god. The temple of Bijli Mahadev is located at an altitude of 2460 meters and can be reached after a trek of about 3 Kms on a hill. The temple is called Bijli Mahadev because of the 60 feet high staff, which attracts lightning “Bijli” and every time it destroys the “Shiv Linga”. The “Shiv Linga” is joined together with the butter, prepared with other holy stuffs on a special occasion. It is a time of celebration for the local people of the divine powers that are worshipped here.
The main attraction of the temple is
- The 60 feet high staff
- The ancient temple
- The landscape
It was built by Maharaja Bhadur Singhan and truly is a great miracle of the god and it can be understood only by visiting it.
3 Jawalamukhi Temple
Jawalamukhi temple is also one of the most famous holy places in the Hindu mythology. According to the myths, the tongue of Sati fell in this place and the temple is named after the goddess Sati. The nine flames, which burn permanently in this temple are worshipped. The temple is located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh about 55 Kms from Dharamshala, a famous tourist place.
The major attractions of this temple are
- The Aarti (Worship of the Goddess)
- The old architecture of the temple
- The beautiful Landscape of the Kangra valley
4 Baijnath Temple
Baijnath temple is a very famous temple of the Hindu God, Lord Shiva. It is just 36 Kms east of Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. According to the Hindu mythology, Ravana once worshipped Shiva in this temple. The temple was built in the 13th century. The long inscriptions engraved in the porch of the temple show that the Lord Shiva existed here even before the temple was built.
The main attractions of the temple, which attract the tourists as well as the devotees are as follows.
- The old engravings on the walls of the temple
- The ancient architecture of the temple
- The beautiful images engraved in the stone and walls
- A mega festival held here on Maha Shivratri
Besides the main temple of the Baijnath, there are several other shrines, which are located in the nearby places and are equally important. These all shrines and temples make a holy place for every Hindu, who visit here to worship Lord Shiva.
5 Baba Balak Nath Temple
The Temple of Baba Balak Nath is an important Hindu religious destination, especially in the northern Indian States. The temple is situated inside a cave in the Dhaulagiri Hills in the Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh. The temple is always filled with devotees at every time of the year. The devotees worship the Baba Balak Nath due to the miracle in Shah Talai and the meditation “Tapsya”.
The main attractions of the temple are
- The rope way facility to Shah Talai
- The incredible cave of the temple
- The scenic beauty around the temple
- The “Chaitra Mela”
The temple of Baba Balak Nath is an important pilgrim for the Hindus and they worship the saint “Baba Balak Nath”
The Land of Gods is a perfect name for Himachal as it consists of many temples, Gods and Goddesses, which cannot be found anywhere in the world. The diversity of the culture and the ways of people to live with their ancient traditions and cultures cannot be found anywhere else. The Himachal is truly an incredible and unforgettable religious place and has to be visited at least once in a lifetime.