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The Jawalamukhi fair is organized at the Jwaladevi temple twice a year during the celebration of the Navratri Festival in the Hindu months of Chaitra and Ashwin. This major fair features various local attractions apart from folk dances and songs and other activities such as wrestling matches, athletic events and even plays.
The Temple Of Jwala Ji
The Jwala Ji temple is among the 51 shaktipeeths and is dedicated to Jwala, the goddess with a flaming mouth. It is believed that the goddess resides here in the form of nine different flames, emerging out of the ground. The modern styled temple features a gold plated dome, constructed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, as a mark of gratitude towards the deity after his victory over the Afghans. Later his son Kharak Singh donated a pair of folding doors having silver plating.
The Legend of the Temple
There are several legends associated with the Jwalaji temple, the most prominent of which is as follows.
Once, the father of Sati, Prajapati Daksha, organized a great yajna in which he invited every god, except Lord Shiva. On learning of this, Sati forced Shiva to allow her to attend the Yajna, despite not having been invited. Finally Shiva allowed her to go alone and she reached the venue only to find that no place has been reserved for her husband. She considered this as a conscious effort to insult her husband and had an argument with her father and consequently jumped into the havankund. When Shiva learned about this, he came and took out the half burnt body of Sati from the havankund and in his depressed state carried it from one mountain peak to another. The gods, sensing the devastation that would result from the anger of Shiva, appealed to Lord Vishnu for help, who used his Sudarsana Chakra to disintegrate the body of Sati. It is said that the places where the pieces of the body fell, became the Shaktipeeths. The place where the Jwala Ji temple stands is believed to be the location where the flaming tongue of goddess Sati fell.
Significance of Jawalamukhi Fair
The Jawalamukhi fair is organized as a mark of respect for the Eternal Flame that has been emerging spontaneously and perpetually from the earth for centuries. During the fair people from all parts of India come to the temple and offer prayers by going around the “Jwala Kund” and offering coconuts and red silk flags to the goddess.
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