Himanchal Popularly known as the Devbhumi – "Land of
the Gods", Himachal Pradesh is a beautiful hill state in India, nestles in
north-west region of western Himalayas. The state is landlocked with the
Tibetan plateau to the east, Jammu and Kashmir to the north, and the Punjab
to the west. However, the state stands apart from its neighbours in terms of
its sheer topographic diversity and breathtaking pristine natural beauty.
From vast tracts of high-altitude Trans-Himalayan desert to dense green
deodar forests, from apple orchards to cultivated terraces, from snow capped
high Himalayan mountain ranges to snow fed lakes and gushing rivers.
There are more than 2000 temples and religious places scattered all over the state. Many of these are quite well-known and attract thousands of devotees throughout the year.
Naina Devi Yatra - According to legend, Lord Shiva’s consort Sati once burnt herself alive in Yagna to avenge an insult to Lord Shiva. The distraught Shiva picked her corpse and gyrated his horrified dance. Then Lord Vishnu unleashed his Chakra and cut the Sati’s body into fifty one pieces to save the earth from Shiva’s wrath. All the fifty one places - where parts of Sati's body fell, became known as Shakti Peeths.
Jawalmukhi ( Jwala Ji ): Jwalaji (flame) or Jwala Mukhi (flame mouth) is probably the most ancient temple discussed here besides Vaishno Devi. It is mentioned in the Mahabharata and other scriptures. There is a natural cave where eternal flames continue to burn. Some say there are seven or nine flames for the seven divine sisters or the nine Durgas. It is here that Sati's tongue fell which can now be seen in the form of the flame.
Mata Chintpurni and Chamunda Devi - The temple dedicated to Mata Chintpurni Devi is located in a village of the same name in District Una, Himachal Pradesh. Devotees have been visiting this Shaktipeeth for centuries to pray at the lotus feet of Mata Shri Chhinnamastika Devi and Mata Shri Chintpurni Devi. They bring with them their worldly concerns and seek blessings from the Devi. It is believed that if you ask something from the Devi with a true heart, your wish will be granted.
Baijnath & Laxmi Narayan Temple : built in 804 A.D. and dedicated to Shiva Vaidyanatha. Its tall shikhara carved in stone is framed by the imposing snow capped peaks of Dhauladhars. The linga enshrined in its sanctum is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in the country. Every year during the Shivratri fair, thousands of pilgrims descend on Baijnath for the colourful fair and festivities. It is 16-km from Palampur and 56-km from Dharamsala.
Baba Balak Nath : A cave temple of Baba Balak Nath is located in Deothsidh , in the Dhaulagiri Hills of Hamirpur, is a noted place of pilgrimage. Pepole come here to seek the blessings of Baba Balak Nath all the year round. It is situated on the border of Bilaspur (70 Kms), Hamirpur (30 Kms) and is well connected by roads from all sides.
Bijli Mahadev -Hadimba Temple : 10kms. from Kulu across the Beas river, Bijli Mahadev temple is one of the striking temples in the temples strewn district. It can be reached by a tough but rewarding climb of 10 kms. trek. From the temple a panoramic view of Kulu & Paravati valleys can be seen. A 60 feet high staff of Bijli Mahadev temple glistens like a silver needle in the sun. in this temple of lightening it is said, the tall staff attracts the divine blessings in the form of lightening. The rest of the story can be heard from the priest, which is un-believable but true.
Hadimba Temple: is one of the most important temples
in the region. This four story wooden temple is located in the middle of a
forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar. From the name of the forest parkland
this temple derives its name. This temple was erected in 1553 and is
dedicated to Goddess Hadimba.
Renukaji Temple : It is believed that Rishi Jamdagni, displeased by his wife Renuka, instructed his son Parshuram to behead her. The son obeyed his father's wishes. Pleased at Parshuram's loyalty, the Rishi granted his son a wish, and Parshuram asked for the restoration of his mother to life.