Temples in Himachal Pradesh
Considered to be a heavenly abode of the God, Himachal Pradesh is known for its temples. With too many temples to even count them all, Himachal is truly called the 'Land of Gods'. Dotted with temples, the State has literally one every hamlet. Most of the temples have legends dating back to centuries, some as old as mankind itself. And most amazingly, almost each of these temples has some kind of fair or festival connected to it, which is celebrated with a great fanfare by the locals to appease their deities. Himachal Pradesh is quite aptly called "Devabhoomi" - Abode of the Gods. 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
Mata Chintpurni Devi Temple
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.
Chintpurni Devi is regarded as the Goddess who takes away all the worries of her devotees. The term 'Chhinnamastika' suggests 'without the head'. Here, the Goddess is depicted without her head in a pindi (phallic) form. Devotees come to this temple with a perpetual faith that the Goddess would bless them and fulfill all their wishes. It is said that nobody goes empty handed from the shrine of Goddess Chintpurni / Chhinnamastika.
Baba Balak Nath Temple
Baba Balak Nath Temple is one of the most famous pilgrims in Himachal Pradesh, also known as the God`s own land. The ancient Cave and temple architecture relates to the Deot Sidh era in Hamirpur District. Lakhs of devotees from across India and around the world visit this temple to reinforce their firm faith in the "Siddha Tradition". There are a number of myths and legends surrounding the Baba Balaknath Temple in Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh. The history of this temple states that Baba Balaknath was born in three ages in different forms and in every birth he was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Baba Balaknath worshipped Lord Shiva and even helped out people in distress. Till today pilgrims convey a number of their desires to Baba Balaknath in order to turn them into reality.
Located at a distance of 16 kms from Palampur in the Beas valley, Baijnath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple complex the main attraction is the black stone idol of Parvati at the main entrance. The architectural style has been imbibed from Orissan style, which is very much unique in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The water of this temple is believed to contain medicinal properties, which can cure diseases of people. Due to this reason too, Baijnath Temple receives thousands of people every year. Shivratri is the major festival that is observed at this temple with full gusto and fervor. Devotees visit the temple during this time to seek the blessings from the God.
Hadimba Devi Temple
This temple is dedicated to the wife of Bhim, one of the five Pandava brothers in the Indian epic Mahabharata. As the legend goes, Bhim married Hadimba and they had a son. Later on, Hadimba left the place and became a spiritual. The people later erected a temple in her respect, known as Hadimba Temple. The temple is in pagoda style and comprises no idol within, albeit, some footprints are engraved and are worshiped by devotees.
As per another legend, the architect of the temple had to lose his hand for this masterpiece. King was afraid of duplication of the master craft and he ordered architect’s hand to be cut. This anecdote might have some portion of reality and truth, with only the temple being a mute witness. It is also said that this could not stop the master architect, who trained his left hand and at the request of the people, executed an even finer temple at Trilokinath in Chamba.
Naina Devi Temple
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.
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.