The Vajreshwari Devi

Nagarkot Dham Kangra

This sacred place is popularly known as Nagar Kot Kangra goddess. The holy journey is incom- plete without the visit of this holy 'Vajreshwari Devi' temple. Foreigners (who were non-believ- ers) invaded the surrounding areas of the temple but the temple precints remained untouched, by the grace of holy mother. The breasts of holy mother 'SATI' had fallen in KANGRA. This is sac- red place of Tara Devi.

Kangra is situated at a distance of 53 kms from 'Jwala Mukhi' and is an important city of Himachal Pradesh. It takes about 2 hours to reach by bus, from Jwala Mukhi and 3 hours of journey by bus, from Pathankot to holy temple. Kangra is con- nected by bus to all important places of Himachal Pradesh.

Historical and Mythological background of Kangra

Most of the historians differ on the boundaries of Kangra (Trigart State). Trigart means three ditches. As such some people refer it to three vales of river Ravi, Beas and Satluj. Some trace it to Puranic times and connect it with three places Kuril, Banganga and Niyogal forming present Kangra district. Farishta, a historian, has named it as Bhim-Kot. Kalhan, the great-historian of Kashmir, has given it two names Viz. Trigart and Jallandhar. The same two names have been refered by Chinese-traveller 'Hum Sang'. In the rock edict of Baijnath the names referred to it in Sharda dialect are, Susharmapur and Nagarkot. Nagar Kangra is also known as Bhavan or Bhon in local language. Bhon is deformed state of Bhavan.

Mehmood Gaznavi, the ruler of Afganistan, attacked Kangra in 1019 A.D. and looted jewellery, gold, diamonds etc. worth billions of rupees. Along with looted wealth, he took away the silver framed doors of the temple. These doors were subsequently returned back in 1942. These doors are affixed in the temple almirahs even now.

There is an old rock edict in the temple in Sharda dialect. The name of a King Pratap Singh of Gajni is mentioned in it. The king had no child. He prayed here to goddess for fulfillment of desire which was subsequently fulfilled.

He performed a sacrificial ceremony (Yagna) here. He also gave alms to certain villagers around the temple. These details are given in the edict.

In addition to this, there is one more mythologi- cal ritual connected with the temple. When the goddess Vajreshwari conquered the demons after killing them, the gods worshipped the goddess by singing various hymns in her praise. The festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated on this eve. The body of goddess was wounded during the battle with demons. The gods applied ghee on these wounds. This tradition is still continued. On the night after 'Makar Sankaranti', popularly called Lohn, the goddess (holy-PINDl) is smeared with 5 mounds (2 Quintals) of ghee (Desi) after washing the idol by cold water of well, hundred times. Later the PINDI is decorated by flowers and essence applied. This practice is followed for a week.

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