Unraveling the Mystery: The Story behind Baglamukhi Temple (Kangra)

20 April, 2018

 

Set amidst the picturesque foothills of Himalayas, Kangra city is famous for its beautiful views, exquisite crafts, ancient temples and the rich culture that it inherits from its legacy of being the capital of the rulers of the Chand Dynasty. This is why the city is flocked by tourists throughout the year and rooms in the hotels in Kangra valley are usually heavily booked.

Chalets

The temple of Goddess Bagalamukhi is snuggled comfortably in the majestic Dhauladhar ranges of Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. Reckoned as a Siddha Peetha, the temple is situated at close proximity to Jwala Ji and Chintpurni Devi Temple. Bagalamukhi is counted as one of the ten Mahavidyas associated with Shaktism.

Deriving its origin from two separate Sanskrit words, 'Bagala' or 'bride' and 'mukhi' or 'face', this deity is believed to have hypnotizing powers in her enamoring face. It is widely believed that the deity was very fond of the colour ‘yellow’. It is for this reason that the temple walls have been painted yellow and yellow sweets are offered to the deity. It is also for this reason that that the worshippers and pilgrims don yellow coloured clothes when they visit this temple.

Legend has it that Baglamukhi Temple has its roots in the widely held folklore that the supreme goddess was approached by gods and celestial deities to defeat a demon on earth. This story has been corroborated by evidence from Svatantra Tantra, according to which a monster called Madanasura was subjugating his subjects and treating them with hostility by causing storms and terminating their life.

After being repeatedly pursued by many deities, Lord Vishnu (the preserver of earth) penanced severely for the Mahashakti to appear on earth.  Appeased with his efforts, the goddess appeared on earth in a lake, taking the manifestation of Bagalamukhi. Over a period of time, the goddess began to be worshipped as a form of Goddess Parvati.

What is particularly striking about this temple is that albeit the skin colour of Bagalamukhi is yellow, this temple has an effigy of the goddess with a dark face, radiant eyes, a crown and glowing in ornaments. The temple also has an octagonal platform where sacrifices are performed upon the request of the devotees. The temple is flocked by tourists throughout the year; especially during the auspicious time of Navaratras.

Once you are done visiting this temple, you can stop by at one of the hotels in Kangra valley for a relaxing sojourn.

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