Vajreshwari Temple is dedicated to “Devi Vajreshwari”, the goddess of lightning, located at the end of Jansali Bazaar in Chamba, Himachal Pradesh.
This temple is said to be at least one thousand years old. Goddess Vajreshwari is believed to be a form of Goddess Parvati and is worshiped here in her fierce form.
The temple is built in the Shikhara style of architecture which is adorned with exquisite carvings, intricate wood work, and stone work.
The interior walls of this grand temple have carvings of various Hindu deities and idols. This temple is also popular as Bajreshwari Temple and has eighteen small inscriptions on its walls.
The temple also has an attractive idol of Goddess Durga seated on a lion with Lord Vishnu. The idol of Lord Vishnu has three faces which are human, boar and lion.
The most celebrated festival in this temple is Amavasya, when a huge fair is organized in honor of Goddess Vajreshwari. The next major festival of this temple is Navratri which is also celebrated in the month of March.
Legend of Vajreshwari Temple
There are many legends about the Vajreshwari Temple, the most prominent of which is the legend that Lord Shiva started the Tandava when Goddess Sati immolated herself during her father’s Yagya.
To save the world from being destroyed by the wrath of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu destroyed Mata Sati’s body and divided it into 52 parts with his Chakra.
The parts of Goddess Sati fell in different parts of the world, out of which the left breast of the Goddess fell at this place, due to which it became the Shakti Peeth of the Mother.
Later Goddess Parvati appeared in the dreams of the Pandavas and ordered them to build a temple at this place to save themselves from destruction.
Thus a temple was built here in the memory of Goddess Sati and that temple was named Vajreshwari Temple.
History of Vajreshwari Temple
The history of Vajreshwari Devi Temple reveals that this temple used to have immense wealth, the idol of the temple was decorated with heavy jewelery and costly ornaments. Although this temple was looted many times.
Mahmud of Ghazni settled here in 1009 AD and he destroyed this temple and built a mosque at this place.
After about thirty-five years, the king of the area regained his suzerainty and again built the temple at this place and decorated the new temple with jewels in gold, silver, and diamond.
However, after a long time, it was looted again by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in 1360 but after some time Emperor Akbar visited the site and decided to restore its grandeur.
In 1905, a severe earthquake destroyed the surroundings of this temple, but the temple did not suffer any major damage. Even today this temple is standing as strong as before and is a popular tourist spot in Chamba.
Makar sakrantri, which comes on second week of January, is also celebrated in the temple. Legend says that after killing Mahishasura in the battle, devi had got some injuries. to heel those injuries Goddess applied butter on her body, in Nagarkot. Thus to mark this day the Pindi of Goddess is covered with Makhan and the festival is celebrated for a week in the temple.
Best time to visit Vajreshwari Temple
If you wish to visit Vajreshwari Temple, the ideal time to visit is during the annual fair during the month of March (on Amavasya), when the festivities are in full swing. Along with this, the weather is quite pleasant at this time of the year.
How to Reach Vajreshwari Temple
How to Reach by Flight
If you want to travel by air to Chaba, the nearest airports are Pathankot (120 km), Amritsar (220 km), Kangra (172 km) and Chandigarh (400 km). Buses and cabs are easily available to take you from all these airports to Chamba.
How to Reach by Road
HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) runs regular buses from the neighboring states of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.
Which passes through the major cities of the state, Pathankot, Shimla, Kangra, Solan and Dharamshala.
How to Reach by Train
The nearest railway station is at Pathankot, which is about 120 km from Chamba. Buses and taxis are very easily available from Pathankot to Chamba. Alternatively, you can also take a train till Chandigarh or New Delhi and then travel by bus or cab.