Located in the town of Nagarkot in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, Bajreshwari temple also known as Vajreshwari temple is one of the most splendid temples of India. Thronged by devotees from all over the country, it is also one the 51 Shaktipeeths of Hindus in India. It is situated on a mountain near Chamunda Devi temple 16 kilometers away from Kangra. It is dedicated to Mata Shri Bajreswari Devi who is also referred to as ‘kul devi’ by the locals. The Fort of Kangra is also situated close to the temple.
Bajreshwari temple is also known as the Kangra temple or the Nagarkot temple. The architecture of this temple is typical early medieval north Indian Nagara style of temples. The temple is busy yet well managed and cleaned properly. On the way to the temple, there is a buzzing market with lots of shops selling pooja items and books etc. You can easily buy Prasad and other offerings from one of these shops enroute the holy shrine. You can offer your prayers to Devi Ji amidst the calm and peaceful atmosphere of the pious shrine.
Legend and history of Bajreshwari Devi-
According to Hindu mythology, Devi Sati got agonized by the insult that his father Prajapati Daksh did to his husband Lord Shiva and sacrificed herself in her father’s Yagna. Angry lord Shiva carried her burning body on his shoulders and started the Tandav dance. The entire world including all the Gods and Goddesses in the heaven got terrified with this view. They insisted Lord Vishnu for a resolution else the whole universe could get destroyed. Lord Vishnu released his Sudarshan Chakra which cut the body of Devi Sati in several parts who fell on different places in the Indian Sub-continent. Bajreshwari Devi temple is the place where left breast of Sati fell.
The temple is believed to be constructed be Pandavas in the era of Mahabharata. According to the folklore, Devi Durga appeared in the dream of Pandavas and urged that she is to be found in Nagarkot village. She also said that they should erect a temple for her in that place if they wish to be safe and secure. The Pandavas without any delay constructed a glorious temple in the Nagarkot village.
As per history, the glorious temple has been looted several times because it contained tons of gold and silver. But every time it was ransacked, it was re-built with even more galore. The first time, Mahmud of Ghazni robbed this temple in 1009, after which a mosque was constructed on its left overs. After 35 years of this incidence, a local king established his ownership on the place and got the temple repaired. He also sanctified a replica of the idol which was originally present and filled the temple with silver, gold and diamonds. The shrine again got plundered by Firoz Tughlaq in 1360 and was later restored to its anterior dignity by Mughal emperor Akbar. But the fortune of temple had another destruction in 1905 in an earthquake. Then the Kangra Restoration Committee did the good job of restoring it and opening it again for the public.
The festival of Makar Sakranti is celebrated here for about a week with great zeal. The holy practice of applying ghee on goddess’s idol and thereafter washing it with cold water 100 times still continues to be performed. Following this, the priests decorate the idol beautifully with lots of flowers.
How to reach
The temple is well connected to all major towns and cities of India by way of roadways, railways and airways.
Air– The nearest airport is Gaggal and is 8 kilometers from Kangra. Private taxis can be easily hired thereafter.
Rail– Kangra Mandir and Samela, both the railway stations are near Kangra. Samela railway station is at a distance of 5 kilometers.
Road– State Transport buses are available from all the major towns and cities of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. One can also first reach Palampur which is at a distance of 17 kilometers and thereafter hire a taxi.
• Location → Kangra District – Himachal Pradesh – India
• Dedicated to → Bajreshwari Devi (Durga)
• Main Attraction → Bajreshwari Devi Temple , Kangra fort
• Main Festival and Fair → Makar Sakranti
• How to reach by Air → the nearest airport – Gaggal & Chandigarh
• How to reach by Rail → Nearest railway station – Samela
• How to reach by Road → The temple is well connected with all major town of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.