Situated on the top of a Himalayan hill amidst the lush green forests, Bijli Mahadev temple is at a distance of about 11 kilometers from Kullu valley in Himachal Pradesh. As its name suggests, the holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is also known as Mahadev. The temple site is surrounded with natural beauty and offers a fascinating panoramic view of the Parvati valley and Kullu valley lying below.
Main attraction of the temple is the 60 feet high flagpole which shimmers like a silver needle in daylight and is easily visible even from Kullu.
Legend and History of Bijli Mahadev Temple
The Bijli Mahadev temple is also known as ‘Temple of Lightening’ since it is believed that Lord Shiva grants his divine blessings to the people here in the form of lightening.
As per a mythological story, Maharishi Vashishta urged Lord Shiva to use his powers to absorb all the excessive electric current within himself. Lord Rudra (Shiva) accepted his request for protection of the humankind and absorbed the electric current. It is believed that the incidence took place at the concurrence of rivers Parvati and Beas, where a temple was erected later. A Shiva Linga was enshrined at the sacred place and came to be known as Shri Bijleshwar Mahadev or Bijli Mahadev.
There is another anecdote associated with the temple that there is a furious lightening after every two years after which the Shiva Lingam gets shattered into pieces. The temple priests collect these pieces and put them in butter and sattoo (a paste of roasted gram and wheat powder) and butter after which the Lingam restores itself to its original form. Priests and other temple employees carry out the task of re-instating the Lingam secretly. People also hold that while the Lingam breaks, a lot of energy is released from it which is absorbed by Lord Shiva in order to prevent the wide destruction.
The Bijli Mahadev temple has been built following the Pahari form of temple architecture which was prevalent mainly from 8th to 13th century in Himachal Pradesh. From this type of architecture, it can be concluded that the shrine must also have been built in the same era. There are subtle and splendid carvings on the doorframes of the temple. There is a large wooden pole of deodar tree which is believed to have had the first electric shock. At the entrance of the temple are two beautifully carved images of Nandi Bull.
Festival and Fair
The fair popular among pilgrims of this sacred place is held on the new moon day in the month of ‘Shravan’. Thousands of devotees flock to this temple during this time to offer prayers to Lord Shiva and also to their forefathers.
Although there are a few shops selling items of utilities for pilgrims but there is no facility of accommodation as such. So if you wish to stay here over night then you must carry your own camping equipment.
- Location →11 kms away from Kullu→ Himachal Pradesh
- Dedicated to → Lord Shiva
- Main Attraction → Shiva Lingam and the 60 feet high flagpole
- Main Festival and Fair → New Moon in Shravan
- How to reach by Air → the nearest airport – Manali Airport at Bhuntar
- How to reach by Rail/Road →First reach Kullu/Manali and then take a bus or taxi to the temple. Thereafter you need to trek for about 3 km on foot