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Timings : Sunrise - Sunset

Time Required : 1 - 2 hrs

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Vajreshwari Temple, Chamba Overview

Situated at the end of Jansali Bazaar in Chamba, Vajreshwari Temple is dedicated to the Goddess of lightning popularly known as Goddess Vajreshwari, and is atleast a thousand years old. Goddess Vajreshwari is believed to be a manifestation of Goddess Parvati and she is worshipped here in her pinid form. Built in the traditional Shikhara style of architecture, the shrine is a flawless amalgamation of spectacular carvings, intricate woodwork and delicate stonework. The interior walls have elaborate carvings of different Hindu deities and idols. Also known as Bajreshwari Temple, the magnanimous temple has eighteen tiny inscriptions on the outer walls, and some on the gigantic pillar guarding the entrance. Also, the entrance has a Nagarkhana or a Drum House and is graced with two huge stone lions (symbol for protecting the temple wealth).

The shrine houses a magnificent idol of Goddess Durga seated on a lion along with God Vishnu on the side with three faces- human, boar and lion.The most celebrated time of the year at the temple is the month of March during Amavasya, when a huge fair is held in the honour of Goddess Vajreshwari. The next most grand festival is Navratri, also celebrated in the month of March.

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Legend of Vajreshwari Temple

Vajreshwari Temple has several myths attached to it. The most prominent legend goes to suggest that after Goddess Sati sacrificed herself during her father’s yagna, Lord Shiva started tandav and took off with her body. In order to save the world from Lord Shiva’s wrath, Lord Vishnu destroyed her body and divided into 52 parts with his Chakra. Goddess Sati’s parts fell in different parts of the world, the temple spot being one of it thus making it the shakti peeth. Later Goddess Parvati appeared in the dreams of Pandavas and ordered them to build a temple on the site to save themselves from destruction. This is how a temple came to be built in the memory of Goddess Sati and was named Vajreshwari Temple.

History of Vajreshwari Temple

The temple is known to have possess immense wealth; the idols were believed to be clad in heavy ornaments and expensive jewellery. However, the shrine was plundered severely and repeatedly over time. To begin with, Mahmud Ghazni pillaged the place 1009 AD. He destroyed the temple and built a mosque on the same spot. After around thirty five years, the king of the region regained his possession and the shrine was replicated and restored. The new temple was generously decorated with jewels in gold, silver and diamonds again.

However, not long after, it was again plundered and looted by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in 1360. But fortunately sometime later, Mughal Emperor Akbar visited the site and decided to restore the grandeur. Lately, in 1905, a severe earthquake annihilated the temple but not a great loss occurred. The temple has been standing strong and sturdy ever since and is a popular spot of tourism in Chamba.

Best Time To Visit Vajreshwari Temple

The ideal time to visit the temple is during the Month of March (at Amavasya) during the annual fair, when the celebrations are in full swing. Also, the weather is the most pleasant at this time of the year.

How To Reach Vajreshwari Temple

Chamba is a small town well-connected through state run buses, cabs, autos and local rickshaws. Vajreshwari Temple is located in Jansali Bazaar in the city itself and can be reached easily through any of the above transport options.

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