Showing posts with label Shiwalik Hills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shiwalik Hills. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Goddess Kalika Devi?


Name of both a shrine and its presiding goddess in the Shiwalik Hills (foothills of the Himalayas).

Kalika Devi is one of the Shiwalik deities and is said to be a manifestation of Kali.

The temple is located in the town of Kalka, which is located on the route between Chandigarh and Simla.

The figure of Kalika Devi, like that of many other Shiwalik deities, is a natural stone outcropping.

This is regarded as the Goddess's self-manifested (svayambhu) form.

Unlike many other Shiwalik goddesses, the Hindi literature on this shrine does not state that it is part of the Shakti Pithas, a network of holy locations related mythically as places where a body part of the dismembered goddess Sati fell to earth.

Instead, the literature praises the temple for its grandeur and might.

Local priests identify it as the location where Sati's hair fell to earth, according to the literature.

This demonstrates both the power of pamphlet literature in directing pilgrim traffic and the importance of connecting one's place to the Shakti Pithas' network.

Kalika Devi's head is said to be the protrusion of stone that creates her appearance.

Kali assumed the guise of a lovely lady and came to the temple to perform celebratory songs during the Navaratri festival, according to legend.

Her voice and attractiveness had such an impact on the local king that he asked her to marry him.

Kali was enraged by the king's remark and cursed him to lose his realm.

She also forced the temple image to begin sinking into the dirt as a symbol of her anger.

She permitted the image's head to stay exposed at the request of an enthusiastic follower.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Where Is Jammu In India?


One of the three different cultural zones in the current Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir; the other two are western Kashmir and Ladakh.

The Dogras, a tiny regional dynasty, historically controlled Jammu and Kashmir, a former princely state.

Despite being Hindus, the Dogra rulers reigned over the minority populations of largely Muslim Kashmiris and mostly Buddhist Ladakhis; this ethnic and religious separation persists today.

The Jammu region is located in the northern Indian plain, and the neighboring areas south of the Shiwalik Hills are mostly Hindu.

Jammu, on the other hand, is adjacent to Punjab, the heartland of Sikhism, a monotheistic faith that mixes aspects of Hinduism and Islam; as a result, Jammu has a sizable Sikh community.

The temple devoted to Vaishno Devi, a goddess who is said to fulfill all of one's requests, is by far the most well-known in the Jammu area.

Jammu was also a hub for the Pahari art of miniature painting in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.

Jammu is the name of the area, as well as the major city in the region and the state's historic winter capital. Christine Nivin et al., India.

8th ed., Lonely Planet, 1998, provides an accessible resource for general information on Jammu and all of India's regions. 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - What Does Himalayas Mean In Sanskrit? Why Are The Himalayas Sacred And Revered By The Hindus?

(meaning "abode of snow") Although only Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and, further east, Sikkhim have important Himalayan areas, the Himalayan range arcs over India's northern border.

The Himalayan areas in the first three states are the most important in a Hindu religious context; the mountains in these three contiguous states are all part of a larger Himalayan cultural region, which is fronted by the Shiwalik Hills.

They are revered as both the physical residence of Hindu gods (especially Shiva, who is said to reside atop Mount Kailas) and the source of holy rivers including the Ganges, Yamuna, and Indus.

The physical sufferings that these ascetics must experience in the mountains are also thought to develop spiritual force; the physical hardships that these ascetics must endure in the mountains are also believed to generate spiritual power.

The Himalayas are densely packed with sacred sites (tirthas), the most important of which are Amarnath, Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath, and Nanda Devi. 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.