Bijli Mahadev Temple Kullu – The Temple of Lightening
Bijli-Mahadev temple is a ‘Kash’ style temple that has a “Shiva-Lingam”. Bijli Mahadev temple is situated is called Mathan and is surrounded by Parbati, Garsa, Bhunter and Kullu valleys, 14 KM from Kullu. There is a Shiva temple on top of the hill. There is a small village just down below the temple and the name of the village is also called Bijli Mahadev. People in this village take care of the maintenance aspects of the temple. This place got its name after the great miracle that occurs occasionally. The ‘Shiva-Lingam' is struck by lightning and it breaks into pieces, then the priest of the temple collects all the pieces and joins them together with the help of butter acting as an adhesive. During ‘Shivaratri’ every year, great rush of devotees gather here to pay homage to Lord-Shiva.
Importance of Bijli Mahadev
This place is full of mystery and miracles. The name comes from the fact that, the lightening (Bijli) strikes the Shiva linga inside the temple and breaks into pieces. The Shiva ling (Mahadev) will be joined together and installed in a special occasion using a locally made adhesive. One can witness the charred part (especially on the walls) inside the temple which is due to the flames resulted during lightning. Devotees can give offerings in the Hundi only kept inside the temple. Some puja articles are available inside the temple without any additional cost. Photography is not restricted anywhere in the place.
Opposite to the temple there are small stone statues situated and one can perform pooja there too. A 20mtr tall pole is installed which has got some interesting story. The pole is made of Deodar tree in a nearby forest area. Once in a while during special occasions the pole will be replaced by another one made from the tallest Deodar tree found in the forest. The local villagers and people from surrounding places come together to replace the pole and is a festival celebration for all of them. The tree is carved in the square shape and fixed firm in the place. People feel that this is an opportunity for getting blessing from Lord Shiva and consider this activity as serving God.
The place is too scenic due to the location of the temple which is at the top most end of the Mathan hill. There are mobile towers beside the temple (downside) towards Parvati valley. BSNL and Airtel connections were working very well (as on May 2010). A newly constructed building is meant for accommodation (rest rooms) for the visitors just beside the temple. There is no fixed price (rate not available) for the accommodation. 10 people can stay at a time in the building. Free Tea is served for all the visitors.
How to reach there:
One can reach Kullu first and then get a bus from the bus stand for Bijli Mahadev which goes up to the nearby 'Chansari' village. Otherwise one can book a private cab from the Kullu taxi stand near bus stand and go. One has to climb stairs from 'Chansari', the distance being about 3 km uphill. The road is now extended to more than 5 km which lessen the stairs climbing to one half. By personal vehicle or the booked vehicle one can now approach to village 'Halleni'.
If you are in good health, you can even trek all the way from Kullu to Bijli Mahadev. The trek is beautiful with jungles, orchids and small villages on the way. By the time you reach the top, your lungs will definitely ask you for rest but you will find it irresistible to admire the beauty that you see.
You get to see a panoramic view of Parvati and Kullu valley from this peak. When you turn around, there are no higher peaks to block your view in the close proximity. Carry your own camping equipment if you plan to stay there for more than one day. There are a few locals running the shops but you need to arrange for your accommodation.
Small shops are available for cool drinks and refreshments during trekking. Initial walking is through a rough climbing and later good steps with normal height and plane areas are constructed. After climbing the steps, a plane area is available where localities have set up some private canteens. Good Chinese food, Momo is available here. There is a tank nearby which is the water source for the temple area.
People who cannot trek, there is one more motorable road to reach Bijli Mahadev from Naggar side via Jana Waterfall. One has to reach Naggar from Kullu or Manali. From this route, people will reach the temple directly. Motor cycles preferred for transportation in this route but small motor vehicles too can travel safely.