Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Salasar Balaji Temple


    Our next stop after Jhunjhunu was Salasar situated in the Churu district of Rajasthan. Around 170 km from Jaipur, 85 km from Khatu as well as Jhunjhunu, it took us about 1.5 hours to reach here.

The entrance to the Salasar Balaji Temple
[ The entrance to the Salasar Balaji Temple ]

The hallway leading upto the Salasar Balaji Temple
[ The hallway leading upto the Temple ]

    Dedicated to Lord Balaji (Lord Hanuman), the temple is so popular that even on a day when temperatures cross 40 degrees, a steady stream of devotees gather here. Made completely out of silver, the temple is spread in a huge area. Beautiful inscriptions of ‘Shree Ram’ and intricate carvings of Shree Balaji beautify the silver walls inside the temple. The temple room was full of devotees who come from all over India to take the blessings. After taking the blessings, most of the devotees take a few moments out to recite the Hanuman Chalisa or other sacred texts. The temple witnesses lacs of devotees during the fairs on Chaitra Purnima and Ashwin Purnima as well as on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti. It is one of the biggest temples dedicated to Lord Hanuman in India (the other that I have visited is the Sankat Mochan Temple in Varanasi).

Coconuts tied on the tree in the Salasar Balaji temple premises
[ Coconuts tied on the tree in the temple premises ]

    One of the most remarkable features of this famous temple is that Akhand Hari Kirtan (continuous chanting of name of Lord Rama) has been going on in the temple premises for the last 20 years. Also, a number of devotees can be seen tying coconuts with moli (sacred red threads) in the temple premises which is believed to fulfill all their wishes, if done with sincere faith.

Prasad for offering to Lord Hanuman - Salasar Balaji temple
[ Prasad for offering to Lord Hanuman 
is available inside the temple ]

The story of the temple goes like this –

    On Saturday, Shravan Shukla-Navami Samvat 1811, a miracle happened. A farmer of village Asota in district Nagaur of Rajasthan was ploughing his field. Suddenly his plough hit some stony thing and produced a strange sound. On digging up the place, he found an idol which was covered with sand. Soon his wife reached there with his lunch and the farmer showed the idol to his wife. She cleaned the idol with her sari. On discovering that the idol was of none other but that of Lord Balaji (Lord Hanuman), they considered themselves blessed, bowed their heads with devotion and started worshipping the idol.

    The news of the appearance of Lord Balaji spread like wild fire in Asota. The Thakur of the village heard the news too. He then had a vision in which Balaji ordered him to send the idol to Salasar in the Churu district. The same night, Lord Balaji came in the dream of Mohandasji Maharaj of Salasar (who was unaware of this incident), an ardent devotee of Lord Hanuman and told him about the idol found in Asota. Mohandasji immediately sent a message to the Thakur of Asota. The Thakur was amazed when he realized that Mohandasji knew the finer details of the event without even coming to Asota. He now understood that the entire episode, which was taking place, was nothing short of a miracle, undoubtedly happening as per the wishes of Lord Balaji. Soon after, the idol was sent to Salasar and sanctified at the place known as Salasar Dham today.

Dhunia of Mohandasji
[ The sacred Dhunia of Mohandasji ]

    Definitely, Lord Balaji had blessed his beloved devotees including Mohandasji who later spent the rest of his life along with the Lord Himself before taking Samadhi (alive burial). Dhunia (holy fire lit by him) of Mohandasji still continues to burn inside the temple. The devotees consider it sacred and eating a bit of it is believed to cure all diseases. Some take it back home as it brings good luck and prosperity.

Jadula ceremony - Rajasthan, Salasar
[ Jadula ceremony going on inside the temple premises ]

    Also, an interesting ceremony known as ‘Jadula’ (also done at Khatu Shyam temple) in which a child’s hair is shaven for the first time takes place here.

Mata Anjani Temple, Salasar
[ Mata Anjani Temple ]

    When in Salasar, do not forget to visit the Temple of Anjani Mata, the mother of Lord Hanuman, which is situated just two kilometers away from Salasar Dham towards Laxmangarh.


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37 comments:

  1. Such a divine post! I went to Salasarji and khatu shyamji last year... the experience is just out of the world. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post. Totally enjoyed it.

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  2. Nice story,loved reading it and knowing more abt this temple...

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  3. Goodness, what a story! Is it true, or just a legend? And what is it that the devotees eat at that eternal fire? Is it a bit of the ashes? And is that what some take home? Now your first picture looks nothing like a temple, more like a storefront! But that is not the temple itself, right? Just the entrance? The outside is not made from sliver, but the whole inside? Amazing! But silver tarnishes when exposed to air, I'm wondering what they do about that, my silver jewelry turns black. A very interesting post with good pictures as well. May I ask a bit about you? Do you travel all the time? And what is your religion?

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  4. Hi Arti,
    Its amazing how I get to see all these wonderful temples that I always wanted to see.Thanks to you for the lovely tour, I almost felt I was there.
    aipi
    http://usmasala.blogspot.com/

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  5. nice temple ... and nice history too..thanks for sharing.. i am bookmarking all these temples .. when i visit i will take printout : )

    Satya
    http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

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  6. @Ginny
    - All the stories are historical and true...the sad part is history becomes legend as we move forward!
    - Yes, the devotees eat just a bit of the ashes and even
    take it home (reason given in the post).
    - The first photo, you got it right, is just the entrance which leads to the courtyard where stands the main temple.
    - Only the inside walls of the temple are made up of silver...
    If you notice the 5th pic carefully, in the background, you can see the silver pillar with an engraving of standing lord Balaji... - No Ginny, I dont travel all the time...
    But I see and experience so much even in a few days trip that it takes me months to describe everything!
    Its amazing that this trip to Rajasthan was just a 4 day trip and its been more than a month already since I started writing about it...still I have just only about reached the half way mark!
    Thanks for your comment:)

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  7. @ Ginny
    Forgot to mention my religion - Hinduism

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  8. When I read the title, I thought it is of Lord Vishnu's temple as He is known here by that name. You too would have heard about the famous Tirupati Balaji temple.
    It was nice knowing Hanuman, as Balaji. The temple tour was enjoyable.

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  9. Thanks for another fascinating armchair tour, how I wish I could visit these places for myself - still you describe things so well that if I close my eyes I can picture myself there.

    I'm fascinated by the photo of the ceremony, it all looks so colourful. It may sound ignorant but I have to ask - is there a certain age in which the hair is shaved for the first time?

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  10. @Petty Witter
    The Jadula ceremony is only for boys.
    The place where it is performed and the specific age for it differs from caste to caste even in Rajasthan.
    In our caste, it is done in the 1st, 3rd
    or the 5th year... Though, I dont know the reason for that odd year progression.

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  11. Amazing post! U have taken us on a tour to Rajasthan.I have plans to visit Rajasthan during summer holidays .

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  12. Very beautiful and interesting.

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  13. Thanks for visiting my weeds! I have never been off the North American continent, so really appreciate being able to visit India through your post.

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  14. first time coming by... very interesting blog here..

    reanaclaire.com

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  15. Thanks for the comment on the book review on my blog! I was thrilled to link back to your blog and see your beautiful pictures! I will definitely be following to get a taste of India.

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  16. These are great shots and a fascinating explanation. Thanks for the tour!

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  17. Interesting p[lace and beautiful shots. Good to know about one new place to see.

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  18. Nice account of the temple. And that too at 40 degrees. It is really true devotion that takes devotees unmindful of the heat.

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  19. Great post and story Arti. I love how these things are kept so alive in India - this must be quite a magical place, thanks for sharing it!

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  20. Its good to know about different cultures and practices. I am fascinated about the coconuts being tied around the tree.

    Thanks for sharing your side of the world.

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  21. Hi, Arti! It's great to "meet" someone so far away and to see some of your culture. Your photography is wonderful! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

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  22. very interesting. thanks for sharing. colorful culture too.

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  23. Really nice insight into this sight. I enjoyed it!

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  24. Nice info and beautiful pictures.

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  25. Thank you for visiting my blog today and seeing the pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Your blog is beautiful. I love India and have so many dear friends there. I visited for ten days back in 1997 and am hoping to be there for six months from November of this year. It will be a bit harder to get around as I will be 66 in Oct and use a walker to get around - but, if I don't do it now, I never will. So many of my Royal Caribbean crew friends have retired or left the company and I want to see them once more before the end of my life.

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  26. Thanks for sharing such spiritual and religious post.I have to travel to India and want to experience the culture in terms of religion.

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  27. Hi all.Iam Going to Salasar on paidal yatra from Sept 29, 2011 from ShriGanganagar (RAJ). Last time i went Salasar on Paidal yatra was in 1993. Baba ji has given me another chance after 18 years. Baba is Great. Jai Babe Ki.

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  28. awesome content... great going arti... i wish luck for you..

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  29. Interesting post, I don't travel much but through your posts I'm getting to know a lot about the temples in our country .. Beautiful !!

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  30. Religious & Beautiful place of Shri Salasar Balaji.

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  31. hi every one

    Can any one help me. how to go there from delhi by train.

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  32. @ pank
    You can easily come to Jaipur from Delhi. From Jaipur, hire a car. Salasar is about 4 hours from Jaipur by road. The roads are excellent.

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  33. shiv kumar tanwarMarch 29, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    it is undoubtedly one of the greatest wonders of the almighty that everyone bows ones head in wonder and admiration. really i was spellbound by its nicest beauty.....:)

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  34. Great effort to have put all this info on the internet.
    Balaji has been helpful to me all my life. I am devoted to him, the great devotee of Shri Ram. Thanks.

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  35. Thanks so much for this amazing and holy story

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  36. Thanks so much for the interesting insight into the temples and the religions. Great post.

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  37. Thanks so much for this very nice story. Balvinder Godara

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