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 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 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
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.
[ 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 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 ]
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.