Hinglaj Mata Temple! The story of a powerful Hindu Goddess in a Muslim-majority country

Have you heard of this powerful temple which is located outside India? There are a total of 51 Shakti Peetas, which are prominent pilgrimage destinations in Hinduism. These Shakti Peetas are found not just in India, but even in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet and Sri Lanka.

This is a story of one such Shakti Peeta which is situated in the Lasbela district of Balochistan, Pakistan. It is situated on the banks of River Hingol.

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Hinglaj goddess at Hinglaj Mata Mandir

It won’t be wrong to say that Hindus are united in Pakistan because of this temple. Yes, let me inform you that an annual pilgrimage takes place in the Hinglaj Mata temple which is called Hinglaj Yatra and this is the largest Hindu pilgrimage in Pakistan. Yes, you will be surprised to know that over 40,000 people take part in this annual pilgrimage.

The goddess worshiped in this temple is Hinglaj Mata and she has temples dedicated to her even in Indian states like Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The temple is among the canyons of the Hingol National Park

The other names of the shrine are Hingula, Hingalaja, Hinglaja. And it Sanskrit, it is kknown as Hingulata. To know why the Hinglaj Mata temple was created, we must travel thousands of years back. Sati was the daughter of Prajapati Daksha and his daughter married Lord Shiva against her wish. Since then, Sati was not treated fairly by her father.

One day, a mega Yajna was held by Prajapati Daksha, but he intentionally didn’t invite Sati and Shiva. However Sati wanted to attend this Yajna but Lord Shiva urged her not to go to the Yajna site.

But Sati didn’t pay heed to Shiva’s request and headed towards the Yajna location. But as she reached the site, her father Daksha ignored her and even insulted her husband Shiva.

The temple draws large numbers of devotees

She couldn’t take this insult and decided to self immolate herself. Using her powers, she invoked fire and burnt herself to death but her body didn’t burnt.

When Shiva came to know about this incident, he became violent and everyone present in the Yajna were decapitated by Virabhadra (Shiva’s violent version). But later on Shiva forgave everyone and were granted their lives back.

Later on Lord Shiva started his Tandava dance holding the body of Sati in his hand. But while dancing, her body shattered into pieces and fell on various parts on the earth. The body turned into 51 pieces and wherever the body parts fell, those places came to be known as Shakti Peethas.

The temple’s annual yatra pilgrimage

It is said that the head of Sati fell at Hinglaj, that’s why this place is very sacred and powerful.

Hinglaj Mata Mandir Cave entrance

Specialty of this temple is that the Goddess is worshiped even by the Muslims of the region. Yes, the Muslims considered that the temple is that of their maternal grandmother’s and they call it as “Nani Mandir”. The pilgrimage, which gathers over 40,000 pilgrims takes place every in the year of April and continues for four days.

Hansika Raj