Bijli Mahadev – The Temple of Lightning

DSCN0192So of course when hearing about this great Shiva lingam that was struck by lightning at the top of  Kullu valley, I had to go check it out! Not so easy to make your way up there, but upon seeing 75 year old women carrying heavy bushels on their heads and walking effortlessly up the mountain, I have to say I was humbled….and determined to get there gracefully!! 

Legend has it that about 2 years regularly there is a frightful lightning and the lingam is reduced to pieces. It is said that Lord Siva absorbs the energy discharged from the atmosphere and saves the world. The pieces of the lingam are reset with ghee (pure cow butter), and like magic, there is not a crack visible in it’s form! There is even a pool of water that manifested itself beneath the lingam.

The Rig-Veda has a prayer of Maharishi Vashishta to Lord Rudra (Shiva) to absorb the excessive electric current within himself. It is said Lord Rudra acceded and absorbed the excessive electricity current and saved mankind. According to legend this episode took place at the sangam (Confluence) of Parvati and Beas rivers. This is one of the very popular stories in the mythological background of Beas basin, in Himachal Pradesh. As expected the devotees had set up a temple and the lingam in it is named Bijleshwar Mahadev or Bijli Mahadev.



Walking up the steps with my guide Vishnuji – probably shouldn’t  have left in the middle of the day with the hot sun beating down…






Ahhh we have reached the top, and what a view!! Can I just suggest that you click on the photos to enjoy them better? The majesty of the Himalayas is not meant for 3″ x 5″ viewing


 Mmmm mountains…..








Are you looking and noticing the clouds? Truly magnificent…and I thought it couldnt get much better than this – well I was very very wrong – apparently there are places in this world where time does stand still







Isn’t this just divine? I have so many more…








Oh look – there’s me! Very happy and tired at this point, anxious to pay my respects to Shivji and see this mystical lingam…









Ahh Vishnuji, the temple awaits us….there it is, sitting on the top left








The gate to Bijli Mahadev’s temple…I have to admit a large part of me wants to witness the lightning strike… please be storm clouds, please be storm clouds!!!







What better form of transport for Shiva than Nandi, His beloved cow. There she is waiting for Him outside the temple.








The stone structure at the end – I don’t know what it means, but the carvings are beautiful…







Vishnu and the Pandit (priest) just relaxing on Shiva’s steps – I know this little temple will be a powerhouse inside…Panditji was very sweet and accomodating, and he feed us naril (coconut) as prasad (offering)



FSCN0239There I am with my old friend. The Shivalinga is  representative of the dormant universal consciousness in which all created things rest after the cosmic annihilation. It also represents the pradhana, the potential but unmanifest ingredients of the material world. Once the lingam is united with the yoni, the unmanifest becomes manifest and the world as we know it (maya) arises. So the lingam is the dormant potential, and the yoni, that which gives life to that potential. Shiva lingas are housed in temples that are meant to represent the female yoni, with the lingam residing in it’s innermost chambers. Perfectly executed and designed, Yoga is truly the highest science!






The Pandit and I – He even let me in beyond the gate to pay my respects and complete my dhyan… After this day, Shiva walked beside me in the mountains – my constant protector. The power of the Himalayas is beyond what our minds can comprehend…









There He is now! Damnit I wish I could read Hindi… at least pictorally you get the point – Shiva’s head resides in the Himalayas, and He is contained in the entire expanse of Mother India










Relaxing and taking in the essence of this place…








We had a delicious lunch of paranthas and achar looking out at this








and this…








My God, and this!! This one is a beauty -savour it.








Ok, one last look at the meadow before we make the trek down…in the busy season it is swarmed by people – we are lucky to have bypassed the masses and to have gotten some private time with Shivji







The End. For Now. My face is totally sunburnt, as we putputput back to Kullu Valley in Vishnuji’s very tired, beat down by life auto.

Next on the agenda? East Himachal!

12 thoughts on “Bijli Mahadev – The Temple of Lightning

  1. God bless you all…. I’m from Hamirpur Distt in the same state…
    Could be lucky in my 37th year to visit such a beautiful place else I must say in the lap of the Lord Shiv ji

  2. I visited Bijli mahadev last week for the second time … i live near kullu city so it took me about 2 hour to reach the top….so much have changed in last 7 years the walking distance now is reduced to 1km before it was around 4kms.
    the scenic beauty is just mind blowing.
    Jai bholenath

    1. thanks for the feedback. yes things change more and more all the time. i am curious to see it again one day. Be happy.

  3. Hey Khushi,
    Thanks for this lovely post (:
    you reminded me of an incredible day i spent up there in 2013.
    acually made me go and scan some black and white films i shoot there (:
    all the best

  4. hi khushi !

    These stuning pictures of Bijli mahadev prompt me deep into my childhood memories .I frequintly visit this holy place with my parents in my childhood as village very near to this temple . Cause of my profession now i hardly visit there but this palce always attract me.


    1. Hi Puran

      Glad I could bring you back to your childhood with these pictures. I spent the first few years of my life in Kullu, and it is a very special place. If in your heart you visit these places then no need to go physically!

      Keep Well

  5. hi khushi, saw and read about your trip to bijli mahadev. love your pictuers.
    i opened a page for bijli on facebook and was wondering if you would like to share your story and pictures on the page, and if i can use one of your pictures as the page picture

    thank u


    1. Sure eran

      glad you enjoyed the posting.

      please link the pic and story back to my blog. and please facebook me: khushi Malhotra – thanks!

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