Story behind the Hinglaj Mata Temple


Hinglaj Mata Temple in Baluchistan, Pakistan is an extremely popular pilgrimage destination among the minuscule minority Hindu population of Pakistan. It is revered even by the Muslims of the area.

The story of Shiva and Bhasmasura

Legend has it that Lord Shiva’s first wife Sati had married him against her father’s wishes. Shiva and Sati loved each other immensely. Sati then visited her father after the wedding to gain his approval and blessings for her and Shiva. Her father instead heaped insults on Shiva and vilified the couple. Sati couldn’t stand the humiliation of Shiva and blamed herself for the situation. She then invoked some powers and immolated herself by jumping into a burning pyre. This is also the origin of the now outlawed ridiculous custom of Sati that was prevalent in India.

Shiva was devastated. In a grief stricken stupor, he is said to have wandered the entire universe carrying Sati’s charred dead body with him. Lord Vishnu is then said to have dismembered the charred body into 52 parts so as to help Shiva get over what had happened and resume his normal life. The 52 parts are said to have fallen in different parts of the world (the Indian subcontinent rather). The Head of Sati is said to have fallen at Hinglaj in present day Baluchistan where the shrine is built. There are shrines built at all the places where the other parts of body are speculated to have fallen.

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