The old location of Jālandhara Pītha

Amongst the 51 śākta pīthas,the four most important are Kāmarūpa,Oḍḍiyāna,Jālandhara and Pūrṇagiri. The medieval importance of this can be gauged by this śloka:

rūpātītaṃ tu kāmākhyāṃ rūpaṃ pūrṇagirirmahāna।
pādaṃ jālandharaākhyāṃ tu piṇḍaṃ oḍraṃ prakīrtitaṃ।।

(Here Oḍḍiyāna has been concieved to be at Oḍra after the complete loss of the mūla Oḍḍīyāna even in memory to āstika writers,but that is another point to be noted in a different article).

This post is going to discuss the location of the historical Jālandhara pītha as per old historical refernces and relevant śāstra.(Note:The modern Devi Talab Mandir where Tripuramalini is worshipped is not the historical Jālandhara,and such lists which list the devi as such have little idea of the actual pitha/give only generic names for the devī like Caṇḍī)

Historical and the relevant śāstrīya references to Jālandhara pītha that allow us to locate the devīpīṭha with a low degree of ambiguity

  • Kumārīkhaṇḍa of Manthānabhairavatantra:idṛg jālandharaṃ pīṭhaṃ jvālāvvā tatra viśrutā(There is the famed mother Jvālā at Jālandhara pītha)
  • Abu’l Fazl in his Ai’n-I-Akbari notes about Jālandhara,Kāmākhya,Śāradā and Tulijā Bhavānī as four main pīthas and describes Jālandhara being near Nagarkot and the prescence of natural flames being the object of worship there.
  • Kalhaṇa in the 3rd taraṇga of the Rajatarangini alludes to the same general area of Kangra/Trigarta as being called Jālandhara/Jālandharāyaṇa
  • The importance of this pīṭha to Buddhists and their descriptions of travels to it leave no ambiguity as to which is the actual temple being referred to as the Jālandhara pītha.