Hingula (Hinglaj) Shakti Peeth

Hingula is 90 miles away from Karachi. The road from Karachi to Hingula is alongside the Arabian sea. The area actually is a part of Bilochistan province of Pakistan. Hingol river falls on its way in Makran hills. Usual Transport is Camel or Camel driven cart. A beam of light can be seen within the dark cave, where the temple is located. The temple of Hinglaj is situated on the right bank of Hingol river. It is a low mud edifice, built at the extremity of a natural cave of small dimension, and only contains a tomb shaped stone, which is called the Mata or Maha Maya (Goddess).

It is held in great veneration by both Hindus and Muslims. It is dedicated to Hinglaj Devi, the Goddess of Fate, Muslims call it Bibi Nani or simply Nani. In "Nani" there is a survival of ancient Goddess "Nanaia", whose Semitic name is "Anhita". Hinglaj Devi alongwith another Devi called "Kurukullh" was once upon a time, universally worshipped. Hingula means "cinnabar", largely used as materia medica in ancient India. Since "Hingula" cures snake bites and eliminates all types of poisoning, it came to be identified with healing of all sorts of diseases.

Hinglaj is situated about a day's journey from the sea coast, at the extremity of the range of mountains dividing Lasbella from Mekran. These is a large circular tank near it, which is said to be of great depth. They relate that one of the priests employed himself for a whole year in twisting a rope for the purpose, but it was not long enough. Those who can swim, jump into the tank from an overhanging rock, and proceed through a subterranean passage to another part of the mountain, which is believed to purify them from their sins. There is also a practice of throwing a coconut forcefully into the water, and as the bubbles arise in a large or small quantity, the individual accordingly will be happy or miserable.

According to the history given in the holy books Sati, a daughter of Raja Daksh was married to Lord Shiva. Once the Raja arranged Brahspati Sav-Yajna at Kankhal near Haridwar. Brahma was the chief guest. Daksh invited all the Devtas but totally ignored Shiva who was known as Supreme among the Devtas. Narad Muni flashed this message to Sati and Shiva. They felt insulted. But even then Sati insisted that they should join the Yajna since there was no harm in going to father’s residence for a daughter even if she had not been invited.

Lord Shiva refused to accompany her but said he won’t mind if Sati insisted on attending Raja Daksh’s Yajna. Sati could not restrain herself and went to Kankhal,. She found that no space had been earmarked for her husband at the Yajna site. No body attended her rather she had to listen derogatory remarks from her father for her husband. Feeling highly insulted , Sati immolated herself in the Yajna-Kund.

When Lord Shiva learnt about the immolation, he sent his messengers to disturb the Yajna. They created panic there and separated Daksh’s head from his body, the same head was later thrown in to the Yajna-Kund. Later Shiva took her wife’s dead body on his shoulders and started wandering in the hilly areas , dancing about like a demented creature. The angles , fearing a premature end of the world, approached Lord Vishnu requesting him to contain lord Shiva so that the living world could be saved. Lord Vishnu converted Sati’s dead body into pieces. Wherever a piece fell down, a Shakti Peeth developed there. This was how 52 Shakti Peeths emerged in undivided Hindustan. Shri Hinglaj is one of them.

Since, according to the myth, Sati’s head with its Hingul (Sindhoor, Vermillion) fell at this place on the hills, it was named as Hingul Parvat and the Peeth was known as Shri Hinglaj Mata Asthan. This Peeth is considered supreme because Sati’s head had fallen here .

It is believed that Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshman visted this peeth during Banvas.

After creation of Pakistan, the govt. had declared it a prohibited area for residents of India but devotees residing in Pakistan and other foreign countries still take holy pilgrimage to the Peeth starting from Shri Swaminarayan Mandir complex in Karachi during Navratras in the month of April. Like Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir, the Hinglaj Yatra is also considered difficult-one but those who perform it, are blessed heavily by the Mata.