Jogini Falls

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Small Shrine, Jogini Falls behind.

From The Flower Raj Encyclopaedia

Jogini Falls (Jogni Falls, Jogini Devi Mandir - Vashisht Village, near Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India).

Contents

Description

Main Jogini Shrine, valley behind.
  • Jogini Falls is a waterfall with a stream running down to join the river Beas in the Kullu Valley below. It is sacred to the the village goddess Jogini & is therefore a place of female power, known as a shakti peeth.

Jogini Falls are on the Northern edge of Vashisht Village & mark the village boundary. Land on the other side of the falls belongs to the village of Goshal.

Sacred to the Vashisht Village protective goddess, who is said to reside inside the rushing waters of the beautiful falls.

Below the falls there is a small shrine, almost unnoticeable but important. Below that is a Main Shrine (small temple) said to be more recent.

Villagers go to Jogini Devi to make offerings & to ask for her intercession. As it is such a peaceful, even soporific, sacred place, villagers also go there occasionally to sleep. Special occasions are marked by the cooking of food & the performance of rituals.

History

The local name for Jogini Devi is 'Fungni' use of which is restricted to the Kullu Valley. The more Sanskritised name for her is 'Mahāmāya Devi' (Sanskrit महामाय देवि literally 'Goddess of Great Illusions').

Religious & Spiritual

The Shakti Pithas (Sanskrit: शक्ति पीठ, Bengali: শক্তিপীঠ, Śakti Pīṭha, seat of Shakti[1]) are places of worship consecrated to the goddess Shakti or Parvati or Sati or Durga, the female principal of Hinduism and the main deity of the Shakta sect. They are sprinkled throughout the Indian subcontinent.[2]

Relation to Local People

Jogini Falls is a working place of sacred space - without the centuries of interaction with the villagers of Vashisht, it would not be what it is.

  • "The Jogini waterfalls are basically the sacred bathing place for “Joginis” who are believed to be the unwed daughters of Lord Indra. It is on the first of Baisakh that the locals bring their children for their first tonsure here above the Bashisht village"[3].
  • "The Jogini waterfall is near Vashisht village. Every day a large number of domestic and foreign tourists visit it and the Jogini temple. The villagers from the valley visit and perform their rites at the temple and till date follow the custom of serving food in plates made of stone"[4].

Memories & Stories

Photos


See also Himachal 2011 Visit with many photos of Jogini Falls & environs.

Video

Video-gallery-2.jpg
flash (flv) videos from the flower raj youtube channel & other sources.



mostly HD (high-definition) videos uploaded to youtube; watch full-screen by clicking on the full-screen 'arrow-box' at the bottom-right of the player.


JOGINI FALLS NORTH SIDE WATERFALL

JOGINI FALLS SOUTH & VALLEY

VASHISHT VILLAGE & KULLU VALLEY

JOGINI FALLS HYDRO WORKS

JOGINI FALLS - LOWER POOL & FALLS

EIGHT FINGER EDDIE - "EDDIE'S LAST DANCE"

Watch these & others on The Flower Raj Video Channel hosted by Youtube.

(videos copyright The Flower Raj 2011, CONTACT US for permission before copying).

Hydro Controversy

Anti Jogini Shrine Hydro Poster.

Jogini Falls and the stream, Chhor Naala running down to join the Beas River, is the border between the land of two villages, Vashisht & Goshale. But since the actual village of Goshale is on the other side of the valley, Jogini Falls has always been associated with Vashisht village & Jogini Devi is a protective local goddess to Vashisht Village.

Spiritually the land close about the falls & inside the falls is part of Jogini Devi & hence Vashisht. Jogini Devi is an important protective Goddess & many important rituals and activities take place in her presence.

And in practice it is the villagers of Vashisht who go there to worship & to cook, to make offerings & to ask for help. In fact it is said that the land on the Northern side of Jogini Falls was only given to Goshale Village quite recently as crop land as they have much less land than Vashisht & are poorer.

In 2002 a company based in Bhuntar, The Water Millers Company, approached officials of Goshale village and indicated they would like to make a 1MW micro hydro generator on the stream below the falls, Chhor Naala.

Nothing was said about building industrial-scale equipment at the higher levels of the sacred Jogini Falls which feed the stream (Naala).

Effectively, The Water Millers Company, who specialise in small government supported hydro projects in Himachal Pradesh, misled the village of Goshale as to the scale and placement of the project.

Over several years the project was started and then halted & then started again, over the protests of the villagers of Vashisht.

Sadly, in 2011 the project really did begin, with pneumatic drills, concreting & a massive & ugly pipe leading right up to the sacred footprint space (Narol) of the waterfall of the Goddess Herself.

Since then the villagers of Vashisht, together with many sympathisers from other villages in the Upper Kullu Valley & including some foreigners living in or visiting Vashisht, have demonstrated & marched & are pursuing the Himachal Pradesh Government to have the project cancelled. Court cases & FIR have been lodged & are currently being fought out in the High Court in Shimla (April 2012).

Jogini Hydro Project External Links

  • Samiti, firm at loggerheads. The Jogni Sangharsh Samiti and the private water miller company here are on a collision course on the issue of the construction of the 1-MW Chohad Nullah Project on the Jogni Fall in the uphill of this tourist town. (Tribune News Service 30 April 2012).

Other Hydro Controversies & Information

  • Hydel project - Protest against ‘anti-people’ policy of management "Hundreds of villagers of Jiya and Gopalpur areas today came out on the streets and protested against the anti-people attitude of a private company executing a small hydel project on the Jia river, a tributary of the Beas, in Palampur subdivision." Tribune India - Palampur, April 6, 2012.

RESOLUTION OF HYDRO CONTROVERSY

On 31st April 2012 The Himachal Pradesh government cancelled the 1MW hydro project at Jogini Falls/Chhor Nala.



Villagers of Vashisht gathered at the Temple Treasure House of Vashisht Rishi to celebrate:

Victory-at-last.jpg

Among those who supported the government decision was Govind Thakur, the BJP MLA who represents the area in the state assembly:

MLA-Govind-Thakur-at-meet.jpg

As of September 1st 2012 both court cases are ongoing & the decision in cabinet of 31 April 2012 has not (yet)been officially gazetted. Nothing has been removed from the hydro works site, rusting pipe & crumbling brick continues to litter the sacred landscape; the work has frozen, not been torn down.

Maps

"Fungni temple especially dedicated to "JOGNIES" or "Ferries". There is no temple as such but a few stones represents "Jognies". This entire peak is dedicated to "Jognies". Each village or communities have their own "Jognies". A festival is celebrated every year in the month of August when people from surrounding place came here without wearing shoes. They start their trekking early morning or day before and reach on the top of this peak. They bring food and other eatable alongwith them and enjoy food after worship of Jognies. It is realy a nice experience to be there".

Bibliography

References

  1. Fuller, Christopher John, The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India. 2004, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-12048-5
  2. Article from Banglapedia.
  3. Residents oppose power project at religious site Tribune News Service September 1st 2009.
  4. Villagers protest against power project at Jogini waterfall Tribune News Service September 11/06/2011

External Links

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