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Sukrala Mata Shrine: The Abobe of Goddess Durga

Sukrala Mata Shrine at Billawar in district Kathua - The Abobe of Goddess Durga

The famous shrine of Sukrala Mata is located in Billawar in Kathua district at a height of 3500 feet from sea level. According to local belief, the temple is abode of goddess Mal Devi, re-incarnation of Sharda Devi. It is believed to have been built by Madho Singh, exiled prince of Chamba of Himachal Pradesh. Thousands of devotees throng the shrine during Navratras.

The Devi Maa Sukrala is also most reverentially addressed as Jagat Janani, Rajarjaswari Mata where devotees throng in thousand to have Holy Darshan, pay obeisance for blessings. Sukrala or Sukral is a small village located at Billawar in district Kathua. Through legends and historical record, the name of Sukrala is derived from Sharikalaya, the abode of Sharika which though, of course is another revered name of Mata Sharda. The historical records reflect the narration as to the origin of the sacred spot of Mata Sukrala Devi. The story goes that there used to live a renowned saint at Basohli who had received his education in Kashmir and Kashi there he visited many shrines including those of Shri Amarnath ji, Sharda, Hari Parvat etc.

He was a strong devotee of gods and goddesses. During his arduous penace and devotion, the Mother Goddess was very pleased and so he had holy dream. When asked by Mata ji as to what he wanted. The devotee prayed that he wants that she should be at his place so that the locals can be relieved of the pains and agony and are blessed by her Shakti. Mataji granted him the boon that she will appear at the time of his grandson and so the devotee disclosed to the locals. The devoted Brahmin had number of sons amongst whom two most pious and learned were by name Amolak Ram and Mahadev Shiv Nandan. They preferred and adopted Billawar and Basohli as their residence. Exactly in the time of Mahadev (Shiv Nandan), a Shila (stone slab) miraculously started emerging out from a spring at Sukrala. The people of the area eftsoonly started realising the prophecy of the grandfather as had earlier been disclosed.They (the inhabitants) accepted it as an emblem of the Goddess and as such started worshipping it regularly.

Mal Mata Sukrala Devi is very benign Goddess who fulfills the wishes of here true devotees. According to a popular belief, all wishes to the extent of the birth of child, securing job for livelihood and for the curing of chronic diseases are fulfilled by the Shrine Shakti of Mal Mata. The images of Mata Ji is a Shila (piece of rock). It is seated on a brass lion with a silver mounted head. And in its backdrop is a figure of Mahishasurmurdini (Maa Durga) standing on Mahishasur. The Goddess is Chaturbhuja, the Goddess with four arms with a sword in one of her hands. The eyes are of silver inlaid with dark vermilion. Mal Mata Sukrala Devi is an important Shrine being revered and venerated by almost all over the State, particularly being a Kul Devi. The devotees across the State also visit this Sacred Shrine of Shakti around the year, particularly during Navratras on both the occasions. There are huge Bhandaras and Langars arranged by the locals and other devotees and the social activists. 

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