Salasar Balaji or Salasar Dham is a place of religious importance for the devotees of Lord Hanumana. It is located in the town of Salasar, on NH-65 near Sujangarh in Churu district, Rajasthan. It is located near the pilgrim centers of Rani Sati Temple and Khatushyamji. The temple of Balaji which is another name of Hanumana is situated in the middle of Salasar and attracts innumerable worshippers throughout the year specially on Chaitra Purnima and Ashvin Purnima. The temple of Salasar Balaji is now considered to be a Shakti Sthal (a place of power) and Swayambhu (self creation) by faith, belief, miracles and wish fulfillments of the devotees.
The idol of Balaji here is different from all other idols of Lord Hanumana. Hanumana possess round face with moustache and beard making it the most unique idol among the other idols of Hanumana all over the world.
The initial temple was constructed using mud-stone in the samvat 1811 (1754 AD) by Mohandas Maharaj after getting inspired by the unusual appearance of Balaji in his dreams. The current building is made of bricks, stones, cement, lime mortar, and marble. The entire circulatory path, the Sabha Mandap (prayer hall) and the Sanctum Sanctorum is covered with artistic works of Gold and Silver. The vestibule, the doors and the utensils used in worshiping are made of silver. The main gate is made up of carving works of white marble. The temple shrine and the sanctum sanctorum are decorated with floral patterns and other kinds of mosaic works done in Gold and Silver to give the temple a rich look.
It is believed that on Shravan Shukla-Navami -Samvat 1811, a miracle happened. A Ginthala-Jat farmer of village Asota found idols of Balaji Lord Hanumana covered with sand while ploughing his fields.This news of the appearance of Lord Balaji spread in the village Asota immediately. The Thakur of Asota also heard the news. Balaji ordered him in his dream to send the idol to Salasar in the Churu district. The idol was sent to Salasar and consecrated at the place known as Salasar Dham today.
The temple is open to devotees from early morning 4:00 am till 10:00 pm in the night. However, the temple is not closed at all on some special occasions such as Hanuman Jayanti.
The aim of the temple is to propagate the devotion of Hanuman and thereby the devotion of Rama. Thousands of visitors choose to come on feet, while some on prostrated movement showing their intensity of devotion for Balaji.
Of many rituals and traditions performed at the temple, the most widely followed is the tying of coconuts with moli (sacred red threads) in the temple premises by a large number of devotees. It is widely believed that such practice helps them to fulfil their wishes, if done with sincere faith. The practice was originated by the Jagirdar of Sikar, Rao Raja Devi Singh. Devi Singh did not have a son. He heard about Balaji and came to this place and tied a coconut on a tree to fulfil his wish of having a son. He was later blessed with a handicapped son Rao Raja Laxman Singh after ten months. Thus the custom of tying coconuts to fulfil wishes continues at the temple from that time onwards.
The other widely followed practice is the offering of food (weighing up to 50 kg) by the devotees to their deity, referred to as Savamani. The term "Savamani" is derived from the word "Sava" meaning one and a quarter in Hindi and the word "Mun" or "Maund", a mass unit weighing about 40 kg; thus adding the total up to 50 kg. Though the food is mostly prepared by the cooks of the temple kitchens, the process is now being outsourced to several independent shopkeepers & food-caterers due to the increasing number of offerings every day. Several delicacies like Dal, Baati, Churma, Boondi, Peda & Laddu is chosen for Savamani. The food after first being offered to the deity, is later used as part of family celebrations, distributed over to family and relatives or donated to the needy.