The Hidimba Devi temple or Hadimba Temple is a famous temple in Manali, Himachal Pradesh. It is in the midst of a forest- Dhungri Van Vihar. Hence, the temple gets its name from its surrounding forest area. This temple in honour of Bhima’s wife Hidimba and is also famous for its mystical aura. The sanctuary is over a huge rock jutting out of the ground which the devotees worshipped as an image of the deity. People from all over the world visit the temple every year. They offer prayers and also worship the goddess with all heart and soul.
History of Hidimba Devi Temple
The temple complex was built in 1553. This temple is for Hidimba, who was the wife of Bhima- one of the fire Pandavas, so it is evident that an air of mythology exists within the temple arena. There are also quite a few local folktales that go around. One of them says that after the Pandavas along with Kunti Devi escaped the fire in the Lakh palace, they came to this area (current temple area). At that time the rakhshasa king whose sister was Hidimba, ruled the place.
Bhima fell in love with her and married her. Theyeventually giving birth to their son Ghatotkacha. Hadmiba meditated in Dhungri region near Manali. She gained supernatural powers after her tapasya. She was very kind and thus became quite popular amid the locals. They erected a ‘pagoda’ style temple and dedicated it to her, Hadmiba Devi. Another legend says that Maharaja Bahadur Singh during 1552.
Significance of Hidimba Devi Temple
The Temple has a 24 m high tower. The three tiers of its square roofs are covered with timber tiles, while the conical roof is clad in metal.
Devi Durga forms the theme of the main doors carvings.
Further, the temple base is made out of whitewashed, mud-covered stonework. An enormous rock occupies the inside of the temple, only a 7.5 cm (3 inch) tall brass image representing goddess Hidimba Devi.
According to a legend, in bygone days religious zealots would tie the hands of “sinners” by the rope and then swing them against the rock- thus a rope hangs against the rock.
70 m away a shrine exists dedicated to Ghatotkacha.
One of the prominent features of the temple is that inside the temple complex there lies the imprint of the feet of the Goddess on a block of stone. Also, when zooming into the area where the temple is present via Google Satellite, the imprint of a giant foot spans across the valley in the area near the temple.
Darshan timings at Hidimba Devi Temple
The temple remains open all days of the week from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Festivals at Hidimba Devi Temple
During the Hindi month of Shravan, a grand festival is organized. This festival is held in the memory of the person who constructed it, Raja Bahadur Singh. Locals also know it as Bahadur Singh Re Jatar.
Another important festival or event held is the celebration of the birthday of Hadmiba Devi, on the 14th of May, every year. At this time, the local women visit the Dungri forest area and celebrate with music and dance.
How to reach Hidimba Devi Temple
By Air: The Bhuntar Airport at Kullu which is 10 km from Manali. The airport is connected by Vayudoot services with Delhi and Chandigarh.
By rail: The closest narrow gauge railhead is at Jogindernagar(126 kms from Kullu & 166 kms from Manali). Also, the closest broad gauge railheads are Chandigarh (397 kms from Kullu and 357 kms from Manali) and Ambala (355km.)
By road: Kullu and Manali both the places are on the National Highway No. 21. Motorable roads and regular bus services connect Kullu & Manali to most of the important places in Himachal Pradesh and the neighbouring states.
Hotels nearby Hidimba Devi temple
Khushboo Resorts at Manali is a famous place to stay. It has got excellent room services and suitable amenities. It is present at Border Road Officers Mess.
Hotel Hadimba Heights at Dhungri near Ghatotkach & Hadimba Temple is another grand place to check in. It has a wonderful homely atmosphere with serene natural surroundings.
Places to visit near Hidimba Devi Temple
Malana- Located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India, Malana is an ancient solitary Indian village to the north-east of Kullu Valley. Three mountain passes connect the village to Kullu. The majestic peaks of Deo Tibba and Chandrakhani shadow the village.
Kullu is at a height of 1,230 meters above the level of the sea in the state of Himachal Pradesh and is also popular as the ‘Valley of Gods’. The scenic views, towering jungles, blue water rivers, apple orchards and snow kissed mountains are some of the major pointers which attract tourists to this location.