Hadimba temple, also known as Dhungiri temple situated in Manali is one of the most prominent temples of the region. Located in the center of the forest of Dhungiri Van Vihar, the temple has derived its name from the forest parkland close to the temple. The cave temple is dedicated to Devi Hadimba, sister of Hadimb, a character of Maharbharata. Hadimb was a demon who reigned the mountains and everybody was scared of him.
Legend and History of Hadimba Temple
The Pandavas, the five brothers of the great epic of Hindus- Mahabharata were trying to get away from the wax house with their mother. They inadvertently entered the territory of Demon Hadimb and Bhima, one of the Pandavas fell in love with her sister Hadimba.
Bhima wanted to marry Hadimba which he could do after killing Hadimb and they had a son named Ghatotkach. The two stayed around this valley for about an year. Afterwards Bhima joined his mother and brothers while Hadimba took care of the region. Hadimba later retired to interior mountains when her son became a great warrior and took over the territory. As a result of the meditation she did, she gained supernatural powers and came to be known as Devi Hadimba. Then her disciples instituted the Hadimba temple in her respect.
Dedicated to Devi Hadimba, Hadimba temple was constructed in 1553 by Maharaja Bahadur Singh. The temple has been magnificently constructed with pagoda style of architecture. There is a lgened behind the creation of the temple according to which the king who had ordered building up of the temple was so extremely spellbound by its beauty that he instructed to cut the right hand of the artist who created it so that he is not be able to recreate such a stroke of genius art-work in future.
The temple houses a striking 24 m tall tower also known as Shikhar which is made of wood. The tower has 3 square shaped roofs that are covered with tiles made of timber, while the fourth one is cone shaped and made up of brass. The doors of the temple have been carved delicately. The temple does not contain any idol, rather there is a footprint on a stone which is prayed. Whitewashed, mud-covered stonework has been used in making of the temple. People come here not only to pray but also to experience the glorious architectural beauty of this shrine.
Devi Hadimba was considered as their patron by the kings of this place. Therefore, followers of the Goddess do not forget to seek her blessings while setting out to do something new or even in times of adversities. As per the local people, devotees still sacrifice a buffalo at the temple to get Devi Hadimba’s consecrations.
Every year in the month of Shravan, a festival named as ‘Bahadur Singh Re Jatar’ or ‘Saroohni’ is organized. This festival is also emblematic of completion of transplantation of paddy.
- Location – Manali → Himachal Pradesh
- Dedicated to → Devi Hadimba
- Main Attraction → Beauty of Architecture, Shikhar- the 24 m tall tower
- Main Festival and Fair → ‘Bahadur Singh Re Jatar’ or ‘Saroohni’ in the month of Shravan
- How to reach by Air → the nearest airport – Bhuntar
- How to reach by Rail – Nearest railway station →Joginder Nagar 50 km, Chandigarh 350 km
- How to reach by Road → Manali is very well-connected to important towns and cities of North India by means of a network of state-run as well as private buses. One can also drive up to Manali in own car or hire a taxi.