Parashar temple is situated in the Mandi district of Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The temple is dedicated to Rishi Parashar, the grandson of eminent saint and sage of Hindu mythology- Rishi Vashishtha. In Hindu religion, almost all the temples are dedicated to Gods and goddesses. While Parashar temple is a rare example since it is dedicated to a rishi. The reason behind is that mountains are a quieter, calmer place and therefore ideal for meditation. Lot of Hindu sages have spent their lives wandering around and meditating in the Himalayas.
Besides the temple, the district Mandi also has a magnificent lake and is famous for both these attractions among tourists as well as pilgrims.
Referred to by locals as Deu Padasar, Rishi Parashar is believed to have come to this spot and created a water spring by striking his axe. The water that came out from this spring filled the vacuity in the ridge and thus the lake named as Parashar Lake was created. There have been several attempts to find out the depth of this lake but all in vain. It is now being believed that the lake is perhaps bottomless.
Legend and history of Parashar Temple
Although there are no precise records about the history of Parashar temple but it is believed that a temple has always existed on this spot. As per myths, construction of the temple took almost 18 years to complete. It was initiated by a 6 months old child with carvings out of a deodar tree.
The more recent references of this temple in history belong to 14th century. It is supposed to have been constructed by Ban Sen, the then king of Mandi.
Having intricate carvings of animals and snakes, the temple is constructed with pagoda style of architecture with deodar wood. Architecturally, it is considered much similar to the Hadimba temple of Manali. The structure is of three ties with a square roof and a conical roof top. On both the sides of the entrance are carved doorkeepers. The entry to the shrine is provided by a single shutter deodar wood door with lavish carvings. There is also an open passage with quite a decorative door frame. On both sides of the main idol are about 12 images which are magnificent examples of local folk art. The main attraction is three and a half feet high image of Lord Bhairav. The wonderful wooden carvings of geometrical patterns,floral designs, humans emi –divine and divine figures are simple spellbinding.
The annual festival is held in the month of ‘Baisakh’ from 13th to 15th June when this place is thronged by tourists from all over the India and across the world. A few selected devotees carry idols of Gods on foot to the temple complex where they are hosted and prayed. It is also attended by other Parashar Temples of Himachal Pradesh.
- Location – Mandi → Himachal Pradesh – India
- Dedicated to → Rishi Parashar
- Main Attraction → Architectural beauty, wooden carvings and Parashar Lake
- Main Festival and Fair →13th to 15th June
- How to reach by Air →the nearest airport – Kullu airport, 75 km from Mandi
- How to reach by Rail – Nearest railway station →Mandi
- How to reach by Road →Frequent state transport buses available from all major towns and cities of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and also from Delhi. One can also drive by car to Mandi where the holy shrine is situated.