Hadimba temple: Situated amidst the snow-capped hills of Manali, Hadimba Temple is a unique temple dedicated to Hadimba Devi, who was the wife of Bhima and the mother of Ghatotkacha. Surrounded by magnificent deodar forests, this beautiful temple is built on a rock that is believed to be in the image of Goddess Hidimba herself.
Locally known as Dhungri Temple, the construction style of Hidimba Devi Temple is completely different from any other temple with wooden doors, walls, and a cone-shaped roof. This temple is a fitting dedication to its presiding deity Hadimba.
Architecture of Hidimba Devi Temple
The Hadimba temple, built in the pagoda style, is four-storeyed with flat roofs. The topmost roof is conical and covered with metal, while the other roofs are covered with wooden tiles. The temple is mainly made of wood and stones. Above the temple are intricately carved wooden doors and 24-meter-high wooden ‘shikhars’ or towers.
The main entrance of the Hidimba temple is decorated with carvings depicting Goddess Durga. The base of the Hadimba temple is made of whitewashed stones. The interior has been kept as simple as possible. The walls are decorated with carvings and sculptures of Hindu deities, various animals, etc. There is no idol of Goddess Hidimba in the temple. In the sanctum sanctorum is the rock where Hidimba sat for meditation.
A few meters away from the Hidimba temple is a temple dedicated to Ghatotkacha, son of Hidimba and Bhima. It consists of a stone block believed to be Hidimba’s foot.
History of Hadimba Temple and Mahabharata Connection
Hidimba Temple is dedicated to Hidimba, the wife of Bhima, the second brother of the Pandavas. Hidimba was a demon who lived in this area with her brother Hidimba. She swore that she would marry whoever could defeat Hidimba in the fight. During the period when the Pandavas were in exile, Bhima, the second brother of the Pandavas, killed Hidimba to save the villagers from the torture of Hidimba, thus winning Hidimba’s hand for marriage. Bhima and Hidimba had a son named Ghatotkacha who died fighting for the Pandavas in the battle of Kurukshetra. A temple dedicated to him has been built near the Hidimba temple.
After Bhima and the Pandavas left Manali, Hidimba returned to look after the kingdom. It is said that she was a very kind and just ruler. When her son Ghatotkacha grew up, Hidimba abdicated the throne and went into the forest to devote the rest of her life to meditation. It is said that Hidimba sat on a rock while doing a severe penance to renounce her demonic identity. After many years of meditation, her prayers were answered, and she was crowned with the glory of being a goddess. Hidimba Devi Temple was built on this rock in 1553 to honor her penance.
Worship of Hidimba Devi and Festivities
People of Manali worship Hidimba Devi in this temple during the Navratri festival. During the Dussehra festival, the idol of Goddess Hidimba is taken to the Dhalpur ground from where she blesses the ceremonial horse. This tradition is called “Ghor Puja”. There is a long queue of devotees outside Hadimba temple during Navratri.
How To Reach Hadimba Temple
The temple is located just 2 kilometers from the main city center of Manali, and you can reach this destination by bus, taxi, or on foot.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hadimba temple
Q. What is Hidimba Temple famous for?
A – Hidimba Devi Temple was built in 1553 AD by Maharaja Bahadur Singh. The temple is built around a cave where Goddess Hidimba meditated. Hidimbi was believed to have lived there with her brother Hidimba, and not much is known about her parents.
Q. Why is Hidimba worshipped?
A – The people here worshiped him as a deity for his good deeds. “She is not a demon. She is now a goddess. She is a manifestation of Durga.
Q. How old is Hadimba Temple?
A – The temple was built by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in 1553 and has stood the test of time. An intricate four-storey structure, it looks like a deserted cabin in the woods if there is no one around.
Q. Is Hidimba a goddess?
A – One is definitely located in the city of Manali in Himachal Pradesh, Hidimba Temple. It is dedicated to Hidimba Devi, a Hindu goddess. The strong mythological story inspired people to instill immense faith in the goddess. Apart from divine bliss, you will love to see the pagoda-style architecture of North India.
Q. Is Hadimba a demon?
A – Hidimbi was a demonic person who fell in love with Bhima when he took refuge in a forest with his four brothers and mother. The Pandava brothers – Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva – were in exile with their mother Kunti when they came into contact with Hidimbi, the sister of a demon named Hidimba.
Q. Is Hidimba Temple Open?
A – The entry time of Hadimba Temple, a wonderful temple dedicated to a local deity, Hadimba Devi, runs from 8 am to 6 pm.