The highest point of Shimla, Jakhu Temple is an ancient site dedicated to the Hindu god – Hanuman, amidst the lush green backdrop of the Shivalik hill range on Jakhu Hill. Jakhu Temple houses the world’s largest Hanuman statue, which is visible from most parts of Shimla.
Overlooking the sister town of Sanjauli, the wonderful setting of Jakhoo Temple in a thicket of beautiful deodar trees is complemented by the abundant monkey population in and around the Jakhoo Hill area. It is located in the center of Shimla at a distance of about 2 kilometers from the ridge, about 30 minutes journey. The construction of the Hanuman statue is a marvelous piece of engineering as it stands at an altitude of over 8000 feet, making it the tallest statue in the world at such a height above sea level, surpassing the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. gives. It is 30 meters tall (excluding a pedestal of 8 meters) at an altitude of 700 meters (2,300 ft). According to the legend that surrounds the Jakhu temple, Lord Hanuman stayed at this place to take some rest before starting his search for the Sanjeevani Booti to revive Lord Lakshmana.
Know Before You Visit Jakhoo Temple
- Jakhu Temple on the top of the hill is a little far from the center of Shimla city. To reach Jakhu Temple, you can either hire a taxi, get a pony or walk the 2 km picturesque trail up the hill. A rope/cable car is also available to reach the top.
- At times, the monkeys here can be quite a hassle to deal with and they are famous for snatching anything you can carry or wear. So, be mindful of your surroundings and carry a stick to keep them away. They also generously accept the food and drink offered by the people!
- There are many eateries at the temple site.
- It is considered good luck to ring the temple bell before leaving the premises.
Legend of Jakhoo Temple
During the battle of Ramayana, between Rama and Ravana, Lakshmana was seriously injured by the arrow of Indrajit (Ravana’s son). To revive her, Hanuman sought the much-acclaimed Sanjeevani plant, which is said to cure any disease. It is said that Lord Hanuman stopped here on his way to get the medicinal plant. Apart from this, it is also believed that the place is named after the sage ‘Yaku’, who was seen by Hanuman sitting here while he was on his way to the Himalayas.
He landed here to gather more information about the plant. As a result of which Jakhu hill, which was quite high, got submerged in half the ground. He went to Mount Dronagiri in the Himalayas and promised to meet sage Yaku on his return. However, on his way back, due to lack of time and his confrontation with the cunning demon Kalnemi, he could not go back to the hill. Sage Yaku is believed to have built this temple in honor of Lord Hanuman.
Legend says that the temple is built around the footprints of Hanuman. The monkeys that swarm and reside around the temple here are said to be the descendants of Lord Hanuman. The original date of construction of the temple is not clearly known, but it is believed to have existed since the time of Ramayana.
The architecture of Jakhu Temple
Being the highest peak in Shimla, Jakhu Temple sightseeing provides ample incentive to visit this place. Jakhu hill provides amazing views of sunrise, and sunset, the high mountains of the Shivalik ranges, and the nearby town of Sanjauli. The road to the temple offers a relaxing, quiet path filled with narrow promenades and excellent views surrounded by deodar trees. The temple itself is a serene place with a shrine dedicated to Lord Hanuman.
The complex has murals and paintings depicting the adventures of Hanuman during the Ramayana. The colossal 108 feet high statue of Hanuman installed here in 2010 is a grand sight and has played a significant role in attracting the increasing number of tourists throughout the years, who come here to witness this architectural marvel. The tall statue is illuminated during the night. It is visible from almost anywhere in Shimla, even during the day! An endless number of monkeys roam the hill and it is an amazing sight to experience, but beware of their mischievous behavior.
Jakhoo Temple Ropeway
The spectacular gondola ride rises to 8,054 feet above sea level and covers a distance of half a kilometer in no more than 5-6 minutes, saving you from the usual human crowds on the roads. Jakhu Ropeway is one of the four major ropeway attractions in the state, the others being Solang Nala in Rohtang, Naina Devi in Bilaspur, and Timber Trials in Solan. Each ropeway cabin can accommodate up to six people.
The festival of Dussehra (Vijayadashmi) is celebrated extensively in the month of October/September at Jakhu Temple due to the heroic exploits of Lord Hanuman in the Hindu epic, Ramayana. Dussehra marks the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.
Frequently Asked Questions About Jakhu Temple
Q. Why is Jakhu Temple famous?
A – Situated atop Jakhu Hill, Jakhu Temple is a popular tourist destination. Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, it houses a 108 feet tall idol of the deity. Being situated at the highest point of Shimla, it offers sweeping views of the Shivalik ranges.
Q. How many steps are there in Jakhu Temple?
A – 200 steps
Q. Who made the idol of Jakhu Temple?
A – The tallest statue in present-day Himachal is that of Lord Hanuman in Jakhu. It is 108 feet tall and was built by Naresh Kumar of Pilani (Rajasthan). It is a gift to Himachal Pradesh by Nando, the daughter and son-in-law of Amitabh Bachchan, and the reason why it was made public in 2010 by Abhishek Bachchan.
Q. Who inaugurated Jakhu Temple?
A – Its construction was started in 2008 and completed in the year 2010, inaugurated by Abhishek Bachchan, his sister Shweta Nanda, her husband Nikhil Nanda a business tycoon and the then Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Prem Kumar Dhumal. The statue is 108 feet tall and overlooks the city of Shimla.
Q. Who is the God of Shimla?
A – Lord Hanuman, Jakhu Temple claims to be the world’s highest position of Lord Hanuman at an altitude of 2455 meters above sea level.
Q. What is the story of Jakhu Temple?
A – There is an interesting story behind Jakhu Temple. It is said that a deadly arrow injured Lord Rama’s brother Lakshmana when he was fighting with the demon king Ravana. A priest diagnosed Lakshmana and said that he needed a special Sanjeevani herb from the Himalayas to cure Lakshmana.
Q. How old is Jakhu Temple in Shimla?
A – Established in 2010, the 108 feet tall statue of Hanuman is an attraction in itself and has attracted a large number of tourists throughout the years.