Hidimba Devi Temple

The Hidimba Devi Temple is one of the most visited temples in Manali. It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to the Hidimba Devi, a character in the great Hindu mythological epic called the Mahabharata. This temple is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground. Maharaja Bahadur Singh built this huge structure in the year 1553. The temple is worshipped as a manifestation of the Goddess Durga. The temple was constructed as a promise given by the Maharaja to Hidimba Devi.

The Hidimba Devi Temple holds lot of architectural importance too. The base of the temple consists of white washed stonework that is covered with mud. The huge door at the entrance is made up of wood and has marvelous carvings on it. It is believed that the door is approximately 400 years old. The overall design of the temple is very uncommon and magnificent.

The top of the temple consists of wooden tower, popularly called as shikhara. This shikhara is about 24 meters tall and has three-square roofs clad with the timber tiles. The three roofs are crowned with the fourth roof, which depicts the shape of the cone, is made out of brass metal. There is a rock inside the temple, which is so huge that, occupies almost three floors and little space is available only on the ground floor.

As the temple is popular so are the many stories about the formation of the Hidimba Devi Temple. The most popular one says that the Pandavas after deporting took refuge in the region of Himachal. During this time, the mighty demon 'Hidimb' attacked them. Bhim, the strongest of the five eventually killed him after a terrible fight. Hidimba was the sister of this demon who later got married to Bhim. It is believed that Hidimba did a tapasya with lot of devotion and finally acclaimed the status of a goddess.

To mark the importance of this temple many fairs are held every year. Many people and devotees attend the fair. The temple that consists of the idol of the Goddess is about 3 inch tall and the idol is not enshrined. The temple is located amidst the forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar. The path to the temple is exciting too with glades of whispering Deodar trees. The temple can be visited any time of the year. It does not have any sort of admission or sight seeing fees levied upon. Devotees can take the glance of the Goddess Hidimba with the temple doors always open. It is never closed. An hour is enough to go through the temple structure and worship the deity.

The Hidimba Devi Temple is one of the must see religious spots in Manali town of Himachal Pradesh. The architectural beauty of the temple is worth a visit.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/07

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