Situated 1851 meters above sea level, Tara Devi temple is situated on the Tara Parvat, in the western side of Shimla. Located 11 km from Shimla, on the National Highway 22, the temple can be accessed by rail, bus or car. Through any of these means one can reach the Tara Devi township, from where a 3km trek leads to the temple. The road to the temple is uphill, through the pinewoods and green meadows, accompanied by the chilly mild wind. Atmosphere of the hill rejuvenates the pilgrims and common tourists visiting this sacred temple. The hill offers some eye-catching scenic views of the surrounding areas that provide a tranquil landscape. From here one can get a panoramic view of Shimla and snow-clad Himalayan range on one side, with the other side revealing the plains of Chandigarh.
A legend surrounds the Tara Devi temple, which dates back to around 250 years. It is said that the Goddess Tara Devi was brought here from what is now West Bengal. According to the legend, a king from the Sen dynasty of Bengal visited this Himalayan land once. The king used to carry his family deity along with him. While on a hunting expedition, he succumbed to slumber, where he had a dream where Ma Tara Devi- his family deity- and her consorts Dwarpal Bhairav and Lord Hanuman, requested him to unveil them before the economically deprived people. Enthused by this singular dream, the king donated some lands and sponsored the construction of the temple here.
The first Idol that was installed in the temple was made of wood and it was in harmony with the Vaishnav customs. Later on, some of the subsequent generations of Sen kings slowly improved the structure. Even today the reverence for this temple is very much present among the hearts of devotees. In respect to the deity, a special festival is celebrated here every year.
The Military Dairy Firm is located near the temple. Tara Devi Temple is also a popular place among photographers as it affords, besides spiritual insights, some really scenic sights. The mountains and greenery of the hills is noticeable from the temple. Another temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, is located near the Tara Devi Temple. Shimla Railway Station is the closest railway station to the Tara Devi shrine.
Last Updated On: 2011/07/07