Hadimba Devi temple is a beautifully crafted Pagoda style temple with a height of 24 meters. This beautiful temple was erected in 1553 and is dedicated to Goddess Hadimba. This temple has three tiers of its square roofs which are covered with timber tiles, while the conical roof is clad in metal.
The walls of mud are covered with stonework in contrast with the wooden doorway, which is elaborately decorated with miniature depictions of Goddess, attendants, animals and stylized foliation. On the beams above the doorway appears the Navagrahas, female dancers an isolated scene from the Krishna story,etc.
Hadimba temple is basically an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hadimba Devi, sister of Hadimb who was a character in the Mahabharata. Goddess Hadimba was the sister of the demon Hadimb who ruled the mountains and was feared by all.
Temple is located in the center of the forest which is called as Dhungri Van Bihar hence temple is also called as Dhungri temple.
There is another indigenous ceremony. The deities, Kartikswami of Simsa, Chhandal Rishi of Parsha, shrishti Narayan of Aleo, Shriganh of Jagatsukh, Vishnu of Shajla, Maladevi of Sial and Sankh Narayan of Nasogi, are brought in processions with proper music by their followers to Dhungri. On the 4th day, the fair shifts to the temple of Manu in the village Manali. The Dhungri forest provides a grand setting to the assemblage of hill women in their colorful clothes.
History Behind The Construction Of Hadimba Temple
The Temple is visited by thousands of tourists every year and is among the top places to be visited in Manali. The temple do not have any idol but only a footprint on a stone which is worshiped by the people. It is also believed that when the Raja ordered the construction of temple he was so awestruck by the beauty and architecture that he ordered to cut the right arm of the artist so that he could not copy the masterpiece again.
Hadimba Temple was Constructed by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in 1553 AD, Hadimba temple Manali is a much revered deity of the locals where the Goddess regularly consulted in times of natural hardship or calamity. According to locals and legendary related to temple, animal sacrifices are still made here in her honor.
In their wanderings the Pandavas, the five brothers of the great Indian Epic Mahabharata, along with their mother, after escaping from the wax house unhurt came to the territory of Hadimba Rakshash. One of the brothers Bhima fell in love with Hadimba, the sister of the ruler.
Bhima could marry her only after killing the brother. Then later the pair-lived in the valley for about a year after which Bhima joined his brothers and mother. Eventually Hadimba gave birth to a son who was named ‘Ghatotkachh’.
Till Ghatotkachh was a minor in age Hadimba looked after her country and then she retired to the inner hills, for meditation, when her son Ghatotkachh, a great warrior took over the country. Ghatotkachh was a good administrator. Dhungri was the place near Manali where Hadimba had resorted for meditation. There a temple of Hadimba in ‘pagoda’ style was raised and she became Devi Hadimba. Hadimba Devi had supernatural powers owing to ‘tapashya’ and was very much kind to her people.
Hadimba Devi Temple is usually dedicated to the wife of Bhim, who is one of the five Pandava brothers in the Indian epic Mahabharata. As the history and story by saints say that Bhim married Hadimba and they had a son. Later on, Hadimba left the place and became very much spiritual. Then the people who were her disciples later erected a temple in her respect, known as Hadimba Temple.
According to Hira Nand Shastri this temple is an antique of about 500 years old. There is no idol is cherished and only a foot print on a stone has been kept. It was Raja Bahadur Singh who built the temple is serve by a Mela held on the first of Savan annually named as ‘Bahadur Singh Re Jatar.’ This Mela is also called as Saroohni.
Timings to Visit Hadimba Devi Temple
Hadimba temple is open through out the year so its never an major issue that what would be the correct timing to visit the temple. But still if you visit Manali in peak season that is from late April to July then the best time to visit temple is around 5 Am to 7 Am in the morning. This is because during the peak season if you visit this temple around the noon then you have to stand in long ques for 30min to 1 hour.
So if you are in Manali and planning to visit temple then the best time would be around morning as soon as possible.
How to Reach Hadimba Devi Temple Manali
Temple can be accessed by car as well as by walking. If you are visiting Manali in peak season then second option that is by walking is the best option to reach Hadimba temple but if you are visiting Manali in off season or during the months of September or post September then you can prefer car also.
You can reach temple by driving till old Manali and have a short walk till the temple or can drive straight till the temple.
You can also reach the temple by walking from the Mall-road through Gurudwara road. This way is little tiring but is the shortest way to reach temple.
Photos of Hadimba Devi Temple
Best time to visit
You can visit the temple anytime of the year barring the monsoon season which arrive in July and August when rainfall perpetuates landslides. The best time to visit the temple is during the month of May when the temple hosts the Hadimba Devi Festival. This festival attracts a number of devotees and pilgrims to the temple. A colorful fair is organized each year on May 14 to celebrate Devi’s birthday. The fair features colourful and interesting folk dance performances.
The temple witnesses animal sacrifices till date to honor the Goddess. Natives believe that the sacrifices will help in appeasing the Goddess and she will bless them with strength and peace.
Getting there and around
• By Air – The nearest airport is at Bhuntar, which is 10 km south of Kullu.
• By Rail – The nearest rail head is at Jogindernagar (95 km)
• By Bus – Manali has a good road link with Kullu , Shimla, Delhi, Chandigarh, Mandi, Manikaran, Naggar, Bajaura, and Dharamshala.The Hadimba Temple is easily accessible to the visitors and the tourists in Himachal Pradesh by roadways. They can avail a bus service to reach the temple.
Accommodation is not an problem either in Kullu or Manali. Both the places have lot of budget and luxury hotels .
So this was the entire description of Hadimba temple including the history of the temple.