The Hidimba Devi Temple, also known as the Dhungri temple, is an ancient Hindu temple tucked among the snow-covered hillocks of Manali. The cave shrine is devoted to the Hindu demon-goddess Hidimbi. Hidimbi was the wife of Bhima, one of the five Pandava brothers featured prominently in the epic Mahabharata. The Temple, designed by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in 1553 CE, was erected around an old cave where Hidimbi Devi – is said to have meditated.
The tower, situated on a large rock sticking out of the earth; is surrounded by Dhungri Van Vihar, a rich cedar forest at the foot of the Himalayas. This protrusion was highly revered as a deity prior to the building of the Temple.
Hadimba Temple’s History and Mahabharata Connection
- The Hadimba Temple honours Hidimba, the wife of Bhima, the Pandavas’ second brother. Hidimba, a demoness who resided in this area with her brother Hidimba, was a native.
- She had pledged to marry whoever could beat Hidimba in a battle. During the Pandavas’ exile, Bheem, the Pandavas’ second brother, murdered Hidimba in order to spare the people from Hidimb’s tortures and so obtained Hidimba’s hand in marriage.
- Ghatotkacha, the son of Bheem and Hidimba, perished fighting for the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra Battle. A shrine honouring him is being erected at the Hadimba temple.
- Hidimba remained in Manali after Bheem, and the Pandavas left to look after the kingdom.
- She is reported to have been a very gentle and just monarch. When her son Ghatotkacha reached the age of majority, Hidimba abdicated the monarchy and retreated into the jungle to devote the remainder of her life to meditation.
- Hidimba sat on a rock and said to accomplish severe penances to rid her of her demonic character.
- Her prayers were granted after many years of meditation, and she was crowned with the grandeur of becoming a goddess. In 1553, the Hidimba Devi Temple was erected on this rock to honour her penance.
- The Hadimba Temple in Manali is a stunning instance of ANCIENT Himalayan architecture. The tomb is wholly made of wood, and the exterior is adorned with intricate carvings.
- The central shrine houses a statue of the goddess Hadimba and is supported by wooden columns.
- People visiting the Temple can applaud the craftsmanship of the architecture while also relaxing in the tranquil atmosphere.
- The Temple was constructed in the arched style, with four tiered roofs. A porch with a bench to sit on greets you as you enter the Temple.
- The panes, are made of wood and are meticulously carved into the Temple, giving it the appearance of a wealthy ancient home.
- The structure is remarkable, considering how old the Temple is, and the entire structure is still regarded as a pillar of protection from ghosts, demons, and ghouls in many areas.
- Overall, a trip to Manali would be incomplete without a visit to the Hidimba Devi Temple.
Hidimba Devi Highlights
The Temple’s stunning Himalayan construction, with its wooden doors and masonry, is an excellent setting for some unforgettable holiday photos. Capture the breathtaking foliage surrounding the Temple and bring it home with you.
2. Nature Trail
The Temple is encircled by thickets of deciduous woodlands that have been protected from the rush and bustle of the city. The woodland parkland’s beautiful charm is worth investigating. Nature walks around the Temple will undoubtedly revitalize your body and mind.
If you’re looking for adventure, the rolling hills of Manali are a great place to satisfy your wanderlust. Trekking in Manali is an unforgettable experience. While walking over strenuous routes, you may take in the lush splendour of the charming hill village.
4. Setting up camp:
Set up tents in adjacent villages and enjoy a campfire beneath Manali’s starlit sky. It will add another unforgettable experience to your travel itinerary.
Hidimba Devi Worship and Festivities
During the Navratri festival, the residents of Manali visit this temple to worship Hidimba Devi The Devi Hidimba statue, was moved to the Dhalpur Maidan and, blessed with the symbolic horse during the Dussehra ceremony. This custom is known as “Ghor Puja.” During Navaratri, there is a vast line of worshipers outside the Hadimba Temple.
How to Get to the Hadimba Devi Temple
- By Road: Several public bus choices from Delhi to Manali will take you to Hadimba Devi Temple.
- Manali, on the other hand, is accessible by bus to major towns in North India.
- By Train: The nearest train station to Hadimba Temple is Joginder Nagar railway station, which is 165.3 kilometres away.
- By Air: Hadimba Temple is 52.5 kilometers from Kullu-Manali Airport in Bhuntar. You may take a vehicle or cab from the airport to the temple, which will take around 2 hours.
What Time of Year Is Best to Visit Hadmba Devi
- Summer months, especially May, are perfect for visiting the Temple.
- The temple administrators organize a three-day Hidimba celebration (also known as the Dhungari festival) in May that is well worth attending.
- The event is jam-packed with fascinating activities, vivid folk dance performances, and other cultural attractions.
- It is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Nearby Attractions to Hidimba Devi Temple
1. Ghatotkach Temple:
The Ghatotkach Temple, located right next to the Hidimba Devi Temple, is a tree temple located to Ghatotkach, the son of Bhima and Hidimba.
2. Museum of Himachal Culture and Folk Art
Located near Hidimba Devi Temple, this museum has a variety of exceptional and rare antiques and artefacts that reflect the state’s culture.
The Hampta Pass is a 15-minute walk from the Hidimba Devi Temple and is an ideal location for hiking lovers.
3. Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa Monastery
If you’re seeking a tranquil location to meditate in Manali, go to the Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa Monastery. The Monastery is around a 10-minute walk from the Hidimba Devi Temple.
Hidimba Devi Temple Visiting Tips
- 1. Arrive early to prevent parking problems during peak seasons.
- 2. Be wary of hawkers and local merchants when you enter the Temple, since they may try to sell you local things at inflated costs.
- 3. The holiness of the Temple should be perfectly preserved by keeping the surrounding area clean. Please do not litter within or outside the Temple.
- 4. When entering the Temple and praying, keep your feet bare. In the Hindu religion, wearing shoes within the Temple is disrespectful.
- 5. Do not attempt to pluck or interfere with the natural vegetation surrounding the Temple.
- 6. Do not use your hands to touch any statues or religious instruments.