Hidimba Devi Temple in Manali of Himachal takes you back to Mahabharata era

Honeymoon in Himachal

Located in Manali of Himachal Pradesh, Hidimba Devi temple is the most popular place in the region. The royal people belonging to Kullu dynasty consider Hidimba Devi as their local deity. Constructed in 1553 AD, this temple is very much cherished by the tourists. One will have the glimpses of Pagoda style of architecture in this wooden temple. Here are four roofs on the temple. The topmost roof is made of copper and brass, where as other three roofs are made of logs of deodar wood. The special prayers are organized in this temple. Numerous devotees come here to celebrate Devi’s birthday every year on 14th May. Devotees also rush to this temple during Navratras.

Mythological tale

The tale behind this temple is very funny. People believe that Hidimba was the wife of Bhima who was the strongest among the Pandavas of Mahabharata era. As the narrative goes, Pandavas during their exile were roaming in the forests of Manali where Hidimba used to live with her demon brother namely Hidimb. One day when Hidimb sent her sister to fetch some human flesh for dinner, she happened to see Bhima along with his family and fell in love with him at first sight. Consequently, she decided not to kill them. But when Hidimb came to learn about this, he attacked the Pandavas but got killed by Bhima in the fierce battle.

Hidimba Devi Temple Manali

After this incident, Hidimba proposed Bhima for marriage, but he rejected the offer straight away. Viewing the pathetic condition of Hidimba, Pandavas’ mother Kunti intervened and asked Bhima to marry her. After getting married to Bhima, Hidimba gave birth to a son called Ghatotakach. During the Mahabharata war, Ghatotakach under the orders of Hidimba sacrificed his life by coming in front of the arrow, which was released by Karan for Arjun. Though demon by birth, Hidimba became human-being after being married to Bhima and with the passage of time, the local people started giving her the status of goddess.

How to reach

Hidimba Devi temple is located just 1 km at Dungri village from Manali. One can take taxi or rikshaw from Manali to reach Dungri. Manali is not connected directly to air or rail route. The nearest airport from here is 50 kms at Bhuntar. There are almost regular flights from Bhuntar to Delhi and Chandigarh. The nearest railway station from here is 162 kms away at Baijnath. One can take bus to Manali from here. Regular buses from here leave to Delhi and Chandigarh. The distance between Delhi and Manali is about 540 kms.

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(Religious Places from The Himalayan Diary)

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