(Last Updated on : 22/10/2013)
Hadimba Temple is located in Dhungiri forest of Manali. The temple is an ancient cave dedicated to Hadimba Devi, sister of Hadimb, who was a character in the Mahabharata
Built in 1553, this wooden temple is worshipped by local villagers who consider Hadimba to be a goddess that fulfills their wishes. Dating back to 1553, the temple is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground, which was worshipped as an image of the deity. As the temple is situated in Dungiri, it is known by the name "Dungiri Temple". The original building was built between the periods of 500 and 700 BC and was rebuilt a number of times. The temple is located at the foot of the Himalayas and is surrounded by a cedar forest.
Legend of Hidimba Temple:
The legend of Hidimba temple dates back to the period of Mahabharata. Hadimba was the sister of a demon called Hadimb who resided in the Himalayas. During the exile period, the Pandavas reached a place that was ruled by Hidimb. Bhim after killing the demon married Hadimba. After a year, she gave birth to a boy named Ghaotkach. Bhima left to join his family while Hadimba continued ruling her villagers. After a couple of years, as her son took over form her, she went to reclusion in an area called Dhungiri. Hadimba Temple was built by Bahadur Singh in the 16th century at the place of meditation by the princess.
Architecture of Hidimba Temple:
The architecture of the temple has been intricately designed. It is built in the form of a conical pagoda. The temple appears like a thatched cottage and has four storeys. Instead of a sculpture or idol in temple's premises there is a foot-print that has been carved on a stone. A magnificent door is made up of wood and is carved beautifully. In the top of the sanctuary a wooden tower, popularly called shikhara, has been nicely placed. This shikhara is about twenty four meters tall and is consisted of 3 square roofs clad with timber tiles, crowned with a fourth roof. It is a cone shaped roof made up of brass metal. The base of the Hidimba Devi temple is 'whitewashed' by stone works that are covered with mud. Every year, Hadimba Temple a fair is organized in honor of Raja Bahadur Singh. This fair is celebrated during the Hindu month of Sawan and is known as Saroohni. Dussehra Festival is also celebrated with much fanfare. During this time, a sculpture of Raghunathji is taken for a procession to Dhalpur Ground. The blessings of Hadimba are taken during this 'Ghor Puja' ceremony. Every year on 14th May, a fair is organized in honour of the godess that lasts for three days. The villagers indulge themselves in drunken rivalries and spend these days of festivities with fun and frolic.
Another ceremony is alos celebrated where a number of deities including Shriganth, Nasogi's Sankh Narayan, Parsha's Chandal Rishi, and Simsa'a Kartikswami are worshipped and taken in a procession. This is celebrated at Manu Temple in Manali. The temple is visited by a number of tourists.