(Last Updated on : 22-10-2013)
Jakhu temple is an old temple which is present in the hill station of Shimla
and is dedicated to Lord Hanuman
, a Hindu
deity who finds mention in the epic Ramayana
. This ancient religious spot is existent on the summit of Jakhu Hills, which is based at a distance of nearly 2.5 km away from the eastern part of the Ridge in Shimla, at an altitude of 8, 000 feet above mean sea level. Jakhu Hills is considered to be the highest peak of Shimla and visitors will be treated to the marvellous sights of Shivalik
Mountain ranges as well as Sanjauli town from this ancient temple. Every year, during the occasion of Dussehra
, a grand festival is celebrated on the Jakhu Hills. The Jakhu Temple, also referred to as the Hanuman Mandir
is said to be the highest point of the town.
Innumerable monkeys residing in the Jakhu Hills welcome the devotees who visit the temple and are believed to attack pilgrims as they seek food from the travellers. On the way up to the temple, visitors can enjoy the breathtaking views of the neighbouring mountains, valleys, beautiful trees
and the sight of mischievous monkeys playing pranks and jumping among the trees.
Legendary Tale about Jahku Temple
The Hanuman Mandir at Jakhu Hills is said to have been present ever since the age of Ramayana and believed to have been constructed when Hanuman had paid visit to Jakhu Hill. According to a legendary account, Hanuman had approached this place during the conflict of Ravana
and Lord Rama
. During this fight, Lakshmana
, who was Rama's younger brother was severely wounded and lost consciousness after he was shot arrows by the son of Ravana named Indrajit
. Lakshmana's life would be restored only by 'Sanjivani Booti', which was a medicinal herb
. Hanuman was asked to bring this magical herb, by Jambavan, which grew on the Himalayan mountain ranges
. When Hanuman reached the Himalayas, he was clueless about the identity of the Sanjivani Booti. Therefore, with the aide of his immense strength, he uprooted the entire mountain and went back to Lanka. This was where Sugriva
, Rama, Jambavan and Vibhishana
were awaiting his arrival, with the unconscious body of Lakshmana. The warriors and Lakshmana regained consciousness immediately after that, just with the smell of the herb. It is believed that while Hanuman was returning from the Himalayas, he had stopped for a short duration to take rest on the Jakhu Hills. Consequently, the summit of this mountain was flattened on account of his weight, which was the exact spot where the Jakhu Temple has been erected. The footprints of Hanuman are conserved till date, inside the temple premises.
This temple can be accessed on foot from the Ridge and involves a steep climb. However, one can also hire taxis or a horse, or even a pony in order to approach this temple. One can also continue his journey with the assistance of walking sticks which can be available from the shops which are present on the base of Jakhu Hills. It is based about 2 km from the foothills of the Jakhu Hills and one has to traverse a trek of about 2 km though lush green jungles to reach the temple.
The regional inhabitants of Jakhu Hills harbour great respect and devotion for this Hanuman Mandir. Attractive paintings depicting numerous scenes from the Hindu epic of Ramayana adorn the interiors of the Jakhu Temple. Visitors are advised to remove their shoes and deposit them in the 'shoe house' prior to their entry inside the temple. They must take care of all their personal belongings in order to protect them from the reach of the several monkeys which play around near the temple.