(Last Updated on : 29/12/2014)
Shimla District is dotted with numerous temples, often visited by devotees and tourists from nearby as well as far-off places. Shimla is the classic city, combining metropolitan surroundings and ancient temples alike. The temples in Shimla are very old dating back to several hundred years and there are popular legends associated with them. Some of the main temples of Shimla Temple are as follows -
Sankat Mochan Temple:
Sankat Mochan temple is situated at a distance of about 5 kms from Shimla and is located at Taradevi on Kalka- Shimla National Highway. This temple is very easily approachable and is one of the most sought after site by the devotees and pilgrims. The history of the temple dates back to the late 1950's, when Baba Neeb Karori Ji Maharaj visited this tranquil and serene site surrounded by lush green forests, emerald meadows, the majestic lofty mountains in the background which offered a very soothing and meditative atmosphere. Baba Neeb Karori Ji Maharaj stayed here in a hut for about ten days and he was deeply fascinated and charmed with the place. He expressed his keen desire for a Hanuman temple to be constructed at this very location. Baba's devotees took the responsibility to fulfill their Guru's desire and the construction of the temple started in the year 1962 and finally it was consecrated on 21st of June, 1966. At present the temple complex comprises temples dedicated to Lord Rama
and Lord Hanuman
, Lord Shiva
, Navgrah Temple, Baba Neeb Karori Ji Maharaj Temple and a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha
portraying the architecture of the south. The Temple complex also includes a three storey building which is partly used as the "Langer Hall".
Tara Devi Temple:
Tara Devi temple is located on Tarav Parvat in the western side of Shimla town. The picturesque view from the temple is indeed breath taking and captivating with the superb panorama of the lofty and majestic forested mountains around, which offers a calm peaceful and tranquil countryside, a site that has a soothing and rejuvenating effect, being away from the din, pollution and the tough effect of a fast urban life style. The history of this temple dates back to about 250 years. There is a belief that goddess Tara was brought to Himachal Pradesh
all the way from the eastern state of West Bengal
. Hundreds of years ago a king from the Sen Dynasty visited this area. This king had brought his family deity in the form of a small gold Idol encased in a locket which he always wore around his upper arm. It is said that for many years the idol remained encased but in the 96th generation of Sen Dynasty, Raja Bhupendra Sen one day had an unusual experience while hunting in the dense forests, site near the present temple, where he had a vision of his holy family deity goddess Tara. The Raja immediately donated huge acres of land and the temple was constructed there, in which a wooden idol of the Goddess was installed in accordance with Vaishnava traditions. Later on, Raja Balbir Sen of the same dynasty had a dream in which Goddess expressed her desire to be installed on the hill top of Tarav Parvat. The Raja on the advise of one of his pandits got a beautiful Idol prepared out of 'Ashtadhatu' at his had it installed in the Vikrami era on the Hill Top of Tarav Parvat. The Sen Dynasty of the erstwhile Keonthal State till date is carrying on with the age old tradition of worshipping their family deity.
This temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman is situated at a height of about 8500 feet in the east of historical ridge ground in Shimla city. This temple is very easily approachable and is one of the most sought after pilgrimage site. According to mythology, during the battle between lord Rama and Ravana
at Lanka, Lakshmana
was injured from an arrow from Meghnad. In order to save his life, when lord Hanuman was moving towards Himalaya to get sanjeewani herb, all of a sudden he saw Yaaku sage on Jakhu Mountain in penance. This place was named Jakhu, after the name of this sage. Lord Hanuman had even promised the sage Yaaku to meet him during his back journey. This temple of lord Hanuman was constructed by the Yaaku sage in his remembrance.
Bheemakali Temple, reputed to be at least 800 years old, is dedicated to Goddess Durga
or Bheemakali and is considered one of the sacred Shakti Peeths of the country. The temple is Tibetan in its architectural style, with Buddhist and Hindu influences and bronze statues of both religions in the shrines. It has slanted slate roofs, golden towers, pagodas and a carved silver door. Dussehra
is celebrated in a grand way at both Bheemakali Temple and in the village of Sarahan. A marvelous example of hill architecture, the temple complex is set against the incredibly beautiful backdrop of high ranges and forested slopes. Built in a mixture of the Hindu and Buddhists styles, it was the temple of Bushair rulers of Rampur (Shimla). The palaces of the royal family are adjacent to the temple. From Sarahan one can have a view of the Srikhand Peak, revered as the home of goddess Laxmi
Along the River Pabbar, 104 kms from Shimla, is the temple dedicated to Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva. The gods are said to have fought a pitched battle at this spot.
Bijai Temple is located in Batrol in Shimla district. The temple enshrines a brass idol of Goddess Bijai.
Lanka Vir Temple:
Known in erstwhile times for its uncanny rituals, Lanka Vir Temple enshrines a manifestation of Goddess Kali
: A temple built of stone, Purohit Mandir displays intricate chiseled work in its walls.
Durga Temple has art work and master masonry written in all its sides, exhibiting stunning architectural wonder.
Lord Shiva Temple, Hatkoti:
Built entirely from wood, Lord Shiva Temple also enshrines other gods/goddesses in Hindu mythology.
Hattu Mata Temple, Narkanda:
Located amidst exalted mountainous terrain, Hattu Mata Temple is adored by large number of devotees every year.
Palatial in its built, Mananeshwara Temple is consecrated to Lord Shiva.
Apart from the above mentioned temples there are several other prominent temples in Shimla that are worth visiting. These are Shikhru Devta Temple, Rohru, Kali-Bari Temple, Nag Temple and Sri Sat Narayan Temple.