Hadimba Temple or Hidimbi Devi temple is situated in the Doongri forest reserve, around 2kms from main Manali. The scenic beauty and ancient architectural style of the temple gives a breath-taking experience. The temple is of the Hindu goddesses Hidimbi, the wife of Bhima. The iconic structure is surrounded by the cedar trees and is most the peaceful spot to feel the flow of spirituality.
History of Hadimba Temple;
The site of the temple is where Devi Hidimbi meditated for years. According to the sayings from Mahabharata, the Pandavas exiled in Manali. The Fight between the Hdimb, brother of Hidimbi and Bhima the strongest Pandava resulted in the death of Hdimb. Hidimbi then married Bheem and gave birth to their son Gatotkach.
The Hadimba temple was erected in 1553 by Maharaja Bahadur Singh. The temple was constructed on the plea of locals as they considered Goddess Hidimba the preserver and destroyer of the town. The locals till date come in large numbers to pray at this ancient Hindu temple.
Architectural facts about hadimba temple;
- The architecture of the temple is purely Hindu based hill design. No signs of cross culture design are visible in the construction.
- The main temple has a 24m long wooden sanctuary or Shikhar.
- The doors and windows are of wood, especially the sturdy cedar wood.
- There are three roofs covered with timber tiles.
- The fourth cone shaped roof of brass at the top consists of a flag and a star.
- The base of the temple is simple rock walls plastered mud covering stone works whitewashed with paint.
- The entrance theme of the temple represents the earth Goddess Durga.
- The inside of the temple consists of a 3-inch rock with footsteps of Goddess Hidimbi, and the rock is worshiped.
- The temple is unique not only for its raw beauty but also because there is no idol in the temple.
The best time to visit the hadimba temple is in March to avoid the huge rush of summers and to enjoy the beauty and sanctity of the shrine. The temple organises fair known as Saroohni annually. The local’s belief that every coronation must start with animal sacrifice and till date buffalo sacrifice is in practice at this temple. The fare is organised for three days and begins on the first day of every saavan(month according to Hindu calendar). The tourists enjoy not only the beautiful temple but also the nearby scenic forest trail. The Ghatotkach temple, which is around 2kms from the main temple is also an important site to visit.
The hadimaba temple is an important Hindu religious site, and from the tourist point of view an important site for the tourism industry of Manali. The high rising deodars and the smell and sense of nature make the place divine and soul catching. The visit to Manali is incomplete without the visit to the hadimba temple.