If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience in the snow-covered hills of Manali, you must check out the Hadimba Temple.
This shrine is dedicated to Hidimba Devi, the wife of Bhima and mother of Ghatothkach. But let’s not get too caught up in the details – what makes this temple stand out is its quirky architecture!
The wooden doorways, walls, and cone-shaped roof of the Hadimba Temple are unlike any other temple you’ll find in the area. Locally known as Dhungari Temple, it’s a fitting dedication to its presiding deity Hadimba. And the best part? The temple is built on a rock that’s believed to be in the image of the goddess herself!
Legend has it that Hidimba was a demoness who lived in the area with her brother, Hidimb. She promised to marry anyone who could defeat her brother in a fight, and Bheem from the Pandavas took on the challenge. He not only defeated Hidimb but also won Hidimba’s hand in marriage. Their son Ghatotkacha died fighting for the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra Battle, and a shrine dedicated to him is built near the Hadimba temple.
After Bheem and the Pandavas left Manali, Hidimba stayed back and became a kind and just ruler. When her son Ghatotkacha came of age, Hidimba left the throne to her and went into the forest to meditate. After years of penance, Hidimba was crowned a goddess, and the temple was built on the rock where she sat for meditation.
The Hadimba Temple is a four-storeyed Pagoda-style building with intricately carved wooden doors and a 24-metre high wooden tower above the temple. The interior is simple but adorned with carvings of Hindu goddesses, animals, and other figurines. But don’t go looking for an idol of Devi Hidimba because the sanctum sanctorum consists of the rock where she sat for meditation.
If you’re up for a short walk, a few meters away from the Hadimba Temple is a shrine dedicated to Hidimba and Bhima’s son Ghatotkacha. It’s a stone block with the impression of what is believed to be Hidimba’s foot. So you can say you’ve literally stepped in the goddess’s shoes!
So there you have it – the Hadimba Temple in Manali, a must-visit for its unique architecture, intriguing legends, and stunning surroundings. And the best part? You can access this destination via bus, taxi, or even on foot. So what are you waiting for?