Hidimba Devi Temple Manali| The demon wife of Bhima

Hidimba Devi Temple

The famous Hidimba Devi Temple of Manali also known as Dhungari Temple is located in Old Manali of Himachal Pradesh. The temple is dedicated to Hidimba Devi, the wife of Bhima from Mahabharata.

Location of Hidimba Devi Temple
Hidimba Devi Temple
Hidimba Devi Temple

It is located in circuit house road of Old Manali.

How to reach?

The temple is easily accessible by road, several taxis and auto can take you there. You can also walk on foot.

The nearest airport is Kullu airport at about 32km.

Ahju Railway station is the nearest station.

Timings

The temple is open from 8 am to 6 pm. It is open daily and there is no entry fee.

Best time to visit

April to July is the best time to visit. You can escape the heat of summers. The winters can be very cold with snowfalls.  

Pointers for your trip
  1. Dress decently as it is a temple.
  2. Wear warm clothes as it can be cold up there.
  3. Don’t throw any plastics and pollute the place
What to do there?
  1. Pay your respect to the Goddess Hidimba
  2. Try the Pahadi costumes given on rent by the women there. They take just 50 bucks and you get to wear an amazing costume with flowers.
  3. Take a picture with a rabbit for just 10 bucks.
  4. Trek around the pine forest and enjoy nature’s beauty.
Other tourist places nearby
  1. Manu Temple
  2. Vashist hot water springs
  3. Solang valley
  4. Clubhouse Manali
The architecture of Hidimba Devi Temple

The temple is built in Pagoda style with three tiers conical rooftop. It stands on a huge rock. The wooden doorway is carved with miniature drawings of dancers, animals, etc. Navgrahas are also carved in the beam. The base of the temple is up of whitewashed mud.

A wooden tower is present above the temple called Shikhar. The cedar forest surrounding the temple adds beauty to the interiors. Art and history lovers should never miss this place.

The temple doesn’t contain any idol of Goddess Hidimba. It just houses a rock in which Hidimba sat for meditation.  At about 100 meters the temple of Gatothkach is present.

History of Hidimba Devi Temple
Hidimba Devi Temple

The temple was built in 1533 Maharaja Bahadur Singh. The temple is built around the cave where Hidimba was performing her meditation. She wanted to be free from her demon side and become a goddess and after many years she finally rested at peace. Goddess Durga herself is said to have given her the position of Goddess. The temple is surrounded by Dhungiri Van Vihar at the foot of Himalayas.

Mahabharata narrative

It is said that after Pandavas and their mother escaped the lakh palace, they arrived in this area. The region was ruled by Hidimb Raksasha. Bhima, the strongest of Pandavas fell in love with the sister of Hidimb called Hidimba.

After Bhima killed Hidimba they were able to get married. Soon they had a son who was named Gatothkach. He was killed while helping win the war between Pandavas and Kauravas.

Soon after the exile, the Pandavas left and Hidimba stayed behind to atone for her sins for being a Raksashi.

Festivals of the temple

Navaratri is one of the most celebrated festivals. You can find a huge crowd on those days. Ghor festival is also celebrated in which the idol of Devi Hidimba is taken to the Dhalpur Maidan and she blesses the ceremonial horse.

The birthday of Hidimba Devi is also celebrated every year. In the month of Shravan, a festival is celebrated in the memory of Raja Bahadur Singh. 

Conclusion

I hope you found the above information useful and answered all your queries. Feel free to reach out if you have any doubts.

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