Located amidst the snow covered hills of Manali, the
manali is a unique shrine dedicated to < Hadimba Devi, who was the wife of Bhima and mother of Ghatothkach. Surrounded by gorgeous cedar forests, this beautiful shrine is built on a rock which is believed to be in the image of the goddess herself. hadimba-temple-manali is located in Manāli, a hill station in the State of Himāchal Pradesh in north India. It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, wife of Bhima, a figure in the Indian epic Mahābhārata. The construction style of the hadimba-temple-manali is entirely different from that of any of the other temples, with its wooden doorways, walls, and cone-shaped roof. This temple is a fitting dedication to its presiding deity Hadimba.
The wooden doors of this quaint shrine show images of Goddess Durga, while the temple base is made out of whitewashed stonework. The roof of the hadimba-temple-manali stands tall at the height of 24 meters and unfolds itself in three layers with a brass cone at the top. A rock protruding from the earth’s surface finds shelter in the temple premises, with a 7.5-centimeter brass image representing Goddess Hadimba. A temple dedicated to Hidimba’s son Ghatothkach also finds place closeby.
How to Reach hadimba-temple-manali
This temple lies only 2 kilometers away from the main city center of Manali, and you can access this destination via bus, taxi or also on foot.
Legend of Hadimba Temple
The Mahabharata states that the Pandavas stayed in Himachal during their exile. Hidimb, who was the brother of Hidimba, attacked them, and in the battle that followed, Bhima killed him. Bhima and Hidimb’s sister, Hidimba got married. They had a son whom they named Ghatotkacha. When Bhima and his brothers returned from exile, Hidimba did not accompany him, but stayed back and performed a tough penance so as to attain the status of a goddess eventually.
Importance of Hidimba Temple
The story takes us to the days of Mahabharata. After the Pandava brother and their mother escaped the ‘lakh’ palace without any harm, they arrived in this area. During those days, this region was ruled by Hidimb Raksasha. He had a sister named Hidimbi (Hadimba). Bheem fell in love with her. She reciprocated his feelings.
They both were able to marry only after killing her brother. The couple lived in the valley. After a year, Bheema went to join his brother and mother. After sometime, their son was born who was named Ghatotkachh. Hadimba took good care of her son till he was a minor. When Ghatotkachh, became a warrior, she retreated into the inner hills for meditation. Eventually her son conquered the country and became popular as a good administrator.
Hadmiba meditated in Dhungri region near Manali. She gained supernatural powers after her tapasya. She was very kind and thus became quite popular amid the locals. They erected a ‘pagoda’ style temple and dedicated it to her, Hadmiba Devi. This is how Hadmiba temple in Manali was built. Around 70 m from this temple, there is a shrine dedicated to Ghatotkachh.