Navratri Delight – Fifteen Sterling Destinations. Abounding Divinity.

Hadimba Temple

This photo, “Hadimba temple” @Flickr from ruffin_ready
made available under an Attribution license

Hadimba is a serene looking temple, safely tucked away in a forest of the lovely hill station. After the construction of this temple, the hand of the chief carver was cut off, so that he could never create anything that beautiful again. Finally, a temple where one sees no idol but the very footmark of their beloved Goddess.

Yes, the Hadimba Devi temple located in Dhrongi, a small village in Manali district, indeed holds a long list of specialties to its name. It was built for Goddess Hadimba Devi, the wife of Bhima.

Hadimba was the sister of a very strong and witty demon called Hadimb, who ruled over the sub-mountainous kingdoms in the Himalayas. When Bhima was in exile along with his mother and brothers, he chanced upon the kingdom. Hadimba immediately fell in love with Bhima and requested him to kill her brother. He obliged and they got married and lived together in the region for about a year, after which he left to join his brothers. Meanwhile, Hadimba bore a child named Ghatotkacha.

After Ghatotkacha became old enough to handle the affairs of the state, Hadimba left to the forest to perform a long, intense penance. Her resort to meditation got her many powers and it was then that she got elevated to the status of Goddess Devi. In 1553, Raja Bahadur Singh built a temple for her over the very rock on which she had meditated and attained divinity.

Situated at the foot of the Himalayas and located inside a cedar forest, the location of the four-storeyed temple is an enchanting one. The doors of the temple bear exquisite carvings of the images of Goddess Durga while the mud walls are decorated with stone work.

Hadimba Devi is a much revered and worshipped Goddess in this region. She is regularly prayed to in times of hardship or difficulty. In fact, her birthday, celebrated on the first of ‘Jaith’ or 14th of May is a very grand and eventful three-day affair here. Thousands of men, women and children take part in this merry fair with dance and music.

Another noted event, not to be missed is Kullu Dussehra – an event that marks the biggest celebration around here. Dussehra at Kullu commences on the tenth day of the rising moon, i.e. on ‘Vijay Dashmi’ day and continues for seven days. Hadimba Devi is an important deity in the proceedings of Kullu Dussehra. Her palanquin is carried on human shoulders and is taken to the Raghunath temple of Kullu and the idols of over 200 local deities will follow her in this rally. Finally they all gather in the Dussehra grounds and the festival kickstarts.

This unique festival to pay obeisance to Lord Raghunath has received the status of International festival and draws tourists in large numbers.

Nearby Sterling Holidays resorts: Manali – White Mist

Distance from White Mist: Less than a kilometer

Closest city: Chandigarh – 293 kms