Jun 5, 2012

Yatra- Hidimba Devi temple in Manali

Hidimba Devi temple in Manali, Himachal Pradesh, the most popular among Hidimba temples. The most powerful being in Kullu Valley. The 500 year old Dhoongri temple is built with wood and has a wooden pagoda with three tapering roofs. The doors and the outer walls are carved very beautifully and intricately. The Hidimba Devi image is in a massive rock cave. The temple is one of the five sites awaiting to be added to UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

There is a rope hanging near the rock. The legend says that, those days hands of sinners would be tied to this rope and sinners would be pushed hard swinging against the rock!
Hidimba Devi, is a short role in the great Hindu epic Mahabharatha. She was one of the wives of Bhimasena, the second brother of Pandavas, and mother of Ghatotkacha. She belonged to Kirataka tribe (forest dwellers) from Nepal. She and her brother Rakshasa Hidimbasura wanted to eat Pandavas. Bhima killed Hidimbasura and married Hidimba Devi instead.

There are many animal antlers along with the head of the animal mounted on the walls. At first I felt strange that in a temple? Then realized the temple itself is of a forest dweller who wanted to eat humans :)
A short walk towards the west is the tree temple of Ghatotkacha, the only son of Hidimba Devi and Bhima. There were many embellishments (or offerings?) on the tree trunk much different from that of temples in the south.

It was a nice experience to visit an ancient temple of rakshasi, built of wood!

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Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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