Hatkoti Temple” is located at Jubbal (Hatkoti), 100 K.M. from Shimla the capital of the Himachal Pradesh. Temple is located in village Hatkoti of tehsil Jubbal distt Shimla of Himachal Pradesh. .Hatkoti Mata is regarded as the most powerful goddess among all the goddesses of northern India by the residents of Hatkoti. As we know Himachal Pradesh is a state of god and goddesses. Hartkoti is one of them. Himachal Pradesh is known as a valley of temples.
There is no written proof about the history of the temple but as we enter the premises of the temple the history diverts our minds towards itself, as there are a number of historic monuments in the temple which makes us remember about the Mabharata period. There are five stone “Deols” present in the temple premises which makes us remember about the five pandavas. These “Deols” are decreasing in size, first one being the largest in size and then the decreasing ones. In the building it’s a beautiful “Lord Shiva” temple having a large and beautiful shrine inside it, others idols present in the temple are also a proof a great architecture skills.
The interior walls and roof of the temple have also been designed using great architecturing skills. The people of Hatkoti believe that the temple was established by Guru Adi Shankracharya. Some people also believe that the temple was built somewhere in the Third era. Three Gupta Age’s Rock Edicts (in scripted stones) have been found at three different places of this ancient and historic place.
The fifth kandh of Bhagvat gita describes about Mata Hateshwari as:-
Hateswari is known as the Shakti of Hateshwar and hence this place is known as Hateswari, one of the main residences of Shiva and Shakti.
In front of the temple of Mata Hateshwari towards the east direction is a small mountain known as a fort of Rambhasur. Rambhasur was the father of Maheshasur whom he has got as a reward of his prayers to Agnidev. He also went through a tough prayer of Lord Shiva and was rewarded by lord Shiva that his son would be un defeatable .Taking the advantage of this he captured the “Triloks” of the gods and betrayed them of all their powers. The defeated gods took shelter in the hard to reach places of pabbar valley and asked Mata Hateshwari to protect them from the devil. On the demand of gods Mata Hateshwari killed Maheshasur and gained the name of “Maheshasurmardini” (destroyer of Maheshasur Devil).
The idol of Mata in the Temple is unexplainable. The artist has tried imagining the whole universe in this idol. The statue is made up of a mixture of eight valuable metals. The statue is 1.20 meter in height. The idol displays the destroyer expression of Mata. The interesting fact about the idol is that it changes its expression, sometimes it has a smiling face and some time it is in a angry posture, the idol has such effect on the devotee that he take off his eyes from the idol. On both sides of the idol there is something written in Brahmi script.
There is a huge vessel type of a thing present near the entrance of the temple known as “charu” surrounded by chains it attracts the attention of people towards it self following one more story of its existence behind it. There is a huge hall in the temple premises known as “yagyashala” used to perform rituals. In the centre of the hall is a Hawan kund where the rituals are performed. The idols of Lord Brahma,Vishnu,Mahesh And Ganesha can be seen placed here There is a lot of sitting place available for the devotees .there is one more hall in the premises known as Satsang Bhawan which can adjust 350 devotees at a time. Nearby is a rest house where the saints and devotees take rest. There is one more hall known as Dharamshala which is mainly used to store various things of the temple. The whole premise of the temple is covered by a 12foot high wall on all the three sides. It has two main doors one towards the east serving as an entrance to the temple.
Best time to visit Hatkoti Temple from April to October. However, temperatures vary with the seasons. May to September have pleasant day’s cold nights while April & October have pleasant days. Nearest Airport and Railway Station located at Shimla. U can visit there by bus and also take cab from Shimla and Chandigarh.