Hadimba Temple mostly called as the Dhungiri temple in Manali is one of the most important temples in the region. This Temple of four wooden storeys is located in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar. The temple derives its name from the forest parkland near the temple.
The temple was erected in 1553 and is dedicated to Goddess Halima. Hadimba Devi Temple has a 24 m high tower and has three tiers of its square roofs are covered with timber tiles, while the conical roof is clad in metal. The unadorned walls of mud are covered with stonework in contrast with the wooden doorway, t which is elaborately decorated with miniature depictions of Goddess, attendants, animals and stylized foliation. On the beams above the doorway appears the Navagrahas, female dancers an isolated scene from the Krishna story,etc.
The Hadimba Temple is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hadimba Devi, sister of Hadimb, who was a character in the Mahabharata. Goddess Hadimba was the sister of the demon Hadimb who ruled the mountains and was feared by all.
People come to visit this temple in large numbers not only to offer their prayers but also to witness the beauty exhibited in the construction of this temple. The temple does not contain any idol, just a footprint on a stone. Legend behind the construction of the temple states that the king who commissioned this temple was so awestruck by its beauty that he ordered the artist’s right hand to be cut. This was done in order to avoid his being able to repeat his masterpiece. Owing to Hadimba’s emergence as the patron goddess of the Rajahs, her blessing is considered necessary by them before every coronation. To seek her blessings, devotees sacrifice a buffalo at the temple, prior to every coronation.
Significance of the temple
Hadimba Temple was Constructed by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in 1553 AD, Hadimba temple Manali is a much revered deity of the locals where the Goddess regularly consulted in times of natural hardship or calamity. According to locals and legendary related to temple, animal sacrifices are still made here in her honor.
In their wanderings the Pandavas, the five brothers of the great Indian Epic Mahabharata, along with their mother, after escaping from the wax house unhurt came to the territory of Hadimba Rakshash. One of the brothers Bhima fell in love with Hadimba, the sister of the ruler.
Bhima could marry her only after killing the brother. Then later the pair-lived in the valley for about a year after which Bhima joined his brothers and mother. Eventually Hadimba gave birth to a son who was named ‘Ghatotkachh’.
Till Ghatotkachh was a minor in age Hadimba looked after her country and then she retired to the inner hills, for meditation, when her son Ghatotkachh, a great warrior took over the country. Ghatotkachh was a good administrator. Dhungri was the place near Manali where Hadimba had resorted for meditation. There a temple of Hadimba in ‘pagoda’ style was raised and she became Devi Hadimba. Hadimba Devi had supernatural powers owing to ‘tapashya’ and was very much kind to her people.
Hadimba Devi Temple is usually dedicated to the wife of Bhim, who is one of the five Pandava brothers in the Indian epic Mahabharata. As the history and story by saints say that Bhim married Hadimba and they had a son. Later on, Hadimba left the place and became very much spiritual. Then the people who were her disciples later erected a temple in her respect, known as Hadimba Temple.
According to Hira Nand Shastri this temple is an antique of about 500 years old. There is noo idol is cherised and only a foot print on a stone has been kept. It was Raja Bahadur Singh who built the temple is serve by a Mela held on the first of Savan annually named as ‘Bahadur Singh Re Jatar.’ This Mela is also called as Saroohni.