Himachal is known for its temples and therefore it is known as the Land of Gods. Hadimba Temple is one of the well known temples, and has interesting folklore with associated with it. Hadimba Temple, also known as Dhungri Temple is situated in the Manali town. It is about 2 Kms from the main market of the Manali and just situated in the middle of the Dungri forest. Hidimba temple is a one of the important temples of the region.
The temple was built by Raja Bahadur Singh in the year 1953. It is a four story temple consists of three square roofs covered with timber tiles and a fourth brass cone shaped roof at the top. The temple is famous for its graceful doorway which is skilfully carved with the beautiful figures of Goddess Durga, which is believed to be about 400 years old. The base of the temple is made of white washed mud covered with stonework. Inside the temple most of the room is occupied by a large rock which has a large foot print on it. About 3 inches tall brass image representing Goddess Hidimbi Devi is worshiped. A rope dangles in front of the rock and legend says that the hands of “sinners” were tied by zealots and then hung up over the large rock.
According to legend, Hidimba was the sister of Hadimb Rakshsah, who was killed by the Pandava brother “Bhim”. Hidimba then got married to Bhim and gave birth to their son Ghatotkacha, who was a great warrior. Hidimba then went to the forests now commonly known as “Dhungri Van Vihar” to spend her last years in mediation and on that very place the Hadimba temple was built.
About 70 meters away from the Hadimba temple, a memorial is dedicated to Ghatotkacha, son of Bhim and Hadimba, who was killed in the war against the Kauravs in Mahabharata.
Every year on 14th of May on the occasion of Birthday of Goddess Hadimba a huge fair is held in the Dhungri forest, and thousands of people participate. Rice beer commonly known as Lungri in local language flows like water accompanied with music and dancing all night.
The temple is located in the middle of the deodar forest which not only adds charm to its beauty but also keep its sightseer captivated with its mesmerising looks. A view of snow covered mountains and lush Green Valleys around almost looks like something out of a painting and acts as magnet which pulls one towards itself.