Named after and dedicated to the wife of Bhima ( the second Pandava brother) is the Hidimba/Hadimba Temple situated in Himachal Pradesh. This sacred temple built around a cave is located in a hill station called Manali. It was built in the year 1533 and is surrounded by a cedar forest. Furthermore, in close proximity to this temple at a distance of about 70 km is another Hindu shrine dedicated to Hidimba’s son Ghatokacha. In addition, this temple is known for its exquisitely designed doors carved out of wood.
a. Best time to visit the Hidimba Temple
The ideal time to visit this temple is during the summer months which begins in March and ends in May with temperature ranging from a maximum of 36 degree Celsius to a minimum of 23 degree Celsius.
b. How to reach Hidimba Temple
Hidimba Temple Map
1. By train:
The closest railway station to this temple is located in Jogindernagar. The Jogindernagar Railway Station is well connected to several major cities in the country.
2. By road:
If you intend to drive to this temple the ideal starting points would be New Delhi, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, and Amritsar.
- Via New Delhi:
There are two routes from New Delhi to this temple, and they are via NH44 and via NH3.
- Via Chandigarh:
There are two routes from Chandigarh to this temple, and they are via NH205 and NH3 and via NH3.
- Via Ludhiana:
There are two routes from Ludhiana to this temple, and they are via NH3 and via Una-Hamirpur Road and NH3.
- Via Jalandhar:
There are two routes from Jalandhar to this temple, and they are via NH3 and via NH205 and NH3.
- Via Amritsar:
There are three routes from Amritsar to this temple, and they are via NH3, via Una-Hamirpur Road, and NH3, and via NH54 and NH3.
3. By air:
The nearest airport is located in Bhuntar, a town in the Kullu district. The Kullu-Manali Airport is well connected to major cities in the country.
c. Religious significance of the Hidimba Temple
The origin of this temple is closely related to the epic Mahabharata. According to folklore the Pandavas during their exile happened to stay in Manali. During those times a demon called Hidimb, the brother of Hidimba was considered to be a really terror in the region. Now, it so happened that one day Hidimb initiated an attack on the Pandavas which resulted in a battle with Bhima, who managed to kill him. This victory over Hidimb resulted in the marriage of Bhima and Hidimba which later resulted in a son called Ghatokacha (killed unfortunately in the Kurukshetra war). Once the exile ended Hidima refused to return along with Bhima and his brothers and continued to do tapasya i.e. a combination of prayer, penance, and meditation and as a result managed to attain goddess status in the region. Hence this temple was built in honour of Goddess Hidimba in Manali.
Also Read: CHAR DHAM, AND THE FOUR PILGRIMAGE SITES