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Hidimbi Devi – Hadimba Worshipped as Goddess

Hidimbi, also known as Hadimba, was the wife of Bhima, the second of the Pandava brothers. A demoness by birth, Hidimbi is worshipped in Himachal Pradesh. She is the guardian deity of tribals and travelers. She protects those who venture into forests and travels through forests and mountains. Hidimbi is also the mother of Ghatothkach.

Hidimbi and her brother Hidimba were demons. They robbed and ate travelers who ventured into the forest they lived. They also polluted the ashrams of Saints. A group of Saints sought help of Bhima to get rid of the demons. Hidimba was overpowered by Bhima. Hidimbi changed her character after meeting Bhima. She fell in love with the strong Bhima. They both got married and led a peaceful life.

But soon Bhima realized his Dharma and decided to leave the forest. Hidimbi did not follow Bhima as she was accustomed to the forests. She also hid from Bhima the fact that she was pregnant as she did not want Bhima to abandon his Dharma and stay in the forest.

Hadimba gave birth to Ghatothkacha in the forest.

Mother Hidimbi also shed her demonic traits and started protecting those who ventured into the forest. In due course people began to pay respect to her for the protection she offered.

A popular Hidimbi Temple is located at Naggar in Himachal Pradesh.