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Hadimba Devi Temple At Dhungri Near Manali In Himachal Pradesh

The famous Hadimba Devi Temple at Dhungri is located around 3 kms from Manali, Himachal Pradesh. There are only a few temples to Goddess Hadimba and this one near Manali is undoubtedly the most famous.

There is a large rock in the temple compound on which Goddess Hadimba meditated while she was living in this part of Himachal. The rock, known locally as dhungar, gives this area its name. The sanctum sanctorum consists of this rock where Hadimba sat for meditation.

There is also a murti of Hadimba Devi; it is a 60 cm brass murti. Footprints of Goddess Durga or charan paduka are imprinted to the left of the entrance of the temple.

Nearby is a temple dedicated to Ghatotkacha, the son of Hidimba and Bhima.

Hadimba Devi, part goddess, part demoness, benefactress of the Kullu dynasty and consort of the strongest Pandava, Bhima, has a deep hold over the devotion and piety of Himachal Pradesh.

Dhungri Hadimba Devi temple was built in 1553 CE by Raja Bahadur Singh on an immense platform 27 meter high and 13 meter X 9 meter in length and width. An inscription suggests that the king built it to celebrate his victory over the local Ranas and Thakurs.

The pagoda style Hadimba Devi Temple is surrounded by pine trees. The temple is large with an intricately carved verandah on three sides. The entrance has striking wood carvings of different gods from the Hindu pantheon. The quadruple wooden door frame is ornamented with carvings of various gods and goddesses and decorative devices such as knots, scrolls, plait-works, animal figures, pot and foliage etc. Goddess Mahishasuramardini, and a devotee with folded hands and Shiva with Parvati on Nandi are shown on the right side at the base where as Goddess Durga, a devotee with folded hands, Bhagavan Vishnu with Goddess Lakshmi on Garuda are shown on the left side. The figures of Ganesha are in the centre of the lintel. On the beam above the lintel are the Navagraha panels.

The temple is four-storied with roofs. However, the topmost roof is conical and clad in metal. The other roofs are covered with timber tiles. The temple is made of mainly wood and stones.

The sanctum is covered with a three-tiered roof constructed of narrow wooden planks one over the other. The three lower ones are in the usual for projecting canopies, showing traces of the wooden fringes here and there. A large metal umbrella surmounted by a metal finial forming the fourth roof crowns the summit of the temple.

On the three sides the temple is enclosed by a narrow verandah which is raised to a height of about 12 feet above the ground. The face and windows on each side of it are richly carved and present a handsome appearance. Over the entrance is a wooden balcony.

The temple is currently under the jurisdiction of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).

The annual Dhungri Mela observed on May 15 and May 16 attracts thousands of devotees and is famous for various rituals.