Hadimba Devi Temple
Hidimba Devi Temple, locally known as Dhungari Temple, also known variously as the Hadimba Temple, is located in Manali, a hill station in the State of Himāchal Pradesh in north India. Cedar forest called Dhungiri Van Vihar at the foot of the Himālayas, surrounds the temple. There, people worship Devi Hidimbi, wife of Bhima (a figure in the Indian epic Mahabharata). Maharaja Bahadur Singh built this temple in 1553. An enormous rock occupies the inside of the temple, only a 7.5 cm (3 inch) tall brass image representing goddess Hidimba Devi.
About seventy metres away from the temple, there is a shrine dedicated to Goddess Hidimba’s son, Ghatotkacha. People worship the imprint of the feet of the Goddess carved on a block of stone kept inside the temple.
People in Manali worship Hidimba Devi as a deity. During Navaratri all Hindus across the nation worship goddess Durga, but people in Manali worship Hidimba Devi. Outside the temple, one can always see the queues of people but it increses during Navratras.
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The Indian epic Mahabharata narrates that, Hidimbi (or Hadimba) lived in a cave in Manali with his brother Hidimb, who was very brave and fearless. They were born in a Rakshasa family. Hadimba vowed to marry one who could defeat her brother Hidimb.
During the Pandava’s exile, when they visited Manali; Hidimb attacked on them. As a result, Bhima, strongest of Pandavas killed Hidimb. Thereafter, Hadimba married Bhima. She gave birth to a son Ghatotkacha (who later proved to be a great warrior in the war against Kauravas). When Bhima and his brothers returned from exile, Hidimbi did not accompany him. She stayed back and did tapasya so as to eventually attain the status of a goddess.
The temple is built around a cave where Devi Hidimba performed meditation.