About Hidimba Devi Temple
Built around the 16th century, the Hidimba Temple in Manali is dedicated to the Demoness Hidimba. As the story goes, Hidimba, the sister of the rakshas Hidimb, had vowed to marry the one who could defeat her brother. The Pandavas, on their exile, were passing through the region when they came across the duo. Bhima defeated and killed the demon Hidimb, and then married Hidimba, siring a son, Ghatotkach, who would later play a role in the great battle of Kurukshetra.
The people of the region worship Hidimba as a goddess, and the temple, renowned for its intricate woodwork and 24 feet tall pagoda style wooden 'shikhara' is said to have been built near the cave where she performed her 'Tapasya'. There is a 3-inch tall brass statue of the goddess inside the temple, which receives the offerings of the believers. The scenic setting of a dense pine forest further adds to the mystique of the locale.
The main festival is held in May each year, with other deities from across the region being ceremoniously escorted in procession to celebrate the birth of Devi Hidimba, considered the 'Mother Goddess of the Valley'.
Outstanding Universal Value
Maharaja Bahadur Singh is said to have commisioned the Hidimba Devi Temple in the 1550's. Set in a scenic locale within a dense pine forest near Manali, the temple has some outstanding examples of the woodwork in its intricately carved pillars, doors and lintels.
It is customary to ring the massive bells to announce one's arrival to the goddess, who is regularly consulted in times of natural calamity and hardship. As the presiding deity of the valley, she also receives animal sacrifices, a tradition harking back to the earliest days of the temple.