The next destination in our list was the Hidimba Devi Temple which is also known by the name of Hadimba Temple. The temple is actually in the form of a cave with the main deity being the Hidimba Devi who is Hidimba’s sister who in turn was an important character in Mahabharata.
On reaching the temple, we could find that it is in the middle of the cedar forest and is located at the bottom of the massive Himalayas. In the olden days, the rock coming out of the ground naturally was worshipped as the deity. But the original structure in the form of the cave temple came into existence in the year 1553.
It is believed that Hidimba Devi used to meditate inside the cave and used to live here along with her brother who also had the name of Hidimba. The locals say that not much information is available regarding their parents.
They were actually part of the Rakshas family with Hidimba promising to get married to an individual who had the courage, bravery and strength to defeat Hidimba, her brother. It was Bhima, a part of the Pandavas group who had killed Hidimba when they were in exile and had visited Manali.
It was after this phase that Bhima got married to Hidimbi with their son being named as Ghatotkacha. The design of the Hidimbi Devi Temple inside the cave is quite exquisite. We were very surprised to see the intricacy of the designs and just kept wondering at how they were executed in the era in which it was constructed. At the top of the tower, there are three square shaped roofs. On the main door, there are carvings of Goddess Durga. The base of the temple is made of mud covered, whitewashed stonework.
The deity of Hidimbi Devi is in the form of a massive brass image on a big rock. We could also spot a rope hanging down ahead of the massive rock. The locals also informed us that her son Ghatotkacha’s temple is located around 70 metres away. We also came across the area’s most interesting feature which was a massive footprint of Goddess Hidimba spanning over the entire valley close to the temple.