Hidimba Devi Temple

Hidimba Devi Temple Claimed

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Temple Info

Main Deity:
Hidimbi Devi
Other Deities:
Year Established:
Functioning Temple:
Architecture Style:
Endowment Control:
Nearest Airport:
Bhuntar Airport / Kullu-Manali Airport (KUU)
Nearest Railway Station:
Joginder Nagar Railway Station (JDNX)



Hidimba Devi Temple, locally known as Dhungari Temple, also known variously as the Hadimba Temple, is located in Manāli, a hill station in the State of Himachal Pradesh in North India. It is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, wife of Bhima. The temple is surrounded by a cedar forest called Dhungiri Van Vihar at the foot of the Himalayas. The sanctuary is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground which was worshiped as an image of the deity. The structure was built in 1553 by Maharaja Bahadur Singh.


The Hidimba Devi temple was built in 1553 CE by Maharaja Bahadur Singh. The temple is built around a cave where Devi Hidimba performed meditation. Hidimbi was supposed to have lived there with her brother Hidimb, and not much is known about their parents. Born into a Rakshasa family, Hidimba vowed to marry one who would defeat her brother Hidimb, who was supposed to be very brave and fearless. During the Pandava's exile, when they visited Manali. Bhima, one of the five Pandavas defeated Hidimb. Thereafter, Hidimba married Bhima (after Kunti's approval) and gave birth to their son Ghatotkacha.
About seventy metres away from the temple, there is a shrine dedicated to Ghatotkacha. The most surprising feature of the temple or what believers could call the most reassuring feature of the temple is the fact that inside the temple the imprint of the feet of the Goddess carved on a block of stone is worshipped.


The Indian epic Mahabharata narrates that the Pāndavas stayed in Himachal during their exile. In Manali, the strongest person there, named Hidimb and brother of Hidimba, attacked them, and in fight Bhima, strongest amongst the Pandavas, killed him. Bhima and Hidimb's sister, Hidimbi, then got married and had 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, but stayed back and did tapasyā (a combination of meditation, prayer, and penance) so as to eventually attain the status of a goddess.

Architecture Details

The Hidimba Devi Temple has intricately carved wooden doors and a 24-meter-tall wooden "shikhar" or tower above the sanctuary. The tower consists of three square roofs covered with timber tiles and a fourth brass cone-shaped roof at the top. The earth goddess Durga forms the theme of the main door carvings. Also depicted are animals, foliate designs, dancers, scenes from Lord Krishna’s life and Navagrahas.The temple base is made out of whitewashed, mud-covered stonework. An enormous rock occupies the inside of the temple, only a 7.5 cm (3 inch) tall brass image representing goddess Hidimba Devi. A rope hangs down in front of the rock, and according to a legend, in bygone days religious zealots would tie the hands of "sinners" by the rope and then swing them against the rock.


The Doongri Festival of Himachal Pradesh is also known as the Hadimba Devi Fair. For the unversed, Hadima, many times also referred to as Hidimba was Bhim’s wife and this festival is mainly about her. The villagers who come here also carry the idol of their respective Gods (Grama Devata) in the procession. These Grama Devatas are dressed up beautifully and are made to sit on wooden chariots / raths. After they are unveiled, they are then paraded around for the people to see.

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