After a wonderful and exciting day spent at the Solang valley the next destination that I was very eager to visit was the Hidimba Devi temple located very near to old Manali. This ancient rock cut cave temple is situated at a distance of merely 3 kilometres from the Manali bus stop and it took us just a few minutes to reach this destination from our hotel.
I am very much interested in visiting archaeological and ancient monuments and sites and hence this ancient temple of Manali was definitely a perfect destination for my itinerary list. Apart from its historical significance the Hidimba temple also attracts tourists from all parts of the globe due to its extremely beautiful lush green environs. It is located on the top of a deodar covered hill at Manali.
This ancient cave temple dates back to 1553 and was built by Raja Bahadur Singh. The sanctum of this temple is built over a huge rock and is topped by a three tired wooden roof. There is a fourth metal umbrella shaped structure that is fixed at the apex of the temple. The temple architecture is really mesmerizing and exquisite.
The wooden windows and facade of the Hidimba temple are richly carved that shows the excellent workmanship of the ancient era. The wooden door frame is embellished with beautiful carvings of deities and other designs. A strange thing to notice about the architecture of this temple is that its walls are ornamented with horns of animals.
The presiding deity of this temple is goddess Hidimba who according to mythology was the wife of one of the Pandavas i.e. Bhima from the great Indian epic Mahabharata. It is supposed that the Pandavas resided at Himachal Pradesh during their exile when the strongest among them Bhima married the sister of the demon Hidimba after killing him.
After their exile Hidimba Devi stayed back and meditated at this location where the temple was erected. It was truly a delight for me to visit this ancient cave temple. Its architecture and mythology seemed to be very knowledgeable and spirited drivers for me.