The Hadimba or Dhungri temple is a four storey wooden temple that is quite renowned for its beautifully carved doorway. Nestled among the shady glades of Dhungri Van Vihar, the temple flaunts of a Pagoda architecture, which is dedicated to goddess Hadimba. The temple has been built according to the 500 year old antiquarian, Hira Nand shashtri. The temple doesn’t house any idol but a stone that shows a footprint of some sage.
Hadimba is the patron deity of the rajas of Kullu Valley, and the Tilak ceremony was held by the kings, during which a buffalo was immolated.
Dhalpur Maidan in Manali holds the festival of Dussehra or ‘Ghor Puja’, during which the ceremonial horse is believed to be blessed by Hadimba. Another festival is held in the Dhungri forest that lasts about three days. A number of people from different parts of the country throng to the temple for paying a visit to the goddess.
Legend has it that Pandavas during their wanderings in the forest with their mother Kunti arrived at the territory of Hadimb Rakshash. Bhim, the second of the Pandava brothers fell in love with the sister of Hadimb, Hadimba. However in a conflict Bhim killed her brother and then married her. The couple lived together in the valley for almost a year, after which the Pandavas fled along with their mother. Hadimba gave birth to a baby boy and named him Ghatotkachh, who became in the future a good administrator. It is believed that Dhungri was the area where Hadimba had come to meditate in her yesteryears. The goddess is believed to have supernatural powers due to her strong ‘tapasya’
Dhungri, Himachal Pradesh
Hadimba became the patron-deity of the Rajas of Kullu. The Tilak ceremony of every Raja of Kullu was performed with the permission of the Goddess. After worshipping the Goddess a buffalo was sacrificed.
The Dussehra festival is held at Dhalpur Maidan and the idol of Raghunathji is taken there. From his temple the Goddess Hadimba blesses the ceremonial horse. The ceremony is called as 'Ghor Pooja'. On the first of 'Jaith' or 14th of May, another mela is held to celebrate the birthday of the Goddess Hadimba. This Mela is held in the Dhungri forest. It lasts for three days. Thousands of men, women and children participate in the mela. Rice-bear (Lungri) flows among both men and women who make themselves merry in music and dance.
According to Mahabharata, 'Hadimb Rakshash' ruled some of the sub-mountainous tracts of the Himalayas. In their wanderings, the Pandavas, along with their mother Kunti, after escaping from the wax house unhurt came to the territory of Hadimb Rakshash. Bhima fell in love with Hadimba, the sister of Hadimb. Bhima could marry her only after killing her brother. The pair lived in the valley for about a year, after which Bhima left the forest along with his brothers and mother. Hadimba gave birth to a son who was named 'Ghatotkachh'. Till Ghototkachh was a minor, Hadimba looked after her country. When her son took over the country, she retired to the inner hills for meditation. Ghatotkachh was a good administrator. Dhungri was the place where Hadimba had resorted for meditation. A temple of Hadimba was raised and she became “Devi Hadimba”. Hadimba had supernatural powers owing to 'Tapasya' and was kind to her people.
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