Address: Bilaspur Village, Mani Majra City: Panchkula State: Haryana Location: North West India Year of Construction: 1811-1815 A.D Constructed By: Maharaja Gopal Singh of Manimajra Type of Construction: Ancient Type of Building: Temple Managed By: Temple Board Dedicated To: Goddess Mansa Devi Other Deities: Devi Saraswati and Devi Lakshmi Religion: Hinduism Importance: Some hill people cut off the stream, which supplied water to the pilgrims visiting the temple, causing distress to the pilgrims. Thereupon, the goddess appeared in dream of Gurbaksh Singh, ruler of Mani Majra and asked him to construct a temple for her at this place. Festival: Navratra Fair Near By Cities: Delhi Mansa Devi Temple is lying in Bilaspur village, about three kilometers east of Mani Majra in Chandigarh, has two temples dedicated to the goddess. It is believed that the older temple was built by the ruler of Mani Majra. Mata Mansa Devi Temple at Panchkula is a symbol of Himalayan culture and faith. The shrine located on the foot hills of Shivalik is an epitome of age old tradition of ?Shakti? worship in northern India. Himalaya being the abode of Shiva and his consort?shakti? became centre of shakti worship. In the vicinity of Panchkula there are numerous Shakti worshipping centers known by their names such as Chandi, Kalika, Mansa, Bhima etc. Hence, mythological speaking, Chandigarh-Panchkula region undoubtedly continued to be living legends of shaktism where its practices are in vogue. However, the present temple which stands a witness to the exciting past of the Shivalik region is about two hundred years old. Two temples are located in the complex of Mansa Devi. The main temple is dedicated to Mansa who is worshipped in the sanctum sanctorum both in the form of ?pindi? as well as in her anthropomorphic form executed on a marble. In the sanctum sanctorum she is worshipped with Devi Saraswati and Lakshmi in the form of Pindi (Stone pebbles). Originally the pindis were only worshipped by the devotees. However, in modern times a marble bust of the deity was got sculpted for giving an attractive human look (form) to the deity. She is beautifully decorated with crown and other ornaments. Interestingly the architecture of the main temple (Mansa Devi) is not in consonance with the Shivalik region where usually a typical ? Nagara? or curvilinear spira temples were erected. This is in sharp contrast to the environment of the region as the main temple manifests a typical moghul architecture represented by domes and minarets. Architecturally speaking the temple has been built in Panchayatana pattern in which at four cardinal corners stand four shrines with the main shrine (fifth shrine) being located the centre. THE HISTORY: Maharaja Gopal Singh of Manimajra constructed the present main temple of Shri Mansa Devi, which is situated on the Shivalik foothills in village Bilaspur, Tehsil and District Panchkula, during the period 1811-1815. At a distance of 200 meters from the main temple is the Patiala temple which was got constructed by Sh. Karam Singh, the then Maharaja Patiala in the year 1840. This temple had the patronage of Manimajra State. After the merger of princely states into Pepsu the Patronage of State Govt. ended and the temples remained neglected. The raja of Manimajra then appointed pujari as ? khidmatuzar? of this temple whose duty was to worship the deity of the temple. After the merger of princely State into Pepsu these pujaris became independent on the matter of controlling and managing the affairs of the temple and the land attached to the temple. They could neither maintain this temple nor provide necessary facilities to the visiting devotees and thus the condition of the temple deteriorated day by day. So much so that there were no proper arrangements for pilgrims visiting the temple during Navaratra melas. The complex was in awfully neglected condition till the establishment of the Board. THE LEGEND: According to a popular legend, the shrine was originally in the territory of erstwhile princely state of Nahan. Some hill people cut off the stream, which supplied water to the pilgrims visiting the temple, causing distress to the pilgrims. Thereupon, the goddess appeared in dream of Gurbaksh Singh, ruler of Mani Majra and asked him to construct a temple for her at this place. This temple contains thirty-eight panels of wall paintings besides floral designs painted all over the ceiling and the arches leading into the temple. The drawings of the temple are not of high standard but a great variety of themes is illustrated. The other temple is said to have been constructed by Maharaja Karam Singh of erstwhile Patiala State to commemorate his success in the battle against the Gurkha.
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