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"Temples, the abode of gods, are just everywhere in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Each of the temple has an interesting legend associated with itsconstruction and presiding deity. Offer you prayers and listen to the stories, the temples are a must visit during your trip to Himachal Pradesh."
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Temples

Hatkoti Temples,  Himachal Pradesh
Hatkoti Temples, Himachal Pradesh

The land of Himachal Pradesh is dotted with a number of temples and almost each temple has its own story to relate. On your visit to the state, you will come across these temples at every step. Hear the interesting anecdote and legend attached to them and bow your head in respect.

Famous Temples Of Himachal Pradesh
Baijnath Temple
Laxmi Narayan Temple

Jwalamukhi Temple
Other Temples

Chamunda Devi Temple

The Chamunda Devi Temple is located 10 km west of Palampur in the Kangra area of Himachal Pradesh.

Standing on the banks of the Ban Ganga river, the temple has an extremely sacred idol of Chamunda Devi, so much so that the idol is wrapped by a red cloth. The location of the temple is also significant since it is believed to be the same spot where Maa Kali assassinated the generals of demon kings Shumbh and Nisumbh. The name of the two general were Chanda and Munda. It is their name that gave Goddess Kali the name of Chamunda.

It is also said about the location that it was earlier located at a remote place which was difficult to access. However, with the permission of Goddess Kali,a new temple could be built at the current location.

Within the temple, there is an image of Chamunda Devi accompanied by the images of Hanuman and Bhairo. Also to be seen are the scenes from the Devi Mahatmya, Ramayan and Mahabharata. The surroundings of the temple is considered just perfect for those who wish to meditate and pray.

Jhakhu Temple

This Temple is situated on the Jhakhu hills which dominates the Shimla town. The temple is dedicated to Lord Hanumana, a trusted ally of Lord Rama. The legend associated with the temple states that when during the war with the Lankan King Ravana, (to rescue Rama's wife, Sita) Lakshmana (Rama's younger brother) got injured, Hanumna was sent to fetch a medicinal herb from the Himalayas. On his way back, Hanumana rested on the Jhakhu hill.

The temple today stands as a reminder of this legend. The temple preserves what is widely supposed to be the footsteps of Lord Hanuman. There are a large number of monkeys around, however they do not attack the visiting devotees. Infact, they willingly accept the eatables offered to them. The temple can be accessed through a dense forest of Deodars. Devotees can either opt to climp their way up or can hire a pony. For a person not used to climbing, it can be a bit strenuous to walk upto the hill. It might just take around an hour to reach the temple for them.

Chintapurni Temple

A revered Shakti Peetha, that is what Chintapurni Temple is. It is the place where the feet of Sati fell after her body was cut off into pieces by the Sudarshan Chakra of Lord Vishnu to calm the anger of Lord Shiva. The temple is situated on a ridge on the Dharamshala - Hoshiarpur road.

The construction of the temple has a legend behind it. It is said that an ardent devotee of Goddess Durga once had a vision of a young girl while he was on his way to meet his family in the Rapoh village of Una. The girl wanted him to stay in the jungle which he was passing through and worship her. After meeting his family, the devotee whose name was Bhagat Mai Dass, came back to the spot and started praying to Goddess Durga. The young girl this time appeared before him in a human form and directed him to a place where he could find her in the form of a pindi. She also instructed him to a build a temple there and install the pindi there. Bhagat Mai Dass followed the instruction and constructed the temple.

The presiding deity of the temple, Chintpurni Devi, is believed to fulfil the wishes of her devotees. The image of the deity inside the temple is headless. The head, it is said, was cut off to satisfy the blood thirst of her companions. It is because of this that deity here is called Chinmastika Devi.

The temple celebrates many fairs and festival, amongst which the most important one is the one celebrated in the month of August during the 10 days of Shukla Paksh.

Naina Devi Temple

This is one of the 51 Shakti Peetha. It is the place where the eyes of Devi Sati fell. The word Naina is derived from this. The temple is located atop the Naina hillock in Nanital. After entering the main gate of the temple, devotees first bow their head before the statue of Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanumana. Further, there are two statues of lions at the main entrance of the temple. Within the temple itself, there are three deities - Mata Kali Devi, two eyes of Naina Devi and Lord Ganesha. Devotees of Naina Devi undertake a walk of around half an hour up to this temple to have a darshan of their revered deity.

Bhimakali Temple

Situated in Sarahan in Himachal Pradesh, the Bhimakali Temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths. The architecture of the temple is its prime highlight. The temple is wooden and presents a wonderful combination of the Hindu and Buddhist Temple style.

An interesting story is connected with this temple. The old temple, during the earthquake of 1905, got a bit tilted. However, with another following tremor, the temple straightened on its own! It is also believed that there is a secret tunnel in the temple which was earlier used by the priests to reach the village of Ranwin.

By the side of the old temple, a new one was constructed in the year 1927, and today it houses a two centuries old image of goddess Bhimakali at its first floor. This image is not open throughout the year for worship, however, the one at the second floor is definitely worshipped daily. The other temples in the complex are dedicated to Lord Narsingha and Lord Raghunath.

Hadimba Devi Temple

This temple is dedicated to Hadimba, wife of one of the Pandava brother, Bhim. Hadimba was the sister of a demon Hadimb before she got married to Bhim. However, later on she purified herself by meditating and began to be worshipped by the people.

There is a tragic story attached with the temple. The temple was constructed by Raja Bahadur Singh in 1533 AD in Dungri, Manali. The king was so pleased with the carvings in the temple that he cut off the hand of the artist who carried out the job so as to prevent him to repeat his masterpiece. The artists was unmoved by this and continued his work with his left hand and displayed his art once again in the Trilokinath Temple in Chamba. The people this time were more strong in their view that the exemplary art should not be repeated. Hence this time the head of the artist was cut off to put an end to his art.

The temple has a four tired pagoda shaped roof and a carved doorway. A grand festival is celebrated here every year in the month of May.

Bijli Mahadev Temple

Bijli Mahadev is one of the most renowned temples in the Kullu region and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is quiet known for the high staff that occasionally draws lightening to it. The lightening destroys the Shivalinga here. However, the priests rejoin it with the help of butter. Devotees need to take a climb up to the temple. Two statues of the bull, nandi (Lord Shiva's vehicle) adorns the door of the temple. The door frames themselves have exquisite carvings.

Hatkoti Temples

Hatkoti Temple, located at a distance of 105 km east of Shimla, is dedicated to Goddess Durga. The main temple has a bronze image of eight armed Goddess Durga riding a lion with her spear piercing the heart of the demon Mahishasur. There is another temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the complex. The architecture of both the temple is quiet similar and appear to be a work of the Gupta period. During the month of April and November every year a fair is held. At this point of time, the temple, which is usually very quiet, becomes a centre of attraction.

Brajeshwari Devi Temple

The Brajeshwari Devi Temple was once known for its great wealth. So much so that it attracted the attention of invaders time and again. Mahmud of Ghazni was the first of these raider who carried away the treasures in the year 1009 AD. The temple was destroyed and a mosque came up in its place.

Around three and a half decade later, the local king gained control over the area and the temple was reconstructed. The replica of the deity was reinstalled and gold and silver was filled again. Firoz Shah Tughlaq was the next one to ransack the temple. Later, it is also said that the great Mughal emperor Akbar visited this temple along with his deewan, Todar Mal. The emperor contributed a lot to restore the temple to its former grandeur. The earthquake of 1905, in recent times, completely destroyed the temple, however the activeness of the Kangra Restoration committee resulted in a new temple built that very same year.

Still More Temples of Himachal Pradesh

Masrur Temple, Ardhanari Temple at Mandi, Chaurashi Temple at Bharmaur, Balasundari temple at Nahan, Bhutnath Temple at Mandi.




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