About: Hidimba Mandir, Dhungri – Built in 1553 A.D.

About: Hidimba Mandir, Dhungri – Built in 1553 A.D.

This pagoda style temple was built by Raja Bahadur Singh of Kullu in 1553 A.D. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Hidimba, who was the wife of Bhima and mother of Ghatotkacha in the Mahabharata. In Kullu, she is considered to be the incarnation of the most powerful Goddess Durga and Kali. The idol of Mahishasura Mardini is enshrined in the temple and there is also a paduka (feet) of the mother, which is worshipped daily.

Goddess Hidimba used to live at this place with her brother Hidimb – the demon. Hidimb was very strong. Hidimba vowed the one who would defeat her brother, she would marry him. When the Pandavas came here, there was a fight between Bhima and Hidimb. Hidimb was killed. Bhima and Hidimba got married and a boy named Ghatotkacha was born. Ghatotkacha fought on the side of the Pandavas in the war of Mahabharata and clashed with Karn. Karn had an infallible weapon which he had kept to kill Arjuna, Ghatotkacha was killed by it.

Hidimba was a rakshasi (monstrous) by birth but was considered a goddess by renunciation and husbandly religion. The first king of Kullu, Behangamani Pal, who was a potter’s servant, was made the king of Kullu by Hidimba Devi and destroyed the whole of the cruel ruler Piti Thakuro. The presence of Goddess Hidimba is considered necessary in the famous religious fair – Dussehra of Kullu. Dussehra is not complete without participating in it. The king of Kullu considers her as grandmother. Hidimba is specially worshiped in Dussehra. And at the end of Dussehra, Hidimba is also offered Ashtanga sacrifice along with buffalo.

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