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Himachal Pradesh is home to 591 temples that are dedicated to various forms of Gods. Mountain gods are also worshipped with great faith here.
Devotees from all over the world visit these places annually. Tours are arranged for the devotees who throng here to have a darshan of Lord Shiva and Shakti. Certain Lord Shiva temples are found to exist in the Uttarakhand state as well. There are shakti peeths, an all-important series in the list of most sacred temples of India. Most temples in Himachal Pradesh are very popular and famous and have days marked for celebration of some festival associated with them.
Tour operators make the most complicated trips, most simple and enthralling for the travellers. The most famous ten temples in Himachal Pradesh includes historical temples, ancient temples, and temples for the pilgrims. We have curated a list of 10 mysterious temples that will leave you in complete awe. Read on!
1. Hidimba Temple
This is popular amongst Indian and westerners seeking insight into ancient Indian epics. This temple, surrounded by the loveliness of tall imposing trees, is a treasure trove of natural beauty that you could get to see only in a Manali forest. This temple dedicated to a goddess called Hidimba, was built in 1553. She was the wife of Bheema, the Pandava Scion.
It is widely believed here that Hidimba is guarding the entire area with her powerful presence from natural calamities. There is no idol of Hidimba inside the temple where she resides. The temple is built over a cave and people worship the footprint of Hidimba that has formed on a slab of rock. Manali gets crowded during summers, which is actually the best time to visit the Hidimba temple during June, July and August.
2. Vashisht Temple
Vasishta Maharshi, was accorded the highest position amongs sages and he was called brahmarshi by the rest of the sages. There is a 4000-year-old temple dedicated to him which was the meditation spot for the Maharshi. The hot springs of water emitting out in the temple are believed to have medicinal properties. People believe firmly that it cures a lot of diseases. This ancient temple attracts tourists and devotees who use this water to take a holy dip. Every one is allowed to indulge in this activity .
3. Jawalamukhi Temple
This is one of the prominent shakti peeths of Goddess Sati that is situated a few kilometers away from the city of Dharmasala. As per the legends, after her demise, Lord Shiva roamed about frantically carrying her lifeless body. At this instance. Lord Vishnu intervened and tore her body into 51 parts using his chakra. Her tongue fell exactly where Jwalamukhi temple is constructed. In 1815, the king of Kangra reconstructed this temple in Himachal Pradesh. Devotees from all over the country, visit here, especially in hordes during Navaratri time which lasts for 9 days. You can find blue flames blazing from primordial times, inside the cave temple that has no deity idol for worship.
4. Jakhoo Temple
Lord Hanuman, when he travelled to Gandhamadhana parvata, from the Lanka scene of warfare, where the princes Rama and Lakshmana lay unconscious, to bring the medicinal herbs to revive them back to life, he took few moments of rest on this mountain. So, a temple has been set up to commemorate this event. Journey to this place is found to be very pleasant as it is situated above 8000 feet of the sea level. It is during summer, that maximum people throng here to have a darshan of Lord Hanuman. His statue is around 108 feet tall which is actually a landmark for you to reach the temple.
5. Baba Balaknath Temple
This temple was built originally for sage Siddh Baba Balak Nath, who belonged to a particular Nath sect or tradition and known to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva himself. The temple that houses an idol of Baba is located in Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh. Surprisingly women are not allowed into the temple. As per some people this is a temple with occult powers and hence women are affected by entering into it.
Navaratri is a popular observance for which people gather here to celebrate. This temple, belonging to the Nath tradition of yogis, is known for its followers who pierce their ears and wear a ring through it. They follow certain mysterious practices in order to elevate themselves spiritually and this is unknown to the general public. Knowledge was verbally or psychically transferred. This tradition is only for those who are in real sense, renounced from the world in every way.
6. SankatMochan Temple
This famous temple, located on the Shimla-Kalka highway, has devotees all over India, flocking here to get a darshan of the Lord Hanuman. Sankat Mochan temple was the creation of saint Neem Karoli Baba who was known to be an enlightened sadhu with an illustrious set of international disciples including Steve jobs. Krishna Das and Ram Dass, the two famous Americans devoted themselves to the worship and tenets of Neem Karoli Baba. Devotees seeking healing are seen swarming here, hoping to find peace for themselves. Every year, this place welcomes the increasing number of devotees to its fold.
7. Chaurasi Temple
This temple, located in Bharmour in the Chamba district in the Himachal Pradesh, is actually a complex of temples that is around 1400 years old. This temple is revered by everyone in the town. This is a Lord Shiva temple that encompasses 84 shrines constructed around its perimeter. The word ‘Chaurasi' means 84 in India. This is representative of the 84 mahasiddhis and also the 84 million lifetimes that occur in the ongoing journey of the soul. People believe that this temple will relieve them from the cycle of death and birth and give them moksha. Pilgrims pay visit every year to pay their respect to the mahasiddhis.
8. Naina Devi Temple
This is one of the prominent 51 shakti peeths where in the eye of Goddess Sati has been worshipped. It is a very significant place religiously for all the seekers who come with serious intentions to elevate themselves spiritually. Navaratri is when scores of devotees pay a visit here to the Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. There is an idol to be worshipped in the temple that has two golden eyes. This is a very sacred pilgrimage site where more devotees are found than the number of regular tourists.
9. Bijli Mahadev Temple
Kullu in Himachal Pradesh is where this Lord Shiva temple is located. You can trek your way up to 10 kms to reach the temple. Throughout the way, you can enjoy the sight of villages and forests thickly shrouded in lush green vegetation. This temple is made of wood. This temple is known for a very mysterious occurrence. Lightning strikes this temple, every year, on the 60 feet tall Trishul that is installed on the ground. Whenever it is struck by lightning, priests consecrate the Shivalinga. It actually as per local people, is the way Lord Shiva absorbs the negativity of the universe by taking it on himself. There is a natural ice structure that appears inside the temple that attracts the devotees.
10. Bhimakali Temple
This is another temple representative of the Shakti peeth. Ears of Shakti is believed to have fallen at this place. This is a sacred site for the Hindu Pilgrims and is located in the town of Sarahan in Himachal Pradesh. This temple is built of wood with wood carvings on the walls. This temple has a magnetic appeal as it stands against the backdrop of the mighty Himalayas. Winters are better time to visit as it would welcome Navaratri season.
About 800 years old, this temple is dedicated to its governing deity Bhimkali. One can find a statue of the Goddess here, inside the temple which houses the left ear of Goddess Sati. Goddess Bhimakali is an important form of Shakti who takes care of health and fertility. Dussehra is grandly celebrated here.
A few of the above-listed temples are of deep religious significance, there are many more for the devout as well as for the vacationers. As per priorities, one should choose the kshetra of pilgrimage so that it fulfils the main intent and makes it a rewarding experience.
Disclaimer: The information is based on assumptions and information available on the internet and the accuracy or reliability is not guaranteed. Boldsky does not confirm any inputs or information related to the article and our only purpose is to deliver information. Boldsky does not believe in or endorse any superstitions.
Image sources: Wikimedia Commons
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