Located in Manali, Himachal Pradesh, the Hadimba Temple is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, wife of Bhima from the Indian epic ‘Mahabharata’.
Surrounded by a cedar forest and nestled at the foot of the Himalayas, this temple was constructed in 1553 by Maharaja Bahadur Singh. It lies about 2 km away from the market area of Manali. Images of Durga are carved on the doors and a 3-inch tall brass idol of Hidimbi Devi is the only religious figurine inside the temple.
The temple is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground, which was earlier worshiped as an image of Hidimbi Devi. A rope hangs in front of this rock and, according to folklore, religious zealots would tie sinners by their hands and swing them against the rocks.
According to the ‘Mahabharata’, the Pandavas traveled to Himachal during their exile. There they were attacked by the brother of Hidimbi Devi, who was killed by Bhima. Since Hidimbi Devi had promised to marry the one who defeated her brother, she married Bhima and bore him a son. When the Pandavas returned home, Hidimbi Devi stayed back and performed tapasya at the cave.
Around 70 m away, is a shrine dedicated to Ghatotkacha, son of Hidimbi Devi and Bhima, who was a great warrior in his own right and fought bravely against the Kauravas.