The Hidimba Temple is located in Manali, famous resort town in Himachal Pradesh. This ancient temple situated at the foot of the Himalayas, in a forest of cedar trees is said to have been built in the year 1553.
This is probably the sight you would see as you walked through the forest flanked by huge deciduous trees. A three-tiered structure that almost looks like a house. The deity is believed to be a part of a huge rock cut out of the ground around which this structure was built.
“The most surprising feature of the temple or what believers could call the most reassuring feature of the temple is the fact that inside the temple the imprint of the feet of the Godess carved on a block of stone are worshipped and if you go to Google Satellite and zoom into the area where the temple is located, you can clearly see the imprint of a giant foot spanning across the valley in the area near the temple. It’s thumb starts from where Google shows the Manali Heights hotel to be located and the rest of the foot goes all the way down the slope.” – Wikipedia
WHO IS HIDIMBA DEVI?
Hidimba Devi, is a character from the great epic Mahabharatha. Who was she? The mother of Gatothkacha (The Giant Asura – son of Bhima) and devoted wife to Bhima ( one of the five Pandavas, known for his extreme strength in combat.)
WHAT WAS THE LEGEND?
The Pandavas along with their mother, Kunti Devi and wife Draupadi were wandering through the forests during course of the exile. Having arrived at this very forest the women in the group felt very tired and decided to halt for the night. Having climbed one of the huge deodars, Bhima looked around and decided it was safe enough for them to spend the night there.
As was common – the brothers took turns at keeping vigil while the others slept. When it was Bhima’s turn to keep watch – he spotted a very attractive woman walking towards him in the middle of the night. While the gallant Pandava asked her if she required any help, the beautiful woman begged him no end to leave the place immediately, for fear of their safety.
Not being one to give in to fear – Bhima asked her to explain herself. The young woman Hidimba told him the truth ” I am a man-eating Rakshasi (demon) staying with my brother. My brother has decided to kill you all this night and devour you. Please do go away as soon as possible. I have come in guise of a mortal to warn you”.
The courageous Pandava replied ” Fair maiden, thank you for having warned us. But I assure you, it your brother who has to be warned against us and not the other way around. I refuse to disturb my tired mother and brothers as they sleep so peacefully in order to humor your brother”
By this time Hidimba’s brother had tracked her down, and was furious that she had sought to warn the humans, mere mortals. Needless to say – a huge battle ensued. Trees were uprooted, violence galore as man and demon met face to face.
Finally Bhima overpowered the Asura and killed him. The gentle Hidimba, having fallen in love with the strong and brave Bhima asked him to marry her. Bhima agreed, on the one condition that he will stay with her until a son is born to her after which he will join his brothers to complete the 13-year exile. The son – who was born later on was the gigantic and gentle Gatothkacha. His is another story to be told later. Thus ends the legend of the Hidimba Devi temple.
THE TEMPLE UP CLOSE
Sculptures and carving show the level of intricacy in detail even as far back as the mid 1500’s.
While some people just pray to the Godess as the “Hill Godess” a legend and a story woven into the history always makes it more memorable – I think. I leave you now, with a final view of the temple.
We make all kinds of gurgling and cooing sounds when we see children, at the risk of making ourselves sound stupid – but kids have a logical communication pattern of their own. One that is very interesting to observe and document.
The yellow baby is my niece and the pink baby her favorite gal pal! Needless to say they became friends in the next few minutes 🙂
Great theatre this was!
Baby Hippo : Hey mom, what is that? Look at it – I’m sure it tastes good. Maybe we will become light and fast if we drink it. They did talk about it on the underwater TV.
Mom Hippo : Let me smell it first. I do not want you going near it, until I tell you its safe. Move over! And who is letting you watch underwater TV?
(Sniffs long and hard)
Mom :We have ivory canine teeth, we can outrun humans, hold our breath underwater for about 6 minutes, eat about 70 kgs of grass a day, we have eyes on top of our head -and all we have to do is relax and keep ourselves cool the whole day. So tell me Jr. , why do you need this bottle to make you ‘lighter and faster’ ?
Jr : I heard the kids call us pigs mom. It hurts. I want to be lighter, faster and more stylish!
Mom : Jr, the ancient Egyptian civilization revered us. We were the gods of fertility. So you do not need this orange bottle to make you feel better!
Jr: Really? Not even a tiny bit?
Mom : See what it has done to the human kids. They drink these toxic drinks and just become stupid. How could an intelligent person call us pigs? We are actually called “Riverhorses”
Jr : Really? Then cool…
Mom: (thinks to herself) Damn the tourists!&*@$^
Hello there tourists – did you come to see me? I shall pose beautifully for you, and swim gracefully. And all I need in return is compliments. Capisce???
Oh good, they’ve started clicking away. Crazy humans!
Uh-oh! What do i do? I’m itching terribly and need to use my bill / beak. When do I do it? Not when I’m the centre of attention here. I would be embarrassed if they caught me on camera. Let me trying reaching my wing in an elegant manner.
I hope I look like I’m doing the ballet.
Oh what the hell? I cannot help it. I need to get rid of my itch. Brrrrr….. Need some time underwater.
Aaaah… that is some relief! Now I’m ready to oblige, all poised and calm. What are you grinning at – girl with the camera? Did you capture my ” Brrrrrrrrrrr…” moment? Fie on you! And stop grinning….
Confucian scholar Zhou Dunyi wrote:
-“I love the lotus because while growing from mud, it is unstained.”
On my part, I love the Lotus for the fact ,that it always has the ability to stand out in its sloshy situation, with its head held high, and showing off its vibrant colours. So much so, that we brave the slippery and dangerous waters in an attempt to reach the flower that captivated us from afar…
It is rather easy many a time, to let our external situation bog us down. But to rise beyond that and exhibit our intrinsic value – that is what I hope to learn from this beautiful plant.
Bison 1 : Do not look now, but those two monkeys have been staring at your uncle from the morning.
Bison 2 : What do they want?
Bison 1 : They still keep trying to spot if we consume health supplements, like their ‘evolved’ cousins.They cannot believe ‘Vegan is good’.
Bison 2 : Is it really?
Bison 1 : Well, look at his muscles and yours!
Bison 2 : Sigh! Well… I guess
AND AT THE MONKEY HOME…
Dad : What do they eat? Tell me… What did you see?
Son : I swear Dad, they eat just grass and leaves, and drink just water. Please let go of my neck, you’re hurting me!
Mom : Your son is as bad as you. Just comes back with useless stuff doesn’t he? Sigh…