Things to Do in Manali
Hidimba Devi Temple (Dhungari Temple) is located within dense cedar forest in the small tourist town of Manali. It was built in 1553 by Raja Bahadur Singh and is dedicated to the goddess Hadimba Devi, who features in the Mahabharata. A heritage site steeped in mythology, visitors come from far and wide to visit the site.
This ancient cave temple was built over a large rock jutting out of the ground, which was where Hidimba was said to meditate. Built in a pagoda style, the structure is made of wood, with a three-tiered roof crowned by a cone-shaped brass tower known as a shikhara. The temple door features intricately carved figures, including the goddess Durga, whom Hidimba was believed to be an incarnation of.
Inside the temple is a stone idol of Hidimba Devi measuring approximately 60 centimeters tall, and not far from the main building is a shrine dedicated to Hadimba’s son, Ghatotkacha.
The Beas River rises in central Himachal Pradesh and is a natural attraction for those visiting Manali, a small tourist town situated along the banks of this gushing Himalayan river.
From Manali, the Beas River travels through dense evergreen forests and through the town of Kullu. The Beas covers some 470 kilometers in total, traveling through hills and valleys, towns and districts, before joining the Sutlej River at the southwestern boundary of Kapurthala in Punjab, before finally flowing into Pakistan.
With its mountain views, tranquil surroundings, and fresh clean water, the Beas River at Manali is a popular place to visit. Unfortunately, it’s also the site of a recent tragedy; in June 2014, 24 students and one tour operator were drowned when the floodgates of a dam suddenly opened, apparently without due warning, causing the river to surge.
The ancient Manu Temple(Manu Mandir) is dedicated to the Indian sage of the same name. It’s located up in the clouds in Old Manali, offering some wonderful views of the valley beyond it. According to Hindu legend, Manu was the creator of the human race and the writer of Manusmriti, with Manali believed to be the region where he meditated and dwelt.
The temple is considered to be the only Manu temple in existence, and as such it’s an important place of worship for locals and pilgrims. Inside, the temple is made up of some exquisite wood and stone architecture, with plenty of unique features and elaborate carvings. The grand vaulted ceiling and marble flooring were added in 1992.
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