Dhoongri is a scenic village in the Manali district of Himachal Pradesh. It is renowned for the Hidimba Devi Temple dedicated to goddess Hidimba, wife of Bhima (Pandava). It is one of the popular Hindu shrines in Manali and among the noted tourist attractions. Also, this sacred Dhoongri temple brings in a number of local devotees on all days of the year.
Hidimba Devi Temple in Dhoongri
This is an ancient cave temple at Dhoongri having Hidimba Devi as the principal deity. Maharaja Bahadur Singh built this temple in 1533. Surrounded by cedar forest at the foothills of the Himalayas, this place is stunning.. It is also associated with a number of legends. Goddess Hidimba is the wife of Bhima, one of the Pandavas. Bhima killed her demon brother Hidimb and in due course of time, they got married. After penance, she is associated with the incarnations of Hindu goddess Kali. She gave birth to a son named Ghatotkacha. There is a shrine dedicated to Ghatotkacha 70 meters away from the Hidimba Temple.
Architecture of Hidimba Devi Temple
This Dhoongri temple is famous for its splendid architecture. Reflecting the pagoda style of architecture, it has intricate carvings on the wooden doors. The structure consists of three square shaped roofs with timber tiles. There is a brass cone on the top. The base has praise worthy stonework. Inside this temple a raised rock has the brass idol of the deity.
Hidimba Devi Temple Festival
An annual fair is held here during the month of May. This is particularly the peak season. The Dussehra festival of Manali also brings tourists to this temple in Dhoongri. Tourists visit this village during the Bahadur Singh Re Jatar, another annual fair dedicated to Raja Bahadur Singh who built this famous shrine.