Himachal Pradesh is known as the Land of Gods or Dev Bhoomi and the many different remarkable temples that adorn the length and breadth of the state amply justifies its title. Himachal Pradesh is set in the heart of Himalayas and this abode of snow and pristine beauty is ideal for experiencing divinity. The passion of nature blends amicably with the beauty of the surroundings. Tourists and travellers visit Himachal for experiencing snow in the abode of the gods, at the heart of the mountain ranges. Himachal is the land of the source of the mighty rivers and snow-fed glaciers. It is also a pilgrim’s most favoured destination. Here are quite a few temples that are absolutely must-visit destinations for casual tourists, honeymoon couples, backpackers and religious travellers alike.
Jhakoo Temple, Shimla
The Jhakoo Temple of Shimla is located at a height of 8000 feet above sea level and is an immensely popular tourists spot for visitors coming to Shimla to spend a few days of rest and peace. The Jhakoo Temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and has a huge 108-feet statue of Lord Hanuman, which is an important landmark of Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. Jhakoo Temple is replete is a grandeur arising from the legend or myth that Lord Hanuman has stopped at this point temporarily in his venture to collect the life-saving Sanjeevni herb for Lakshmana. The myth also says that Hanuman had met the wise sage named Yaaku here who had guided Lord Hanuman regarding the procurement of the Sanjeevni herb. The religious connotation along with the immense scenic beauty that the setting emanates make Jhakoo Temple top the list of tourist attractions in Himachal Pradesh. Thousands of devotees visit and gather here every year from all across the country. The temple is at a distance of 45 minutes of hill drive from the Mall Road of Shimla.
Sankat Mochan Temple, Shimla
Sankat Mochan Temple is located on the Kalka-Shimla Highway and is one of the most popular temples in Himachal Pradesh and is clubbed comfortably with the Shimla sightseeing itinerary. Sankat Mochan Temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and also houses the deities of Lord Rama and Lord Shiva. Thousands of people visit this temple to worship and offer their prayers. The temple is a three-storied building and is an auspicious venue for marriage ceremonies and also for Langar distribution among the mass. The Sankat Mochan Temple also has an Ayurvedic clinic that heals and offers medicines for various health remedies. Sankat Mochan Temple is an initiative by Baba Neeb Karori Ji Maharaj and is located approximately 5 kilometres away from Shimla. This temple is the second most popular tourist spot after Jakhu Temple of Shimla. The temple, which was established in the year 1950, remains most visited on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The temple is set amidst exquisite natural beauty flanked by lush greenery and blissfully gorgeous mountains ranges.
Hidimba Temple, Manali
Hidimba Temple is widely known for celestial settings, amidst snow crests and verdant deep tall silent woods. This temple is an immensely popular tourist attraction for both international and national tourists who venture to the snow-bound iridescent ice-capped higher Himalayas of Manali. Hadimba Temple has an interesting mythical association. The story goes that Hidimba Devi was the wife of Bheema and the much awed and revered mother of Ghatotkachh. She is looked upon as the supreme protector of the silent and spellbinding valley. The local devotees believe strongly that she appears when people need her most and pray to her with full dedication to bless all with health and happiness. The temple is shrouded by a thick forest and a mysterious cave. Hadimba temple is also remarkable on account of its architectural splendour. The Hidimba Temple was built by Maharaja Bahadur Singh back in the year 1553. The temple does not house any particular deity but the footprint on the stone slab kept inside is ardently worshipped and celebrated. The major festivity of the Saroohni Annual Mela is held here that attracts a huge number of devotees from all around. The temple and its spellbinding surroundings is known for nature photography, virgin natural beauty and spectacular views of the deodar forests and snow-capped mountains present all around.
Vashisht Temple, Manali
Vashisht Temple is a remarkable and unique temple of Himachal Pradesh which is famed for its natural hot water springs. The sulphur springs that abound at the temple site are believed to be natural healers for a variety of ailments such as skin disorders, joint pains and various types of body aches and pains. This temple is dedicated to the famous sage Vashisht who had meditated at this site. This temple offers separate bathing zones for men and women. This temple can been accredited significantly as being really ancient and is around 4000 years old. Even in peak winters when the surroundings are extremely cold, a nice and warm bath in these natural hot water springs can be immensely rejuvenating. This temple is located approximately 3.5 kilometres away from Manali and remains open to visitors all days of the week.
Tara Devi Temple, Shimla
Tara Devi is around 250 years old spectacular temple in Shimla and is a very important religious site of Himachal Pradesh. This temple is located on the Kalka-Shimla Highway close to Shogi about 15 kilometres away from Shimla town. The legends and myths go that Tara Devi was actually the Kullu Devi, who was the venerated family deity of the Sen Dynasty. Tara Devi has her origin from the eastern state of Bengal. This temple was originally built by Bhupendra Sen where a sprawling 50 acres of land was dedicated for the temple construction. Later, the temple was relocated to a hilltop by Raja Balbir Sen with the noble intention of letting the revered Goddess Maa Tara watch over the entire valley and protect and bless a wider circumference.
The best time to visit Tara Devi Temple is during Shardiya Navratas particularly on Ashtami, which happens on an annual basis.