Himachal Pradesh is called ‘Dev Bhoomi (देवभूमि )’or ‘Land of the Gods’ and it is not without reason. Himachal Pradesh is replete with legends and myths about gods and goddesses. Every district and every town has its own temples that have a colourful history and story behind it. Perched high atop the mountains and with its pristine beauty, it is no wonder if Himachal Pradesh is a place that is loved even by the gods. Here is a list of some of the most famous temples in Himachal Pradesh. Visit each of these locations and you will understand why exactly this place is referred to as the abode of Gods.
Shree Vajreshwari Mata Mandir Himachal Pradesh
The Shree Vajreshwari (or Bajreshwari) Mata Mandir also known as Kangra Devi Mandir is one of the 51 Shakti Pithas dedicated to the goddess Vajreshvari, a form of Goddess Durga located in the town Kangra in the Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. A legend says that after Goddess Sati sacrificed herself in the honor of Lord Shiva in her father’s Yagya. Shiva took her body on his shoulder and started Tandav. In order to stop him from destroying the world Lord Vishnu divided the body of Sati into 51 parts with his Chakra. The left breast of Sati fell at this spot, thus making it a Shakti Peetha. History – The original temple is said to have been built by the Pandavas at the time of Mahabharatha. Legend says that one day Pandavas saw Goddess Durga in their dream in which she told them that she is situated in the Nagarkot village and if they want themselves to be secure they should make a temple for her in that area otherwise they will be destroyed. That same night they made a magnificent temple for her in the Nagarkot village. In 1905 the temple was destroyed by a powerful earthquake and was subsequently rebuilt by the government.
Baijnath Lord Shiva Himachal Pradesh
Baijnath is a town in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It is about 50 kilometres from Dharamshala which is the district headquarters. The ancient temple of Lord Shiva (Baijnath) is situated here giving the town its name .The main attraction of Baijnath is an ancient, Baijnath Temple, a temple of Lord Shiva. According to the legend, it is believed that during the Treta Yuga, Ravana in order to have invincible powers worshiped Lord Shiva in the Kailash. In the same process, to please the almighty he offered his ten heads in the havan kund. Influenced by this extra ordinary deed of the Ravana, the Lord Shiva not only restored his heads but also bestowed him with powers of invincibility and immortality.
On attaining this incomparable boon, Ravana also requested Lord Shiva to accompany him to Lanka. Shiva consented to the request of Ravana and converted himself into Shivling. Then Lord Shiva asked him to carry the Shivling and warned him that he should not place the Shivling down on the ground on his way as Shiva said wherever you will keep me, in this Linga form, I will rest there only, the Linga will be stay there only.
Sankat Mochan Temple
Sankat Mochan Temple in Himachal Pradesh is located on the Kalka-Shimla Highway and is one of the most popular temples in Himachal and in Shimla. Sankat Mochan is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and thousands of people from India visit this temple to offer their prayers. The temple is commissioned by Baba Neem Karoli. Once a small shrine it is now a three-storied building. The building of this temple is used for marriage ceremonies and for other purposes as well as feeding the poor, which is known as Langar.
Along with this Sankat Mochan Temple also has an Ayurvedic clinic as well. Devotees make a visit to the clinic to heal various health concerns.Sankat Mochan Temple is just 11 kilometers away from the railway station and the best time to visit this temple is on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Around 1000 of visitors come to the Sankat Mochan Temple on these two days.
Baba Balaknath Temple
The Baba Balaknath Temple is one of the most famous temples in Himachal Pradesh. It is a cave temple carved out of rock. Although the entry of females is restricted here, devotees throng the temple during the Holi festival when a fair is organized there The best time to visit this temple is between October and April. It is a distance of about 45 kilometers from Hamirpur.
One of the most famous temples to visit in Manali is the Hidimba Temple. Hidimba Devi, who is the wife of Bheema and the revered mother of Ghatotkachh, is said to be protecting the valley. It is also said that she appears when people need her and saves her children from calamities. Surrounded by a thick forest, Hidimba Temple is built around a cave.
Apart from the religious connotations, people also visit this temple for its architectural beauty.The best time to visit Hidimba Temple is from August to July when the climate is pleasant. It is just 2 kilometres away from the Joginder Nagar Railway Station. Hidimba Temple was built by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in the year 1553 and celebrates the Saroohni Annual Mela.
Chamunda Devi Temple
Chamunda Devi is regarded as a mother goddess in Himachal and thus receives high regard in the state. According to legend, around 400 hundred years ago, a priest and the King of Kangra prayed to the goddess to let them shift the temple to a more accessible location, which the goddess agreed to. The Goddess appeared in the dream of the king and told him where to relocate the temple. She also told him that he would find an idol buried at the spot, which he had to set up as the presiding deity in the new temple. Accordingly, the religious site is now an easily accessible location and visited by many devotees The Chamunda Temple is situated 10 kilometers from Palampur in the district of Kangra and the site is also known for its scenic beauty.
Jwala Devi Temple
There are 51 Shaktipeethas in India and Jwala Devi Temple in Kangra district is one among them. The temple is in the village of Jwalamukhi in the Kangra district and the site of the temple is the place where the tongue of Sati is supposed to have fallen. According to legend, a shepherd saw a raging fire on top of a hill and he went and told the king about this. The king went to the spot and saw the Goddess Jwala Devi there. He then decided to build a temple at the spot. It is believed that if you visit the Jwala Devi Temple your wishes will be fulfilled. An offering of coconut is mandatory here.
Baglamukhi Temple is one of the best temples in haripur Rd sameli Himachal Pradesh for all those who seek a break from the busy city life. The temple is surrounded by beauty and tranquility. If you are looking for a place where you can meditate and relax your weary souls, then you must visit the Baglamukhi Temple and offer prayers to Goddess Baglamukhi Devi. You can wear yellow attire and offer sweets made from gram flour and sugar at this temple.
A gorgeous complex built in the 8th century, Masrur Temple is an 8th-century complex. Located in Kangra Valley , these rock-cut temples are an epitome of architectural excellence and will leave you in awe. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Goddesses, and Saura. Marvel at the stunning structure of this temple on your vacation and seek the blessing of all the major god and goddesses.
Shikari Devi Temple( shikari Mata Mandir )
Shikari Devi temple is about 18 Kms from Janjehli and connected by a jeepable Forest road. It is situated at an altitude of 3359 Mtr. Thick forests on the way to Shikari peak are amazing. Being the highest peak of Mandi District it is also called Crown of Mandi. Vast green pastures, captivating sunrise and sunset, panoramic view of snow ranges make this place favorite to nature lovers. The place receives a lot of snow during winters. The place can be approached from Karsog which is just 21 Kms from Shikari Devi. On the Shikari peak, there is a roofless temple of Shikari Devi, the Goddess of hunters and this temple is said to be established (Sathapit) by Pandavas. It is said that sage Markanday also meditated at this place for number of years. It has been observed that despite the fact that temple has no roof, no snow is spotted in temple premises during winters when the entire region around this temple is covered upto several feet by snow. Visitors can trek to Chindi, Karsog, Janjehli through different trek routes from Shikari. Adventurists can visit Kamrunag by undertaking a day long journey of 16 Kms by trekking the vast spread pastures on this hill top route with breathtaking scenic beauty and perfect calmness.