Bhimakali Temple
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BHIMAKALI TEMPLE


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The Bhimakali Temple is situated in Sarahan district of Himachal Pradesh, this Temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths. The architecture of the temple is the prime highlight. The temple is all built with wood and presents a wonderful combination of the Hindu and Buddhist Temple style. Bhimakali Temple has a unique and unusual architecture and wealth of wood carvings, Shri Bhima Kali Temple at Sarahan is the major monument that is duplicated no where else in the erstwhile hill states. Sarahan is a unique hill station of Himachal Pradesh known for the natural beauty it is surrounded with.

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The lush green environment along with the smell of different varieties of flora and fauna attracts the visitors most. In addition to the natural beauty, the Sarahan which is a small town is even rich in its historical and cultural side. The Bhimakali Temple is reputed to be at least 800 years old and is dedicated to Goddess Durga or Bhimakali. Moreover, it is considered as one of the significant Shakti Peethas of Shaivite Hindus.

The Myth about the Temple
Bhimakali Temple
An interesting story of the Bhimakali Temple is that during the earthquake of 1905 it had got a bit tilted. However, with another following tremor, after the earthequake the temple straightened on its own. It has been believed that there is a secret tunnel in the temple which was earlier used by the priests to reach the village of Ranwin. In the year 1927 by the side of this old Bhimakali temple, a new one was constructed. Today it houses a two centuries old image of goddess Bhimakali at its first floor. This image on the first floor is not open throughout the year for worship. But however, the one at the second floor is definitely worshipped daily. Other temples built in the complex are dedicated to Lord Narsingha and Lord Raghunath.

Significance of the temple
The Bhimakali Temple is dedicated to the mother goddess Bhimakali, the presiding deity of the Rulers of former Bushahr Sate, it is situated at 2150 mtrs above MSL and this magnificent temple is about 180 kms from Shimla. Bushahr State as the capital at Shonitpur the former princely state was extended up to entire area of Kinnaur where for somtimes Lord Shiva disguised himself as Kirat. Today, the so called Shonitpur is known as Sarahan. While the Banasur, the ardent devotee of Lord Siva, eldest among the one hundred sons of great oblative demon King Bali and the great grandson of Vishnu votary Prahlad, during the Puranic age was the ruler of this particular princely state.

As because of Usha-Anirudh affairs, Lord Krishna fought here with him and in this battle Lord Siva stood against the former.The legend gives the evidences that head of the defeated king Banasur was buried in front of the entry gate now marked as a raised platform to the first courtyard. When one reaches a few steps up from the road to this paved courtyard pilgrims enter into a different world. After Banasur, Pradyuman who was the incarnation of cupid and the son of Lord Krishna became the Ruler of this Kingdom. Since then this Kingdom was governed uninterruptedly by the kings of this dynasty till the end of the princely states in independent India. Then the ruling family in the state got constructed a splendid temple palace complex and recognised mother goddess Bhimakali as the presiding deity of the ruling house.


Bhimakali Temple
The goddess according to some other legend was consecrated earlier in the wooden stick of a sage Bhimagiri. Another legend says about the manifestation of the goddess to the Daksha-Yajna incident when the ear of the Sati fell at this place and became a place of worship as a Pitha - Sthan. Presently in the form of a virgin, the icon of this eternal goddess is consecrated at the top storey of the new building. Below that storey, the goddess as Parvati, the daughter of Himalaya is enshrined as a divine consort of Lord Siva. Another three temples in this complex are dedicated to Lord Raghunathji, Narsinghji at and Patal Bhairva Ji - the guardian deity.

An important deota often has another deota as its wazir and the wazir occupies a small temple adjoining the main one or his image is placed near the door.Thus Maheshra of Shingra is wazir to the temple of Bhima Kali at Sarahan. According to a report an erratic rock stone of a roof of the house, fixed on the way at the main entrance of this temple narrates the story of a royal traitor of ' Thoru' village. Now under the chairmanship of present Hon' ble Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, the temple trust is working effectively and efficiently.Twelve ancient temples are included under the aegis of this trust.

Time to Visit
Best season to visit the Bhimakali Mandir is all year round because different seasons provide different scenic beauty. While in winter heavy woollens are required and in summer the temperature is very pleasant. From March to November light woollens during the day and a jacket for the early morning and evenings is suggested, as during this period the climate is temperate.

Rules and Rituals of the temple
Aarti timings and offerings: In a day four aartis are done at regular intervals at the the Bhimakali shrine. Offerings like Flowers, Dhoop, Incense, Rice, Camphor, Clove, Cardamom, Kumkum, vermillion, etc are used in pooja. The first aarti takes at dawn around 6.00 a.m. in summers and 7.30 a.m. in winters. Then the second aarti is performed after two hours of the first aarti. At noon the third aarti is given and the offerings are the local food to the mother goddess.

Bhimakali Temple
The fourth aarti is shyana arti; after offerings are made to the mother goddess, slokas from the religious texts are recited. Devotees can even opt for special pooja which can be ordered from a distance by requesting the S.D.M. or Temple officer Rampur Distt., Shimla, H.P. or to the Manager Temple trust Sarahan, Bushahr Distt, Shimla which sits in the Temple complex .Pooja will be performed as per order and prasad of Mata will be sent to the concerned devotee.

The Principal religious festival called the Udyapan Jag connected with this temple is celebrated at intervals of a hundred years or more. The last Jag was in the year 1904 which took place 280 years after the preceeding one. There are fairs of Navratras (Nine auspicious nights) which are held twice in a year in Chaitra and Ashvin Hindu Months i.e.in April and October. The navratras are most significant from religious point of view. During these navratras "Durga Saptashati" text is recited by the priest.

Accommodation facilities at the Temple
Temple Rest House: Perched on the edge of the magnificent Bhimakali temple complex which has a panoramic view of the distant hills, the accommodation is booked through the main SDM Rampur Bushahr or even one can from the Manager, Temple trust at Sarahan. Accommodation is available with six VIP double bed rooms with two balconies, six regular double bed rooms, and two dormitories of 14 beds.

Hotel Shrikhand: This is the Govt. hotel which is named after the majestic mountain that faces the hotel and is 5227m high peak. The building of the hotel has drawn inspiration from the fascinating forms of the Bhimakali Temple. Here accommodation is available with 11 deluxe double bedrooms, 4 regular double bed rooms, and 12 beds dormitory. Besides in Shrikhand cottage there are 2 DBR deluxe and one fully equipped kitchen. Booking is on the spot at Sarahan counter. Besides these there are many private hotels, guests houses are also available to stay at Sarahan. Due to heavy rush of the devotees to avoid any inconvenience, advance booking is always recommended during navratras both in private and public sectors. Food near Bhimakali Mandir is easily available at reasonable rates in the temple trust canteen which is in the complex itself. Free langar services are also available in the temple during the Navratras only.
Nearby tourist places to Bhimakali Temple.

Delhi

Kullu

Shimla
Bhimakali Temple


How to reach the Temple

One can reach the temple through all the following options and catch a cab to the Temple.

The temple is located about 3 km west of Godaulia, outside the old city. It is situated in the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth campus.

  • By Rail: - There is no proper rail service to this place and the nearest railway station is at Shimla which is connected by a narrow gauge line from Kalka (96 kms.)

  • By Road: Sarahan is 180 kms from Shimla and 550 Kms from Delhi. One can hire jeeps and taxies which are available at Shimla and Rampur. There are number of buses also available to reach this place. By car Sarahan is six hours from Shimla. The route is on NH -22 upto Jeori, which is 11 kms beyond from Jhakri, from where the road bifurcates to Sarahan.