Dev Bhoomi or the land of temples as Himachal Pradesh (HP) is often called is one of the most popular tourism destinations in India. According to reports, 95% of Himachal’s total population is Hindu, making it the most Hindu State in the country.  Scores of devotees visit Naina Devi Temple, in Bilaspur District every year. There are several Devi Temples in Himachal Pradesh. These shrines dedicated to the Mother Goddess symbolize Shakti , manifestation of the Trinity herself: Creator, Destroyer and Preserver.

 There are 2000 temples in Himachal, notable among these being the Naina Devi Temple, Jwala Devi Temple, Chintpurni Devi Temples, Chamunda Devi Temple, Vrajeshwari Devi, Jwalaji Temple, Shikari Devi Temple, Hidimba Temple, and Bhimkali Temple. The Bijli Mahadev temple at an altitude of nearly 2,400 meters in the Kulu Valley is breathtaking in its beauty and serenity while the oldest and largest, Laxmi Narayana Temple, is in the Chamba District.

Some Famous Temples of Himachal Pradesh

Naina Devi Temple

Pilgrimage centers and temples in India attract several local and foreign tourists annually. Some come to pay obeisance to the residing Goddess while others come to soak in the colours and sounds which are part and parcel of these pilgrimage sites. Naina Devi in the district of Bilaspur of Himachal Pradesh is one such temple. It lures pilgrims as it is one of the Shakti Peeths of India, one of the 51 in the country, where a body part of the Devi Sati, first wife of Lord Shiva, scattered and fell after being hit by Lord Vishnu’s Sudarshan Chakra.

It is believed, according to Hindu mythology that Sati's eye fell at the very place where the Naina Devi in Himachal Pradesh is built. The word Naina in the local language means eye. Naina Devi temple is supposed to be the busiest amongst all the temples of Himachal Pradesh. One could visit the sanguine Govind Sagar Lake and the stately Bhakra Dam when one visits this temple as they are situated quite close.

Jwalamukhi Temple

Another Shakti Peeth, the Jwalamukhi temple is said to house the tongue of Sati fell in the place where the temple is being erected. The temple was built in homage to goddess Jawala-mukhi, also termed as ‘Maa Jwala Ji’. The Hindu meaning of the word Jawalamukhi is mouth of flames and Jwala Ji means flames. The devotees of Sati believe that there are nine flames that burn permanently. Aarti is performed here five times a day but for tourists from home and abroad, the evening Aarti or Shaiyan Aarti is the main attraction as the Goddess, resplendent in her priceless ornaments is prayed to by devotees from near and far, with delicate lamps lighting up the entire temple amid the chanting of religious songs.  The grand Puja that takes place in this temple is a sight to be seen and thepower of the Goddess can be felt all around.

Being at a distance of a mere 34 km from the Kangra Valley, one should not lose the opportunity to visit the scenic area as well.

Baijnath Temple

Another ancient temple, the Baijnath Temple, located in the Bias valley of Himachal Pradesh, is an architectural marvel with its ornate designs and interesting friezes. It is a temple that had been dedicated to Siva Vaidyanatha meaning the Lord of the physicians and is a must visit for not only Hindu pilgrims but those fascinated by India’s rich architectural heritage.

Maa Chintpurni and Chamunda Mata Temple

The temple of Mata Chintpurni, located in the Una district, is dedicated to Mata Chintpurni also known as Chhinnamastika Devi. The temple has derived this name from the idol of goddess Durga in the temple, which is without (Chhinnaa ) a head (mastika).  Devotees coming to the temple strongly believe that if anything is asked from the Goddess with a pure heart then the wish is fulfilled. During the festival of Navratri, throngs of pious devotees of the Goddess gather in the temple premises, hoping that their wishes will be granted by the Divine goddess. Mata Chintpurni temple is also a site for observing a number of North Indian festivals.

The temple of Chamunda Devi, 8 km away from Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, is yet another Shakti Peeth as it is believed that the trunk of Sati had fallen in this place after her body was cut into fifty one pieces by Lord Vishnu‘s chakra. According to another myth, the goddess of the temple beheaded two demons, Chand and Munda. Mahakali is another name that is given to Chamunda Devi or the goddess of the temple. Thus the temples of goddess Chamunda & Chintpurni Devi are numbered among the 51 Shakti Peeths in India.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple

The oldest and the largest temple in this region, Laxmi Narayan Temple is in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. There are six temples to be seen within the complex of the Laxmi Narayan Temple. The direction of these temples is from north to south. They are devoted to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Some of the main temples that are located in the premises are the Gauri Shankar temple, Shiva temple and Radha Krishna temple.

Constructed in the tenth century, the Laxmi Narayan Temple boasts of the Shikhara style of architecture, as is evident from the temples situated in the premises. The leaders of Chamba kingdom looked after the maintenance of these temples. In addition to the maintenance they also contributed to the construction of the various portions of the temple. People from historical era also believed that Raja Sahil Verma constructed the temple of Laxmi Narayan Temple. The temple is kept open for the tourists and devotees from morning; 6 am to afternoon; 12.30 pm and again from 2.30pm, afternoon till 8.30 pm in the night. Laxmi Narayan Temple, Himachal Pradesh is one of the oft visited pilgrimage sites in India.

Hadimba Temple

 Another ancient temple, the Hadimba Temple in Himachal Pradesh is situated in Dhoongri, a small village in Manali district and is associated with the Mahabharata. Hadimba temple is also referred to as the Dhoongri temple because of its location.

Maharaja Bahadur Singh built the Hadimba Temple in the year 1533. The temple is appreciated because of its architecture. The roof of the Hadimba Temple which is a four tiered pagoda is a special feature. The intricately and exquisitely carved wooden door is also noteworthy. There are two fairs held in the temple premises annually, the first in May, and the other fair during Dussehra, around October. The Hadimba Temple is well connected to the national Highway and easily accessible to the visitors and the tourists in Himachal Pradesh by road. A reliable bus service to Hidimba also makes access easy.

The List Of Famous Temples In Himachal Pradesh Includes

  • Baba Balak Nath Temple
  • Brijeshwari Temple
  • Bijli Mahadev Temple
  • Shringi Rishi Temple
  • Rewalsar Temple
  • Shikari Devi Temple
  • Jakhu Temple
  • Bhagsu Nag Shiva Temple
  • Bhimkali Temple
  • Jhakhu Temple
  • Hatkaoti Temple
  • Renukaji Temple
  • Marsur Temple
  • Ardhanari Temple
  • Chaurashi Temple
  • Balasundari Temple
  • Bhutnath Temple

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