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Photography

Hadimba Temple

Hadimba (Hidimba) is a small figure in the Mahabharat, the great INdian epic. She is a rakshas (inhuman, probably a reference to her purported hill tribe origin). She marries one of the heroes of the epic and has a son who goes on to play a small but significant part in the great battle the Mahabharat is woven around. As for as the central story goes, we don’t hear about her again. Here, however, Hidimba occupies the centre-stage, she is transformed into a goddess who is said to have performed penance under a rock to attain divinity. Around this rock cam up this temple. The present stone, wood and plaster structure dates back to the 1500s, but worship here seems to be a much older tradition. No photography is allowed within the temple, but there are foot-impressions inside that are claimed to have been made in to solid rock by Hidimba in the course of her penance.

Areas like Manali, and others in the Himalayas and associated mountain ranges developed semi-independently of the main current of evolution the flowed into the Indian heartland via the Hindu-Kush and the Punjab. These were isolated valley chiefdoms, cut off from the rest of the world by snow for over half the year.  It was fascinating to me to see how marginalized communities like these have adopted minor icons in Hindu mythology and given them sufficient importance to justify their claim to the mainstream. Links like Hidimba tied these tribes to the central core of Hindu and Indian culture while also maintaining their separate, unique identity; the rock worship, of course points to religious practices that predate even Htnduism, itself a millennia-old tradition.

Enough of my lecture now; this is the temple. 🙂

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About hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. There were many reasons why I gradually became more regular in posting, but one way or the other, here I am! So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on(and trust me this does become an issue more often than I'd care to admit). I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Hadimba Temple

  1. That is a significant temple. Thanks you for the fascinating story!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Amy | 21/10/2017, 1:14 AM
  2. Fascinating! I hate when they don’t allow photography inside. Makes my curiosity flare. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Victo Dolore | 20/10/2017, 3:46 PM

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