Hidimba Devi Temple is also known as Hadimba Temple. It is located on a deodar covered hill in Manali, some 3kms from the bus stop and few minutes walk from Old Manali. It is an ancient cave temple built in 1553 by Raja Bahadur Singh. Built over a huge rock, the sanctum is covered by three tiered roof of wooden planks. The fourth metal umbrella completes the outermost covering. The ‘shikhar’ or the wooden tower is 24m tall. The wooden facade and windows of the temple are richly carved. The quadruple wooden door frame is ornamented with carvings of various deities and other designs. The walls of the temple are strangely decorated with horns of animals.
The temple is dedicated to Hidimbi Devi, sister of Hidimba and wife of Bhima one of the Pandavas from Mahabharata epic. According to the epic, the Pandavas stayed in Himachal during their exile. Bhima the strongest of the Pandavas fought and killed Hidimba, a powerful Rakshas (demon). Bhima and Hidimbi had a son but when Bhima and the Pandavas returned from exile she stayed back and did tapasya, which involves meditation, prayer and penance. Later she attained the status of goddess.
Because of its architectural and historical importance the temple is protected as a monument of national importance. It is also one of the crowd-est destination around Manali Town. The locals do small business near the entrance of the Temple. There are small stores that sell souvenirs and woolen products.You could also sit on a yak or hold a fluffy rabbit and get yourself photographed.