Popular as the ‘Hanuman Mandir’ among the localities of Shimla, the Jakhoo (or Jakhu) Temple has been on the ‘must visit list’ of most travellers. It is frequented by the devotees of the ‘Pawan Putra’ – Hanuman. One would get to hear about different versions of legend behind this temple that is mainly related to the phase of the Ramayana where Lord Hanuman rested on his way to fetch Sanjeevani Booti (a therapeutic herb) to heal Lord Ram’s brother, Lakshman.
The Jakhu Temple is located 2.5 km from the Christ Church at the Ridge and there is a lovely trail that connects to the temple from near the church. The temple is situated on the Jakhoo Hill which is also Shimla’s highest peak (at an altitude of about 8,050 feet). While trekking up to the temple, one can see the magnificent, 108 feet tall Hanuman statue behind the deodar trees. It will take around 20-30 minutes to reach the temple by the trail. Alternatively, you can hire a taxi to the temple that will just take 5 minutes.
The main temple complex has Lord Hanuman’s foot prints engraved on a marble (as believed by the devotees), paintings and statues of Lord Hanuman and Lord Ram. The pious chants (or Bhajans) and the ringing of bells fill up the entire complex.
The fun part of the entire journey to the Jakhu Temple is the sight of monkeys in and around the temple. Some of them seem to welcome the visitors as Lord Hanuman’s ‘vanar sena’ (Army of Monkeys that helped Lord Ram defeat Ravana) while others are notorious for snatch the stuff you are carrying. Avoiding carrying wallets, cameras, especially any eatables to the temple as these ‘temple guards’ will snatch anything and everything they find attractive in your hands. It is always good to keep a stick handy to scare these monkeys away before they scare you!
To know more about the temple and Shimla you may refer to the following: