Mrikula Devi Temple: A Historical Gem in Lahaul Spiti

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The Mrikula Devi Temple, a hidden gem nestled in the majestic Himalayas, stands as a testament to the rich cultural and artistic heritage of Himachal Pradesh. Located in Udaipur, Lahaul Spiti’s second-largest town, this temple dedicated to Goddess Kali boasts a unique blend of architectural styles and fascinating legends.

A Glimpse into the Temple’s Grandeur

Despite its seemingly simple exterior with a traditional wooden roof, the Mrikula Mata Temple’s true beauty lies within. Exquisite deodar wood carvings depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics adorn the walls and pillars. These intricate artworks bear a striking resemblance to those found in the Hadimba Temple at Manali, hinting at a possible shared origin with a skilled 16th-century craftsman.

A Fusion of Styles and Intriguing Legends

The temple’s central idol, a silver statue of Kali slaying the demon Mahishasura, showcases a captivating blend of Rajasthani, Kashmiri, and Tibetan styles. The nine-panelled roof, with its central lantern design, adds another layer of visual intrigue. Interestingly, four of the panels depict scenes from Hindu mythology, while another breaks tradition by showcasing the Buddhist concept of “Assault of Mara,” where Buddha vanquishes the embodiment of desire and death.


Legends surrounding the Mrikula Mata Temple add to its mystique. One story claims that the temple was built by the Pandavas themselves from a single block of wood. Another tale revolves around a hidden “Khappar” (skull cup) believed to hold the blood of Mahishasura. Seeing this sacred object is said to bring misfortune, adding an element of mystery to the temple’s aura.

A Call for Preservation

Constructed at an impressive altitude of 2623 meters, the Mrikula Devi Temple faces the threat of neglect. Despite its historical significance and captivating beauty, the temple’s structure requires urgent attention. The local temple committee has appealed to the Himachal Pradesh Archaeological Department to initiate renovations to prevent its deterioration.

How to Reach Mrikula Devi Temple

Udaipur, where the temple resides, is conveniently accessible year-round thanks to the recently opened Atal Tunnel, the world’s longest high-altitude tunnel. Located roughly 55 kilometres from Keylong (the district headquarters) and 156 kilometres from Manali, Udaipur boasts connectivity with other nearby towns through Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation buses. Taxis are readily available from Manali and Kullu for those seeking a more personalized travel experience. The nearest airport is Bhuntar (204 km away), while Pathankot serves as the closest railway station.

A Journey Beyond the Destination

A visit to the Mrikula Mata Temple is more than just a pilgrimage; it’s a journey into the heart of Lahaul Spiti’s cultural heritage. The temple’s unique blend of architectural styles, captivating legends, and artistic treasures offer a glimpse into the region’s rich past. As you stand amidst these ancient walls, enveloped in the serenity of the Himalayas, the Mrikula Mata Temple promises an experience that transcends the physical, leaving you with a lasting impression.

Places to Visit near Mrikula Devi Temple, Udaipur

Your journey to Mrikula Devi Temple doesn’t have to end at Udaipur. The Lahaul region offers a treasure trove of sights waiting to be explored. Here are some fascinating places near the temple:

Trilokinath Temple

Located atop a cliff overlooking the stunning Chandrabhaga river and just 20 km or so from Udaipur lies the Trilokinath Temple, a unique place of worship revered by both Hindus and Buddhists.  Visit to Mrikula Mata Temple is incomplete without a visit to Trilokinath Temple.

Miyar Valley 

Nicknamed the “Valley of Flowers,” Miyar Valley stretches for 75 km, filled with untouched beauty. Lush meadows, a gushing river, and snow-capped peaks make it a paradise for nature lovers.  This hidden gem is similar to Zanskar and is home to friendly Buddhist shepherds and farmers.  Climbers flock here to conquer uncharted peaks!


The administrative centre of Lahaul and Spiti, Keylong is now easily accessible thanks to the Atal Tunnel.  This bustling town is famous for the Kardang Monastery, the largest and most important monastery in Lahaul.  Across the river, it offers a glimpse into Tibetan Buddhist culture.


This charming village nestled on the banks of the Chandra River is a photographer’s dream.  In autumn, the trees explode with vibrant colours, while the majestic mountains provide a stunning backdrop.  Look out for the Sissu Waterfall cascading down the hillside and the Sissu Lake, a haven for wintering birds. Don’t miss the historic Raja Ghepan Temple while you’re there!

These are just a taste of the wonders that await you at Udaipur Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh.  So, pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and discover the magic of Lahaul.  Now one interesting thing, if you decide to proceed onwards from Udaipur one can reach Kilar in Pangi District which is 74 km approx.  Kilar is the border town between Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.  From Kilar one can move onwards to Gulabgarh (50 km) and thereon to Kishtwar (118) km and Jammu (328 km).  Now if you decide to go to Ladakh, reach Tandi Pull and turn left towards Keyong and beyond to Leh, Ladakh.


So, embark on an adventure to the Mrikula Mata Temple. Immerse yourself in its artistic wonders, delve into its captivating stories, and pay homage to the divine. The Himalayas hold this hidden gem waiting to be discovered, offering a unique blend of cultural richness, artistic mastery, and spiritual connection. Let the Mrikula Mata Temple weave its magic on you, leaving you with an unforgettable memory etched in the heart of your travels.

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