Shikari Devi Temple is a revered sanctuary that calls out to both pilgrims and nature enthusiasts. This remarkable temple holds profound spiritual importance for the local community. In this article, we will venture into the core of Shikari Devi Temple, delving into its historical significance, geographical location, weather conditions, and the ways to reach this sacred destination. Join us on this expedition to unveil the secrets and splendor of Shikari Devi Temple.
A Glimpse of Shikari Devi Temple
Shikari Devi Temple, also known as Shikari Devi Mandir, is a sacred sanctuary nestled amidst the majestic hills of Mandi, located in the state of Himachal Pradesh. This temple is dedicated to Shikari Devi, the Goddess of hunting, and is perched at an impressive elevation of 3,360 meters (11,020 feet) above sea level. Positioned atop a hill, which is aptly named Shikari Peak, it stands as the highest point in Mandi District, often referred to as the Jewel of Mandi. The area is cherished by nature enthusiasts for its expansive emerald meadows, captivating sunrises and sunsets, and a breathtaking vista of snow-capped peaks.
History and Folklore : Faith and Tradition
The history of Shikari Devi Temple dates back centuries, shrouded in myths and legends. It is believed that the temple was built by the Pandavas during their exile, making it an ancient and sacred site. According to the folklore, Arjuna, spotted a deer amidst the dense forest on the mountainside. However, despite his efforts, he was unable to capture the elusive animal. Recognizing that the deer held a divine significance, the Pandava brothers prayed to the celestial power to reveal itself. In response to their entreaty, Navdurga materialized before them and instructed the brothers to establish her at an appropriate location. In accordance with her guidance, the Pandavas erected a temple in her honor atop the peak. Consequently, she became renowned as Shikari Devi, the Goddess of the Hunt.
Shikari Devi Weather
Before embarking on a journey to Shikari Devi, it’s important to comprehend the prevailing weather conditions. The Shikari Devi weather is as varied as it is beautiful. Summers offer a pleasant escape from the scorching heat, with temperatures ranging between single digit to less than 20 degrees celcious. In contrast, winters transform this place into a snow-laden wonderland, making it a must-visit for snow enthusiasts.
How to Reach Shikari Devi from Mandi
Reaching Shikari Devi from Mandi involves a blend of road journeys and a trekking adventure. Mandi is located on Delhi Manali Highway and is 200 km from Chandigarh. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Your journey commences from the charming town of Mandi, known as the “Varanasi of the Hills.” From Mandi drive to Janjehli which is at a distance of 95 km approx. If you are coming from Chandigarh, you have an option of staying for the night at Sundernagar, another major town on Chandigarh Manali route. From Sundernagar also the distance to Janhehli is more or less the same. Janjehli is a beautiful quaint village that serves as the base camp.
Trek to Shikari Devi
The trek to Shikari Devi starts from Janjheli which is a picturesque valley with forested mountainsides sloping down from ridgelines. It’s dotted with pretty flower-bedecked meadows. The total distance of the trek is approximately 16 km. The abode of Goddess Shikari stands atop the highest point in the area. The temple is roofless because, as per the belief of the locals, the goddess does not permit construction of a roof and all attempts in this direction have failed given the strong winds that buffet the peak. During the Navratras, a fair is held here, which attracts a large number of devotees from the surrounding valleys.
Shikari Devi Mandir by Road
Jahjehli to Shikari Devi is now connected by a motorable road with four wheelers taking you right upto the doors of the temple, well almost. One can take hire a taxi to go right near the Shikari Devi temple. As soon as you reach the parking, there is a huge gate welcoming the tourists and devotees to Shikari Devi Mandi. There are also restaurants for refreshments and shops selling offerings for the temple. From this point one has to climb anout 550 steps to reach the temple.
Places of Interest Nearby
While the temple is the main attraction, the surroundings are replete with natural beauty and hidden gems. Don’t miss these nearby places:
A serene valley known for its lush green meadows and enchanting landscapes.
An emerald green lake, believed to be sacred, with a legend associated with it.
Read more about Kamru Nag Lake
Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary
A haven for wildlife enthusiasts, home to diverse flora and fauna.
In the heart of Himachal Pradesh, the Shikari Devi Temple stands as a testament to faith, history, and the incredible beauty of the natural world. Whether you’re a devout pilgrim or an adventure seeker, a visit to this sacred temple is a journey you’ll treasure forever. So, pack your bags, prepare for an exciting trek, and get ready to embrace the mystical aura of Shikari Devi.
Most frequent questions and answers
Yes, the temple is accessible year-round, but it’s important to consider weather conditions before planning your visit. It is better to avoid coming to the hills during monsoons.
The trek is moderately challenging and can be attempted by beginners with proper preparation and guidance. Alternatively you can reach Shikari Devi temple directly by hiring a Taxi. Walk from the parking lot to the temple is a mere 550 steps.
Ensure you have suitable trekking gear, carry enough water and snacks, and hire a local guide for a safer experience. The charm of many places in Himachal Pradesh has been lost due to the construction of roads to such pristine places and their commercialisation viz taxis, shops, restaurants etc.
The winter months from December to February offer the best chance to witness snowfall and experience a snowy wonderland.