The Shikari Devi Temple is a holy site located in the Himalayas near the Seraj, Janjelhi, and Bagsaid valleys in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. Situated at an elevation of 2850 meters above sea level, it offers breathtaking views of pine, deodar woods, and apple orchards.
The temple is an ancient structure, believed to have been built during the time of the Pandavas’ exile. It is located on the peak of Shikari Devi, the highest peak in the Mandi district, and is a roofless shrine dedicated to Kali, worshipped as Shikari Devi (Hunter Goddess). Legend has it that the goddess protects hunters and other worshippers from harm.
To reach the temple, one must trek up a difficult path from Janjheli, Bagsaid, Kandha, or Karsog Valley. The journey is worth it, as the temple offers stunning views of the valley on a clear day. Despite being covered in snow during winter, the main shrine remains snow-free.
Animal sacrifice is a common practice at the temple, as locals offer goats and sheep to the deity. However, it is a controversial practice, as it goes against the idea of the region being a “Dev Bhumi” or “Land of the Gods.”
The temple is a popular destination for pilgrims, who climb 500 stairs to reach the temple premises. A fair is held every year during the Navaratra days, attracting devotees from all over the world.
According to ancient texts, the Pandava brothers also meditated at the site during their exile and were blessed by Goddess Durga for their victory over their cousins, the Kauravas. The temple finds mention in the Markandya Puran and the Mahabharata, and it is said that Sage Markandya meditated at the site for many years, eventually being granted his wish to see the earthly form of Goddess Durga.
The temple can be reached by road, and jeeps ply from Jinjheli village, covering a distance of 16 kilometers. The closest railhead is the Joginder Nagar Railway Station.
Shikari Devi is a form of the Hindu goddess Kali, worshipped as the Hunter Goddess. The Shikari Devi Temple, located in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, is dedicated to her. According to local legends, the goddess protects hunters and other worshippers from harm. Animal sacrifice is a common practice at the temple, as it is believed to be pleasing to the deity. However, the practice is controversial and not universally accepted.
Every year during the Navaratri festival, a fair is held at the Shikari Devi Temple in Himachal Pradesh. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and attracts a large number of devotees from all over the world. During the fair, locals and tourists alike visit the temple to seek the blessings of the goddess and participate in various cultural activities. The festival is a perfect blend of religion, tradition, and entertainment. Apart from the Navaratri festival, other important festivals such as Dussehra and Diwali are also celebrated at the temple with great fervor. These festivals provide an opportunity for people to come together, offer prayers, and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the region.
There are several things to do at the Shikari Devi Temple that visitors can enjoy.
The best time to visit the Shikari Devi Temple is during the months of April to June and September to November. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and the skies are usually clear, providing visitors with breathtaking views of the valley and the surrounding mountains.
In the months of April to June, the weather is mild, and the spring season brings with it beautiful flowers and greenery, making it a great time for sightseeing and trekking.
September to November is also a good time to visit as the weather is pleasant, and the autumn season offers visitors a chance to witness the beautiful foliage of the region. The skies are usually clear, providing visitors with stunning views of the Himalayas.
The winter months, from December to February, should be avoided as the area receives heavy snowfall, and the roads leading to the temple can be dangerous and closed for long periods of time.
The Shikari Devi Temple is located in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Here are the different ways to reach the temple:
The temple can be reached by road from various nearby towns such as Mandi, Karsog, and Janjheli. Regular buses and taxis are available from these towns to reach the temple.
The nearest railway station to the temple is Joginder Nagar Railway Station, which is located at a distance of around 60 km. From here, one can take a taxi or a bus to reach the temple.
The nearest airport to the temple is Bhuntar Airport, which is located at a distance of around 75 km. From the airport, one can take a taxi or a bus to reach the temple.
The temple can also be reached by trekking through various routes from nearby villages such as Janjheli, Bagsaid, Kandha, and Karsog valley. Trekking to the temple is a popular option among adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers.