Tara Devi temple, located approximately 11 km away from Shimla city and standing at a height of 7200 feet above sea level, is a popular religious destination for visitors. Adjacent to it is the Shiv temple Shiv Bavdi.
The temple’s origins date back to the reign of the Sen dynasty kings in 1766 AD, who constructed it. The fort of Giri Sen in Junga is a remnant of that period.
Legend has it that King Bhupendra Sen was instructed by Goddess Tara Devi in a vision to construct a temple so that people could receive her blessings. He complied and placed a wooden statue of the goddess there. Later, King Balbir Sen received a similar vision in which the goddess instructed him to build the temple on the Tarav hill top. He erected an idol of Goddess Tara made of “Ashtadhatu,” a combination of eight precious elements, which was carried on an element named Shankar.
In Hinduism and Buddhism, Tara is the second of the Ten Great Wisdoms, or ‘Mahavidyas,’ and is considered to be the source of all energy. The word ‘Tara’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘tr,’ which means ‘to cross.’ In several Indian languages, the term ‘tara’ also refers to a star.
The temple is set against the backdrop of the Himalayas, with forests on one side and roads on the other. It is a scenic spot that attracts many visitors.
Tara Devi Temple hosts a few festivals and fairs throughout the year, drawing large crowds of devotees and visitors.
One of the most significant festivals is Navratri, which is celebrated twice a year, during the months of March-April and September-October. During this nine-day festival, devotees come from all over to worship Goddess Tara Devi and seek her blessings. The temple is decorated with lights and flowers, and religious ceremonies and cultural events take place throughout the festival.
Another festival celebrated at Tara Devi Temple is the Sharadotsav or the Autumn Festival, which is held in October. During this festival, the temple is decorated with colorful lights, and cultural events such as music and dance performances take place.
A fair is also held at Tara Devi Temple during the month of May, which is known as the Tara Devi Fair. It is a significant event for the locals, and people from nearby villages and towns attend it. The fair features stalls selling handicrafts, clothes, and other items, and various cultural and entertainment events are also organized.
Overall, these festivals and fairs add to the religious and cultural significance of Tara Devi Temple and attract a large number of visitors every year.
Tara Devi Temple offers several activities for visitors to engage in, apart from the religious and spiritual aspects. Some of the things to do at the temple are:
Overall, Tara Devi Temple offers a unique blend of religious and cultural experiences, along with the natural beauty of the surroundings, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Shimla.
The best time to visit Tara Devi Temple is during the months of March to June and September to December. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and the skies are clear, offering excellent views of the surrounding mountains.
The months of March to June constitute the summer season, and the temperature during this period ranges between 15°C to 30°C, making it an ideal time for trekking and outdoor activities.
The months of September to December constitute the winter season, and the temperature during this period ranges between 0°C to 20°C. The winter season offers a beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains and is an ideal time for those looking for a peaceful and serene experience.
It is advisable to avoid visiting the temple during the monsoon season, which is from July to August, as the area is prone to landslides and roadblocks due to heavy rainfall.
Overall, the best time to visit Tara Devi Temple is during the spring and winter seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the surroundings are peaceful, offering a rejuvenating experience.
Tara Devi Temple is located around 11 km from Shimla city in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. Here are the ways to get there:
Shimla is well-connected by road to major cities in North India. Several state-run and private buses operate from Delhi, Chandigarh, and other nearby cities to Shimla. From Shimla city, visitors can take a taxi or a bus to reach Tara Devi Temple.
The nearest railway station to Tara Devi Temple is the Shimla Railway Station, which is around 10 km away. The station is well-connected to major cities in India, including Delhi, Kalka, and Chandigarh.
The nearest airport to Shimla is the Jubbarhatti Airport, which is around 23 km from Tara Devi Temple. Regular flights connect Jubbarhatti to major cities in India, including Delhi and Mumbai.