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If you ever visit Sarahan, 165 km from Shimla, do not forget to visit the Bhimakali Temple here. This temple does not only have a grand view to provide but it is enriched with history and cultural significance. There is much to learn from this temple which is why it is one of the most popular places for people to visit in the state of Himachal Pradesh. A big, symmetrical, almost-red-tiles structure standing strong and sturdy, almost like the mountains surrounding it is a beautiful site to set your eyes on. The splendour of this place makes it perfect for your visit to Sarahan.

The History Of Bhimakali Temple

The entire compound

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The term ‘Gateway to Kinnaur’ was given to Sarahan, the capital of the erstwhile princely state of Bushahr. This state was founded in 1412, eventually becoming part of the Shimla Hill State, which already consisted of Tehri-Gharwal and Dehradun on one side, Ambala on the other, and surrounded by places like Spiti, Kullut, and Sukhet.

This 800-year-old temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga, locally known as Bhimakali. It is an essential and popular pilgrimage site that was rebuilt in 1927. The former and original Bhimakali Temple was built centuries ago and slightly tilted in 1905 due to the earthquake that Sarahan faced. Miraculously, the temple was upright again due to a subsequent tremor. It is said the foundations of the original temple run deep, and there is a tunnel underground that is no longer used, but priests often use the passage to enter and exit the temple.

Must Read: Temples In Himachal Pradesh

Architectural Design Of Bhimakali Temple

Carved temple door at Bhimakali Temple

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The state of Himachal Pradesh is known as ‘Dev Bhoomi’ or ‘Land Of Gods’ as multiple shrines and temples are dedicated to the different Gods and Goddesses across the state. People visit this place often to tour all these temples and seek blessings.

  • This temple’s most defining feature is its twin tower in the complex. The architectural design is so unique and different because it is. No other temple in Himachal Pradesh has a design like this. There is a harmonious blend of Buddhist and Hindu styles of design.
  • The courtyards are constructed in levels the first courtyard is the lowest which has a Narasingha Temple, at the next level, the second courtyard has the Raghunath Temple, and finally on the third and highest level are the twin towers, and on one of them, Goddess Bhimakali resides.
  • Other prominent features are the intricate carvings on the stones and wood, including the wooden wind chimes that produce a soft humming sound as they oscillate in the wind. The gates and entrances have many beautiful carvings that speak volumes of the craftsmanship and skills of the people who built the temple.

Seek Blessings At The Bhimakali Temple

Seek blessings from Bhimakali Devi while visiting the temple

Image Credit: Alberto Buscató Vázquez for Wikimedia Commons

If you want to celebrate festivals in the mountains, you must visit the temple, as they celebrate many festivals in grandeur. Dussehra is one of these festivals. Their rituals include animal sacrifice, which is believed to bring prosperity and good luck.

The Fulaich Fair is celebrated in April. Devotees and pilgrims from other villages travel to give their respects and celebrate with everyone. Artisans from all villages come to the festival to sell and showcase their handmade crafts. Another fair, the Sair Fair, is celebrated in September and is a big event, too. All villagers and locals come together to seek blessings. They celebrate the fair by dancing and singing. Navratri, a nine-day celebration for Goddess Durga, is celebrated with vigour. These festivals attract people from all across the country to witness this place’s rich cultural heritage and enjoy its unique festivities.

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Things To Do

Devotees give their offerings to the Goddess in the temple

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Once you reach the Bhimakali Temple, you can complete your pilgrimage by doing many things.

  • Seek blessings from the Goddess to live long with good luck and prosperity. Visit her shrine to pray and calm your mind and soul. As you visit the temple, you can admire its marvellous design, a blend of Buddhist and Hindu temple designs, with slated roods, wooden and stone carvings, pagodas, and golden towers.
  • Visit the other shrines within the Bhimakali Temple and pay your respects to Lord Raghunath, Narasingh, and Patal Bhairava. The temple celebrates several festivals and is a sight for tourists and devotees. Join the locals and enjoy the festivities of the occasion.
  • The most exciting place is the Bhimakali Temple museum, where you can learn everything about the temple’s heritage, history, construction style, and legends.

How To Reach

Know how to reach

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The temple is situated in the Sarahan village in Himachal Pradesh, so there are multiple ways you can reach it.

By Air: The nearest airport is the Jubbarhatti Airport Shimla, which is 178 km away from Sarahan. You can then take a taxi or bus to the temple.

By Train: The Shimla Railway Station is the closest station to Saharan at a distance of 174 km, cabs and taxi rides are available for you to use.

By Road: The road networks are good as the major cities are connected to Sarahan. You can take a bus from Shimla, Rampur, or other cities, the Himachal Pradesh State Transport Corporation (HRTC) has buses that frequently travel to Sarahan.

Further Read: Lakes In Himachal Pradesh

Now that you know everything about this magnificent temple, book your trip to Himachal Pradesh and seek blessings from Goddess Durga herself. Go on a spiritual tour to enjoy a serene time with your family in the mountains.

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Cover Image Source: Mystic nishant99 for Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Bhimkali Temple

Are there two Bhimkali Temples?

Yes, the first was built centuries ago and the second one was built in 1927 due to the earthquake in 1905.

Where is the Bhimakali Temple located?

The Bhimakali Temple is located in the village of Sarahan in the state of Himachal Pradesh. This temple was built for Goddess Durga or Bhimakali, as she is known by the locals.

Are there any adventurous sports you can do in Himachal Pradesh?

Yes, the state of the Northern Mountains has a range of sports that tourists can enjoy like paragliding, ice skating, mountain motorcycling, mountain biking, rappelling, rock climbing, and many more.

What are the visiting timings of Bhimkali Temple?

You can visit the temple all days of the week from 6 am to 7 pm. However, it is advisable to confirm the timings before visiting to avoid hassle.

Is there an entry fee?

No, there is no entry ticket to visit the Bhimakali Temple in Sarahan.

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Category: Himachal, Places To Visit, Temples

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