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Location : Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Worshipped Deities : Goddess Bhimakali
Bhimakali Temple is situated in the spectacular hill station called Sarahan. This temple is one of the most visited temples of Himachal Pradesh. Highly revered by the worshippers, the temple is a located amidst beautiful backdrop of lush green forests of the Himalayas. Bhimakali is considered a sacred deity of Bushahr rulers. The temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths of India.
Bhimakali Temple is a major tourist attractions of Himachal Pradesh. The Architecture of the temple is a beautiful blend of arts of Buddhism and Hinduism. Built entirely in wood, there are several royal palaces that have been built in its vicinity. The temple's architecture is worth admiring. There are 6 doors that are coated with silver. The slanting carved roofs of the temple are exquisite and are inspired from Chinese architecture. Temple is 5-storeyed; this marvelous piece of architecture is located atop a picturesque hill. There are majestic deodar trees that adorn the hill area.
There are, in fact, twin temples of Bhimakali. The second temple was built after the first one got tilted. There are several statues that adorn the temple premises. These statues were placed here in 1962. An Ashtdhatu of Bhimakali is encircled within a Parikrama path. Other lords that are worshipped at Bhimakali Temple include Annapurna, Brajeshwari, Parvati, Shiva, Ganesha, Chamunda, and Buddha. During the celebration of the Festivals like Janamashtmi, Diwali, Shivratri, and Makar Sakranti, the temple gets crowded with stream of visitors. A Rath Yatra is organized during the Dussehera Festival which is devoted to Raghunathji. One can view the Srikhand Peak from the temple premises. This peak is considered as Deity Laxmi's abode. The second temple houses an old image of Bhimakali. The image is supposed to be 200 years old.
Legends associated with the Place :
As with other temples of India, Bhimakali temple is also linked with certain legends that have remained popular from centuries. It is believed that priests got irritated with the continuous disturbance by the demons that created hindrances in their Yajnas and did not allow them to meditate properly. In order to get rid of them, they pleaded to gods. These gods, in return created an explosion by concentrating powers at a single point. A girl was born out of this explosion. This girl later decimated all the demons and became popular by the name of Bhimakali.
According to another popular myth, the temple was created at the place where the ears of Sati fell during Daksha-Shiva incident. Daksha was the father of Sati and disapproved of her choice of Shiva as her husband. Daksha considered Shiva to be a vagabond of Jungles who was not worth her beautiful daughter. In order to insult him before all Gods, Daksha organized a Yajna where he spoke very badly about Shiva. When Sati heard about this, she was deeply agonized and threw herself in the fires of the Yajna. When Shiva came to know about the incidence, he became so furious that he beheaded Daksha. Immersed in remorse, he carried body of her consort over her shoulders and ran from one place to the other. In order to save the earth from his fury, Lord Vishnu cut the corpse of Sati into 51 pieces. At the places where these body parts fell, Shakti-Peeths were formed by the devotees. Bhimakali temple houses the icon of the virgin and is consecrated at the uppermost floor. Beneath this floor, Parvati is enshrined as Shiva's consort.
Several other myths are linked to the temple. The tilting of the temple is attributed to a massive earthquake of 1905. People say that the temple regained its original position after another earthquake jolted it again. The presence of a mythical tunnel inside the temple is also popular among people.