Himachal Pradesh justifies the ‘land of Gods’ title given to it. The state comprises of innumerable temples and equal number of deities which are spread in the remotest regions of the same. Every district has local deities, who are believed to be protecting the state since centuries. We list down the most famous places of worship around Himachal.
Truly ‘The Valley of Gods’, Kullu, is known for its places of worship. The International Dussehra Festival held here, gives a glimpse of the spirituality of the place and the amount of Gods and Goddesses residing in the same. All the Devtas of near by villages Kullu gather on this occasion and one can witness the auspiciousness of this day in the lives of the people living here. Tharah Kardu* are worshipped here with utmost religiousness.
* Tharah Kardu – Their are 18 main deities in Kullu which are popularly know as Tharah Kardu in native language. ‘Tharah’ is a pahari word, which means eighteen,where as ‘Kardu’ means basket made up of bamboo. As per the legend Saint Janadagni, while returning from Kailash, he was carrying images of 18 different deities in bamboo basket ( Kardu). On the way back to Kullu, he confronted a demon named “Banasur” in modern Malana village. The saint lost control of the basket and all the eighteen images were scattered in the different parts of Kullu valley.
- Raghunath Temple ( Sultanpur)
- Bijli Mahadev Temple (Kullu)
- Vashisht Rishi Temple (Manali)
- Adibrahma Temple (Khokhan)
- Bhekhli Temple (Bhekhali)
- Tripura Sundary Temple (Naggar)
- Guridwara Shri Narayan Hari (Manikaran)
- Hadimba Temple (Dungri)
- Bishweshwar Temple (Bajaura)
- Vaishno Devi Temple (Ramshila)
- Shringa Rishi Temple (Banjar)
- Manu Temple (Old Manali)
- Shrikhand Mahadev (Banjar)
Mandi is also known as ‘chhoti Kashi’ and the biggest reason behind this is the extravagance of the temples located here. The places of worship in Mandi vary from temples to gurudwaras and even monasteries. This is because of the different ethnicity of the people living here. There are a number of Namdharis residing in the region making it a hub for Sikh followers.
- Dev Kamru Nag Temple
- Shikari Devi Temple
- Parashar Rishi Temple
- Tarna Mata Temple
- Mahamrityunjya Temple
- Panchvaktra Temple
- Bhima Kali Temple
- Bhutnath Temple
- Naina Devi Temple (Rewalser)
- Padama Sambhava Cave (Rewalser)
- Triloknath Temple
Shimla actually derives its name from ‘Shyamala’, which is one of the names given to Goddess Kali. No doubt there are a number of temples dedicated to the Goddess in Shimla. Shimla is a big district being the capital of Himachal Pradesh and temples are spread all over the area. The famous temples located in Shimla are given below.
- Jakhu Temple (Jakhu)
- Kali Bari Temple (Kali Bari Road)
- Christ Church (Ridge)
- Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple (Taradevi)
- Shri Laxmi Narayan Mandir (Kasumpti)
- Tara Devi Temple (Tutikandi)
- Dhingu Maa Temple (Sanjauli)
- Hatu Temple (Narkanda)
- Bhima Kali Temple (Sarahan)
The trans- Himalayan region of Lahual and Spiti mainly consists of people with religious belief in Buddhism. This is the reason that there are a number of Monasteries or Gompas in this region. The most famous among them are listed below. These are located at distant places but are worth visiting.
- Guru Ghantal Gompa (Lahaul)
- Shishur Gompa (Lahaul)
- Tandi (Lahaul)
- Kardong Gompa (Khardong)
- Tayul Gompa (Upper Keylong)
- Trilokinath Temple (Tunde)
- Tabo Monastery (Spiti)
- Giu Mummy (Giu Village)
- Dhankar Monastery (Spiti)
- Ki Monastery (Kaza)
Chamba is a land of deities and is famous for its Shiv-Shakti Temples. The renowned Manimahesh trek is aimed to be covered by most of the people visiting Chamba. The parikrama of this pilgrimage starts from the Laxmi Narayan Temple. The Shikhara style temples of Chamba are explicably beautiful. Following list of places of worship in Chamba gives a clear picture of how they depict the Shiv- Shakti imagery.
- Chaurasi Temple (Bharmour)
- Maa Bhadrkali Temple (Bhlayee)
- Laxmi Narayan Temple (Chamba)
- Chamunda Devi Temple (Shah Madar Hill)
- Champavati Temple (Police Post)
- Vajreshwari Temple (Jansali Bazar)
- Hari Rai Temple (Chaugan)
- Manimahesh Temple (Bharmour)
Kangra is known for the temples of ‘Shakti’ and her different avatars. There are innumerable temples in the district. These temples are visited by the pilgrims throughout the year due to their accessibility. The spiritual delight experienced at this place is what attracts devotees to the district and the temples located here. It is believed that the people revisit these temples once their prayers are heard and their desires are fulfilled by the Goddesses.
- Baijnath Temple (Baijnath)
- Jwalamukhi Temple (Jwalamukhi)
- Kaleshwar Temple (Pragpur)
- Bhagsu Nag Temple (Mcleodganj)
- Brajeshwari Mata Temple (New Kangra)
- Chamunda Devi Temple (Kangra)
- Ambika Devi Temple (Kangra Fort)
- Dada Sibba (Pragpur)
- Shiva Temple (Masroor)
- Bagalamukhi Devi Temple (Bankhandi)
Bilaspur shares its border with Punjab and therefore, a lot of pilgrims from Punjab visit this area. The famous shrine of Mata Naina Devi Ji is located here and is also visible from Anandpur Sahib. Few temples of Bilaspur were submerged underwater due to the construction of Bhakra Dam and Gobind Sagar Lake. These can be viewed when the water level in this lake goes down.
- Sri Naina Devi Ji (Bilaspur)
- Laxmi Narayan Temple (Bilaspur)
- Markandeya Ji (Brahmpukhar)
- Diyotsidh Temple (Shahtalai)
- Vyas Gufa (Bilaspur)
Una is also located at the border of Himachal Pradesh and has the famous shrine of Mata Chitpurni. There is also the popular Gurudwara which belongs to Baba Singh Ji Bedi. Una is quite accessible and has a climate matching that of the plains so there are hoards of religious people visiting this place throughout the year. Other pilgrim areas situated in Una are listed below.
- Mata Chintpurni Temple (Chintpurni)
- Gurudwara Baba Singh Bedi (Una)
- Gupt Prayag Tirth (Delwada)
- Droneshwar Mahadev Temple (Dron)
- Sada Shiv Mandir (Dhayunsar)
- Sheetla Devi Temple (Mahanta)
Hamirpur is a compact district of Himachal Pradesh, yet it possesses few places of great religious importance. The temples listed below give us an idea of Hindu spirituality in the area. The most famous among them is the Deot Siddh Baba Balaknath Temple which is visited by a lot of followers from all over the country.
- Deot Siddh Baba Balaknath Temple (Hamirpur)
- Radha Krishna Temple (Hamirpur)
- Chamunda Devi Temple (Sujanpur Tira)
- Narbadeshwar Temple (Hamirpur)
Sirmaur shares its boundaries with Punjab and Haryana. This is the reason behind the possession of temples as well as Gurudwaras by the district. Paonta Sahib is a hub for Sikh religious activities while the other temples are located throughout the district. Renuka Ji is the most famous pilgrimage spot in the region.
- Katsan Devi Temple (Sirmaur)
- Mahamaya Bala Sundri Temple (Trilokpur)
- Ram Temple (Paonta Sahib)
- Gurudwara Tirgarh Sahib (Paonta Sahib)
- Vishawkarma Temple (Paonta Sahib)
- Gurudwara Bhangani Sahib (Paonta Sahib)
- Renuka Ji Temple (Paonta Sahib)
Kinnaur is inhabited by a mix of Buddhism and Hindu believers. There are temples and monasteries spread all over the district. This place has its own Devtas and Devis which they worship with utmost religiousness. Though this place is open for visitors mostly during summers, yet the immense spirituality of this place is a must do in Kinnaur.
- Chandika Temple (Kothi)
- Mathi Temple (Chittkul)
- Maheshwar Temple (Sungra)
- Chango Temple (Chango)
- Rarang Monastery (Rarang)
- Durga Temple (Ropa)
- Brelengi Gompa (Brelengi)
- Charang Temple (Charang)
Solan lies in the low hills of Himachal and derives its name from the famous Shoolini Mata Temple located in this region. This place is adorned enormously by the people and is therefore a religious hub. Monkey Point in Kasauli is also a tourist attraction apart from being a spiritual place for worshiping Lord Hanuman.
- Shoolini Mata Temple (Solan)
- Baba Balaknath Temple (Gadkhal)
- Yang Drung Monastery (Dholanji)
- Christ Church (Kasauli)
- Hari Mndir (Salogra)
- Jatoli Temple (Rajgarh road)
- Hanuman Temple (Kasauli)
- Sai Baba Mandir (Kasauli)
- Karol Gufa (Barog)