Ranked 4 among Places to Visit in Panchkula
Ideal Time: 2-3 hrs
Nestled in the foothills of the Shivalik mountain range, the beautiful temple complex is spread over an area of 100 acres bordering the village of Bilaspur, near Mani Majra, in the Panchkula district of Haryana. The Mansa Devi Temple has maintained the sanctity of being an important shrine for worshipping Shakti (Mansa Devi), the divine feminine personification of the innate cosmic energy that is said to epitomize and rule the forces of the universe, in Hinduism and Shaktism. The entire temple complex is spread over an area of about 100 acres of the Shivalik foothills. The main attraction of the temple is formed by a tree around which devotees tie sacred threads to get their prayers answered.
It is wonderfully designed with the main temple having thirty-eight panels of wall paintings, besides floral designs all over the walls and ceiling. Constructed during the early 19th century by Maharaja Gopal Singh, it is one of the most renowned Shakti temples in North India. Shaktism is one of the most followed beliefs in this part of the country, with important Mansa Devi shrines in many of the northern states. The temple is now maintained as a heritage site by the government. Drenched in legends and myths, a vibrant atmosphere is ever-present here.
Set against a scenic backdrop and amidst some beautiful, lush green lawns, this temple is a must visit for peace lovers. Tourists consistently speak of the remarkably clean premises. The main temple can be accessed after climbing quite a few stairs. Voluntary free kitchens or 'bhandaras' operate within the shrine complex and provide free food to all pilgrims. The temple gathers huge crowds on auspicious days, especially during the Navaratra Melas. These fairs are a huge attraction twice a year for nine days. The Shrine Board makes elaborate arrangements for the comfortable stay and darshan of the devotees.
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