Shikari Devi temple is near to Seraj Valley, Janjelhi valley, Bagsaid Valley in the Himalayas in Distt mandi Of Himachal Pradesh with beautiful view of pine, deodar woods and apple orchards. The Shikari Devi Temple is positioned at a height of 2850 meters above sea level in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is extremely difficult to trek up to the Shikari Devi Temple from Janjheli, Bagsaid, Kandha or Karsog valley. You can enjoy a beautiful trip with different routes to reach upto ancient shrine of the Shikari Devi Temple located at the peak of the hill.
The roofless shrine of Shikari Devi is an ancient structure believed to be from the time of the pandavas who came in this region during their exile. Shikari at a height of 10,768 ft above sea level is considered to be the highest peak in the entire Mandi district and offers amazing views of the valley on a clear day.
It is also believed that during the winters when the entire surrounding is highly covered under thick snow, the main shrine surprisingly gathers no snow at all. The Goddess at the temple is actually Kali who is worshiped in the form of Shikari Devi (literally means Hunter Goddess).
It is believed that the goddess was mainly worshiped by hunters and she would protect them from any attacks or any other dangers befalling on them. As per the temple priest, the goddess loves hunting and asks for sacrifice which was quite visible as locals were coming with goats/sheep as offering to the deity. There was a special place for making animal sacrifices outside the premises. Animal sacrifice (or killing) is one thing that makes me feel very sad especially about this beautiful land which is known as ‘Dev Bhumi’ (The land of the Gods).
Every year during the Navaratra days fair is held here, which attracts a large number of devotees from all over the world.
The place is approachable by road and jeep ply from this Jinjheli village covering the distance of 16 kms. The route has beautiful sights on both side of the road. The devotees have to climb 500 stairs from the road side to reach the temple premises.Joginder Nagar Railway station is the closest railhead.
The Pandava brothers during their period of exile also mediated at this place and were blessed by Goddess Durga for their victory against their cousins Kauravas. During the epic battle of Mahabharta when no one could stop legend Bhishma Pitamah from the mass carnage in the battle ground,Arjuna was disgruntled. Goddess Durga appeared and pacified Arjuna and asked him to follow the instructions of Lord Krishna whom she referred to as Naraina (God) . She assured him to victory against the evil, a battle which she said is to be fought in every Yuga.
The temple finds reference in the holy book Markandya Puran and great epic Mahabharta. It is stated that Sage Markandya mediated at this place for a number of years . During meditation he desired to see the worldly form of Goddess Durga (Mahishasur mardani) who killed the demons like Mahishasur, Rakata Bija, Madhu Kaitaba etc. without any help. The desire of Sage Markandya was fullfilled by Goddess Durga here
हिमाचल के मंडी में 2850 मीटर की ऊंचाई पर बना शिकारी देवी मंदिर आज भी लोगों के लिए रहस्य बना हुआ है। आज तक कोई भी शख्स इस मंदिर की छत नहीं लगवा पाया।
कहा जाता है कि मार्कण्डेय ऋषि ने यहां सालों तक तपस्या की थी। उन्हीं की तपस्या से खुश होकर मां दुर्गा शक्ति रूप में स्थापित हुई। बाद में पांडवों ने अज्ञातवास के दौरान मंदिर का निर्माण किया।
पांडवों ने यहां तपस्या की थी। मां दुर्गा तपस्या से प्रसन्न हुईं और पांडवों को कौरवों के खिलाफ युद्घ में जीत का आर्शीवाद दिया। इस दौरान यहां मंदिर का निर्माण तो किया गया मगर पूरा मंदिर नहीं बन पाया।
मां की पत्थर की मूर्ति स्थापित करने के बाद पांडव यहां से चले गए। यहां हर साल बर्फ तो खूब गिरती है मगर मां के स्थान पर कभी भी बर्फ नहीं टिकती।
क्योंकि ये पूरा क्षेत्र वन्य जीवों से भरा पड़ा था, इसीलिए शिकारी अक्सर यहां आने लगे। शिकारी भी माता से शिकार में सफलता की प्रार्थना करते थे और उन्हें कामयाबी भी मिलने लगी। इसी के बाद इस मंदिर का नाम शिकारी देवी के नाम से पड़ गया।
मगर सबसे हैरत वाली बात ये थी कि मंदिर पर छत नहीं लग पाई। कहा जाता है कि कई बार मंदिर पर छत लगवाने काम शुरू किया गया। लेकिन हर बार कोशिश नाकाम रही। माता की शक्ति के आगे कभी भी छत नहीं लग पाई।
आज भी हर साल यहां लाखों श्रद्घालु पहुंचते हैं। मंदिर तक पहुंचने का रास्ता भी बेहद ही सुंदर है। चारों तरफ हरियाली ही हरियाली दिखती है।
Warning: Due to heavy snowfall it is advised not to vist shikari mata temple duign snowfall or bad weather. Before starting a journey to Shikari Devi, please consult local police or persons. In jan 2017 at least 7 feet snowfall was detected.