Hidimba

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Hiḍimbā
Death of Hidimba.jpg
Death of Hiḍimbā
AffiliationRakshasa
SuccessorBhima
AbodeKāmyaka Forest
Personal information
SiblingsHidimbi

Hiḍimbā (Sanskrit: हिडिम्बा, Hiḍimbā) is a powerful demon king in the Mahābhārata.[1]

Background[edit]

Hiḍimbā was a forest dweller and king of the rakshasa of the Kāmyaka Forest. He was the brother of Hiḍimbī and uncle of Ghaṭotkaca, as well as a friend of the rakshasa Kirmīra. Hiḍimbā was reputed to have been 8 cubits (or 12 feet) tall. Tradition states that Hiḍimbā belonged to the Kāmarūpa region, where the Ḍimāśa people believe themselves to be descended from.

In the Mahābhārata, Hiḍimbā and his sister were tantalized by the sight of the Pāṇḍavās and conspired to fight them. For this purpose, Hiḍimbī changed herself into a beautiful woman in order to lured the Pāṇḍavās into Hiḍimbā's presence. However, Hiḍimbā's battle with Bhīma proved unsuccessful and he died in the conflict.

The Madhyamavyayoga or Madhyama Vyāyoga (Sanskrit: मध्यमव्यायोग, Madhyamavyāyoga) (English:The Middle One) is a great Sanskrit play attributed to Bhāsa. The story is about the reunion of Bhīma and Ghaṭotkaca as father and son that takes place under the pretext of Hiḍimbā's desire for human flesh. While the characters in this tale are taken from the Mahābhārata, this particular incident is produced solely from the works of Bhāsa.

Temples[edit]

There are a few temples dedicated to Hiḍimbā's sister Hiḍimbī in Himachal Pradesh.

The most famous temple is the Hiḍimbā Devi Temple in Manali. Some of the sacred objects enshrined here include chariots, footprints and a small statue. Hiḍimbā is one of the most powerful deities in Kullu Valley. The pagoda-shaped wooden temple, with its intricately-carved wooden doors and wooden shikhara is believed to be over 500 years old. It is said that the carver of the artwork at this temple had his hands cut off after completion of his work so that he could never again produce such beautiful work anywhere else. It is also situated among the Deodar forests.

Festivals[edit]

Believers may travel to the town of Kullu to participate in the annual festival of Dussehra, where Hiḍimbā's chariot leads a rally of gods from all over Kullu valley, escorting the main chariot of Raghunāth. At the end of the seven-day festivities, on the "Lanka Dahan" day, sacrifices are made to Hiḍimbā. Ghaṭotkaca is also a popular deity in the neighboring Banjar village and Siraj district.

Local beliefs[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ HimVani, Team (28 March 2007). "Hidimba: The unsung heroine of Mahabharata". HimVani. Retrieved 3 July 2019.