Hatu Mata Mandir is situated at the Narkanda Region of Shimla. As per the legend, Sri Hatu Mata Devi is the Deity of Narkanda Tribe. The temple is situated at the highest peak of Shimla at around 12000 feet above sea level. The place is said to be nearer the place where Pandavas were in Vanvas.
As this is the highest peak, many places such as Sri Shrikhand Mahadev, Tibet, Pir Panjal range of Jammu and Kashmir, Kinnaur, Kotgarh are visible from this temple.
From Narkanda to the temple, we have to go through the hilly path which is mesmerizing as well as steep. The scenic route brings us closer to nature and spirituality.
It is believed that Sri Hatu Mata is Sri Mandodhari, the wife of Ravan. She is considered as one of the pious Devis of Pancha Kanya clan. The Devi is also called as Sri Mano Kamna Purn Mata which means, fulfiller of the heartful wishes. The main Deity is worshipped as Sri Kali Mata.
It is believed that only this Sri Kali Mata had blessed Pandavas for their victory in Maha Bharatha war.
There is another belief that Draupathi, the wife of Pandavas had left the worldly life by falling from this peak. An idol of Draupathi is kept in the sanctum along with the main Deity.
It is believed that Pandavas had done their Aranya Vasa near this place. There is a hillock near the temple which is said to be their place of penance.
During the first Sunday of Jyeshta month, devotees come in large numbers praying to Sri Hatu Mata for the fulfillment of their wishes. The annual festival is also held in Jyeshta month.
The temple is built in typical Himachali style with intricate carvings on all the panels of the sanctum. There is influence of Buddhist architecture as well.
On alighting from our vehicle, we have to go up the windy path to reach the entrance arch.
At the arch, there is a depiction of two tigers as Dwara Palaks. From there, we have to go up the cemented path which is made near the fence of the courtyard. We have to mount a few steps to reach the main sanctum.
The sanctum has glass panels enclosure. Through the glass, we can see intricate wood carvings. The vigraha of Sri Kali Mata is inside the sanctum.
After worshipping the main Deity, we take the parikrama path.
The views are excellent. From the temple premises, we can sight a small hillock type of elevation. Even in mid-day, it is quite cool. The sun is very mild.
A calm, quiet, beautiful, mesmerizing and spiritual place for tranquility and meditation.
The temple can be reached from Shimla by booking a taxi. Details of local transport are not available.