MANALI: As presence of Goddess Hadimba Devi is necessary to start the Dussehra, thousands of people carrying her palanquin left for Kullu from her shrine situated in Manali on Wednesday.
Palanquin of Devi Hadimba on its way to Kullu Dussehra
Hadimba is considered grandmother of royal family of Kullu after she gifted throne of Kullu to Raja Bhangmani Pal. Arrival of idol of Hadimba is considered necessary who enters raj mahal to pull the royal family out to perform rituals and leads the annual procession of more than 200 deities. As soon as the palanquin of Hadimba was brought to the Manali town, a huge gathering of devotees surrounded it to bow their heads. Thousands of devotees with several tourists rushed to get a glimpse of Devi that delayed the procession for two hours.
The colourful decorated palanquin of Hadimba is carried on human shoulders up to Raghunath (Rama) temple of Kullu. The journey starts a day prior to Dussehra and after covering around 42 km; it reaches Ramshila, some 2 km short of Raghunath temple. The next day, a special messenger, locally known as ‘Chhadiwardar’ carrying a sacred silver stick of Raghunath escorts Devi Hadimba to the Raghunath temple, a presiding deity of Dussehra.
The convoy of Hadimba takes a considerable time to reach Kullu due to a long queue of devotees seeking blessings from her by the road sides. Beginning and ending of Kullu Dussehra revolves around the Hadimba Devi.
“After a special ritual at raj mahal of Kullu, palanquin of Hadimba on October 6, will lead around 250 idols of deities and chariot of Raghuath up to Dussehra ground of Kullu where the festival gets started,” priest of Hadimba Rohit Ram Sharma said.
Around150 deities are expected to arrive in Kullu till Wednesday evening while 100 more idols of different deities from across the state will join the festival on October 6 and 7.