The Bhootnath Temple is an ancient Temple and the most popular religious shrine of Mandi. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is famous all over the country and Lord Shiva devotees overseas also are familiar with the temple. The temple is also known by some as Bhiuli Temple.It has tremendous religious significance and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Devotees stand in long queues to get a darshan of the famous Shiva Linga and to offer their pujas and offerings.
About The Temple
Bhootnath temple was built in 1527 by Raja Ajber Sen who was a devotee of Lord Shiva. The name Bhootnath was given as Lord Shiva is the deity of the Bhoots (spirits). He would spend time in the crematory ground and rub ash all over his body. This was the fearsome form of the Lord. It also symbolized power and bravery. The Bhootnath Temple is an ancient temple and one of the famous temples in Himachal Pradesh. The controlling deity is the Great Lord Shiva and was built when State Capital was shifted from Bhiuli to present place. Bhootnath Temple, with an idol of a manifestation of god Shiva is synonymous with Mandi. The idol of Nandi, the sacred bull stands facing the ornamental double arch of the sanctuary. The overhang, cellar and mandap are incised with delicate figures of elephants. The Nandi, Shiva's mount, faces the deity from the ornamented double-arched entrance. The temple built in Shikhara style of framework, dating back to the period of 1520 and was built by Raja Ajber Sen in 1527 AD. The modern shrines that are close by are brightly painted. The Thirtham is River Beas.
About the deity
According to legend, Baba Bhootnath would roam around the crematory grounds, covering Himself with the ash found there. This is a fearsome and courageous incarnation of Lord Shiva, who commands spirits and keeps them at bay, so that they don’t harm the living. He is thus the guardian of the spirit realm and widely revered by Hindus all over the world.
Legend and Stories
Baba Bhootnath is a manifestation of Lord Siva. It is said one cow would go out and stand near a stone and milk would gush out of her uddersThe owner got frightened and the story spread fat and wide.Raja Ajbar Sen of Mandi learnt about the story. The Raja had a dream the very night he was told about it, that Lord Siva wanted him - dig under the stone. The Raja immediately did so and the idol of Siva was found.
When the present Mandi was founded by Raja Ajbar Sen (1499-1534 A.D.),he built the temple and installed the deity. He called it the "Bhootnath Temple" and started the observance of the Shivaratri festival at mandi. Concurrent with this event, the Raja shifted his capital from Bhiuli to Mandi. Baba Bhootnath is the guardian deity of Mandi and the shrine is daily visited by hundreds of devotees. There is The traditional story says that Raj Madhav Rao, the deity who ruled the Mandi state, visits the temple and offers prayers before starting the procession of Maha Shivratri Fair along-with the nearby hill deities.
The festival of Mahashivaratri in March is celebrated in an utmost grand manner here and is famous internationally also.The celebration of Shivratri of Mandi is said to have started in 1526 to honor the foundation of Mandi. Lord Shiva is the main deity of Himachal Pradesh and hence the birth of the Lord is the biggest festival for the state. The fair goes on for one whole week and people from all over the state, country and even from overseas gather here to celebrate the festival and attend the fair. Devotees pull the Rath (chariot) of the Lord and a number of cultural and religious events are organized. The crowd gathers in the very famous Bhootnath temple of Mandi. The fair is held at a state level and the government is also very supportive for the event. Hymns and bhajans of the God are sung with great devotion. Delicacies are cooked and also sold in the fairs. People dress up traditionally and the entire event looks very colorful and enthusiastic. The festival is a treat to participate. Variety of sweets, Bhang (the traditional liquor of the God made of herbs and milk), dance, music, hymns, markets, traditional dresses etc. describe the festival. It is a joyful event along with religious importance.
Some auspicious daily ritual occasions are
1. Aarti and Shringar.
2. Pouring water from the Ganges on the ShivaLing.
3. Pouring milk on the Shivling.
4. Touching and rubbing the Shivling and offering flower garlands to it.
Accommodation Near Bhootnath Temple
Mandi has many good local hotels that offer excellent accommodation. Some of them have hill facing balconies with facilities such as a fire place, geysers, a/c, tourist guides etc. There is no parking available at the temple.
Prasad and Offering
Pujas are held daily and flowers, Bel leaves, incense sticks etc. are offered by the traditional methods.
Best time to visit
Mandi is flooded with pilgrims and March becomes the peak season to visit Mandi.
It is believed that in case there is a severe drought in Mandi water taken from the river Beas should be poured over the deity and it would surely rain by the time the, water would trickle down to river Beas again. Newly born babies and calves are brought to Bhootnath God and consecrated to him. People believe this consecration would guard against dangers.
The temple built in Shikhara style of framework, dating back to the period of 1520 and was built by Raja Ajber Sen in 1527 AD. People believe that the temple helps fulfill wishes and gives them prosperity.
Nearby Places to Visit
Attending to its existence for Lord Shiva, Panchavaktra Temple in the mandi of Himachal Pradesh displays to the excellent architecture and the structural designs steadfast to attract the Archaeological Department to consider it as the protected monuments of India.
Mahunag Temple in the mandi of Himachal Pradesh is devoted for the great warrior of mahabharata-karna,considering to his devotees blessed of him to face the agony.This medieval style of architecture-Mahunag Temple gets the artwork of King Shyama sen (an ardent devotee for Lord Shiva)in building to this temple.
Parashar Dev Temple
The Parashar Dev Temple by King Ban Sen-King of the mandi,in the mandi of Himachal Pradesh, is a pagoda-style of architecture. Dedicating to the Sage Parashar (Grandson of Sage Vashishtha), the Parashar Dev temple gets adorned of intricate carving of animals and serpents.
Bantur is the nearest airport to reach the destination at the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh makes shorter to the footprints to the visitors get in their intention, easily.
The nearest railway stations to the Mandi are Joginder Nagar and Shimla by the narrow gauge train, and Chandigarh and Kalka by the broad gauge train.
Approachable by the road, the Mandi links to Shimla, Chandigarh, Pathankot and Delhi well. Also, there become visible the regular buses connecting it to the other towns of Himachal Pradesh like Manali, Palampur and Dharamshala. The temple is located on NH20. From the Mandi Bus Stand, head towards the NH 20. Pass by Bhimakali Temple. Then take the Victoria Bridge. The shrine is located after the bridge is crossed. The total driving distance is 3.6 km. From the bus stand a taxi or cab can be hired to reach the temple. Private and HPRTC buses are also available to and from the city.
Baba Bhootnath Temple,
Samkhetar Road, Near Mahakaleshwar Temple, Mandi
Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree
Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.
Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat
Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.