Bijli Mahadev Temple is one of the best tourist spots in Manali due to its sheer brilliance and exciting location. Dedicated to Lord Shiva or Mahadev, Bijli Mahadev Temple in Manali seamlessly blends spirituality, serenity, and natural beauty. Located at a height of 2460 meters in the Kully Valley across the River Beas, it is one of the ancient and sacred temples of India. The ‘Kash’ styled temple is home to a Shiva Lingam that is worshipped as Lord Shiva.
The highly revered temple is also a popular sightseeing place in Manali. Located on the hilltop, it offers panoramic views of the Parvati and Kullu valleys. You can take a scenic drive via Naggar-Jaina Falls, to reach the temple, and experience nature at its closest. From a distance, you can witness the 60-feet high staff of Bijli Mahadev. It shines like a silver needle in the light of the sun. It is believed that the tall staff attracts divine blessings in the form of lightning.
Tourists flock to this temple to seek spirituality and satiate their love of nature. The splendid charm, the serene environment, and the wonderful ambiance make it the perfect backdrop for a day out from the crowded life of Manali. You can reach there by a rented cab from top car rental companies in Manali via the Naggar-Jaina Falls. The drive itself is scenic and thrilling. You can make the refreshing climb to the temple and sit at the summit to enjoy nature at its best.
Architecture of Bijli Mahadev Temple
Bijli Mahadev Temple is built in the typical Pahari style of architecture that can also be seen in other temples of the Kullu Valley. The frames of the entrance door are embellished with intricate wood carvings. The temple sanctum houses the lingam and it is guarded by a stone statue of Nandi (Lord Shiva's bull).
The sanctum is decorated with a 60-feet-long staff. According to local belief, the staff attracts atmospheric lightning to safeguard the hill town. It is struck by lightning every 12 years which destroys the lingam.
History of Bijli Mahadev Temple
Deriving its name from lightning or Bijli, the Bijli Mahadev Temple, is struck by lightning every year. It is also assumed that every 12 years, lightning strikes the Shiva Lingam which breaks into pieces. The event is believed to save the region from destruction as the divine power of the lingam absorbs the lightning. The pieces of the lingam are put together by the priests using cereals, pulse flour, and unsalted butter as adhesive to wrap the broken lingam. Surprisingly, it returns to its original form within a few days.
Legend has it that Demon Kulant hoped to submerge the entire valley by stopping the flow of the Beas River. He took the form of an enormous snake and reached the Mathan village of Lahaul-Spiti. On observing his cruel intention, Lord Shiva fought and defeated him in a fierce battle. After the demon’s death, its entire body transformed into a huge mountain, now known as Kullu.
Another story describes Lord Shiva’s battle with the supposedly invincible demon named Jalandhar. According to the Puranas, Shiva had killed him at this site. The most popular legend narrates that Rishi Vashista requested Lord Shiva to save humanity from lightning and the impending destruction due to it. Lord Shiva accepted his request and absorbed the lighting to keep the region safe. Bijleshwar Mahadev or Bijli Mahadev Temple was then constructed on the site of the event.
Things to do at Bijli Mahadev Temple
Bijli Mahadev Temple is a highly revered shrine of Hindus and also offers stunning views for nature lovers. Adventure seekers can take part in the exciting journey to the temple while history enthusiasts can be amazed at discovering the legends of the place.
- The 3-kilometer trek to the temple is a thrilling experience. It takes nearly 2 hours and is a fun activity for young people.
- You can be spellbound by the views of the temple and the remarkable surroundings.
- The beautiful interiors of the temple, including gorgeous carvings of mythological creatures and natural scenes will mesmerize you.
- You can also admire the hand-painted temple doors that add vibrancy and charisma to the wooden decorations.
- Offer prayers to Lord Shiva and seek his blessings.
- Attend the fair organized at the temple premises during Shivratri and in the month of Shravan. It is attended by the local devouts and pilgrims from various parts of the world.
Apart from the Bijli Mahadev Temple, you can explore the adjacent points of sightseeing. Some of the top tourist attractions around Bijli Mahadev Temple are as follows:
1. Lord Ramachandra Temple: Located at Manikaran, it is a well-admired Hindu temple in Manali. In the complex, there is also a Lord Shiva temple. While women can take bath in Sita Kund, men can take a dip in the Rama Kund. You can also enjoy rajma or langar as prasad. It is an extremely peaceful place suitable for Dhyan and meditation.
2. Kulanth Pith: Considered the most sacred and superior of all the piths in India, it is located at Manikaran. It is assumed that Lord Shiva had stayed in this place for some time. It houses the hot spring Vishnu Kund, which is also regarded as the purest of all. A dip in the Kund can absolve all your sins. It is also a nice place for nature lovers.
3. Jagatipatt Temple: Housed in an open courtyard in Naggar, it is a small yet charming religious place. It offers spectacular natural views along with a constant cool and fresh breeze. The rich architecture comprises stone walls and triangular-shaped wooden roofs. The alternate slabs of deodar timber make it an earthquake-resistant structure. The locals gather here for their prayers and offerings to Gods, especially to prevent any natural calamities.
Entry Fee and Timings of Bijli Mahadev Temple
There is no entry fee to visit Bijli Mahadev Temple. It is open from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM on all days of the week.
How to reach Bijli Mahadev Temple
You have to first reach Kullu and from there you can journey towards the Bijli Mahadev Temple. You can trek to the temple via Chansari village, which is 24 km away from Kullu. Then, you have to climb the stairs starting at the entrance of the village. You have to take over 1000 steps or trek 3 kilometers. It takes around 45 minutes to one hour to complete the trek, which directly leads you to the temple.
By Air: If traveling by air, you have to land at Bhuntar airport. It is located 60 kilometers from the hill station. You can hire a cab or hop on to a local bus to reach Manali.
By Rail: Jogindernagar railway station is the nearest railway station from Manali. It is nearly 145 kilometers from the hill station. You can hire a cab from the railway station to reach Manali.
By Road: Private and state-run bus services are available from all major cities around Manali. They drop you at the Manali Bus Depot. You can hire local transport such as a bus, taxi, or auto-rickshaw to reach the Bijli Mahadev Temple.
Local Transport: Local transportation is easily and frequently available from the city center. You can avail auto or taxi for sightseeing. However, it is better to rent a cab from your hotel or arrive at Manali by driving your own vehicle.
Interesting Facts about Bijli Mahadev Temple
- The highly revered Hindu shrine is struck by lightning each year but it is among the most worshipped temples in India.
- The broken Shiva Lingam is brought back into its shape using natural ingredients.
- Bijli Mahadev Temple has stood strong atop the hill for years even after being exposed to extreme weather conditions.
- It can be reached by trekking for 3 kilometers.
- Weather is pleasant for most of the year around the temple.
- The entire trekking route is lined with fir and deodar trees.
- You can attend the ceremonial prayer offerings or Aarti that takes place in a grand manner at the temple.
- The wooden interiors of the temple are beautifully carved and decorated with colors.
Things to keep in mind while visiting Bijli Mahadev Temple
- Demonstrate respect to the temple, priests, and devotees praying at the temple
- Remove your shoes outside the temple premises
- Dress appropriately and behave responsibly since it is a sacred place
- You may click photographs of the pristine surroundings but avoid clicking pictures inside the sanctum
- Be quiet and maintain decorum inside the temple
- Carry extra clothes suitable for the extreme weather conditions and pack some food with you
- Wear light clothes and shoes with good grip for maximum comfort during the trek
Book an all-inclusive Manali tour package with us to experience the perfect vacation of your life. We at Manali Tourism, a division of Holidays DNA, carefully design these packages, keeping our clients’ requirements in mind. To know more about our services, reach us out by filling out the Contact Us form. We will get back to you shortly.