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Mansa Devi Temple

The holy Mansa Devi temple is located at Panchkula that is around 8kms away from Chandigarh. This sacred SiddhPeeth is dedicated to Mata Mansa Devi, a Hindu Goddess. Legend has it that Sati Devi's head had fallen here. The ruler of Mani Majra got this temple constructed in the year 1815 A.D. Mansa Devi temple actually comprises of two temples. This temple was rebuilt in the reign of Maharaja of Patiala.

A garden that is beautifully adorned with sacred plants adjoins the Mansa Devi mandir. Devotees from all over the world visit this temple to pay homage to the Goddess. Navratri time sees a lot of fairs that are organized in the areas surrounding the Mansa Devi Temple.

History of the Temple

The then Maharaja of Patiala, Sh. Karam Singh got the Patiala temple constructed around 200 meters away from the main temple in the year 1840.

This temple was patronized by the Manimajra State. Unfortunately, the temples remained neglected after the princely states were merged resulting in the ending of the State Government's patronage. This is when a pujari was appointed as the ‘khidmatuzar’ of the temple to offer prayers to the deity of the temple.

Located in the Bilaspur village, Mansa Devi temple sees hoards of devotees visiting the temple not only from India but from across the world especially during Navaratri. The Bilaspur village where this temple is located is just three kilometers towards the east of Mani Manjra that adjoins Chandigarh. It is strongly believed that Goddess Mansa, to whom this temple is dedicated, is a powerful Goddess who fulfills the wishes of devotees.

Today, the temple has a marble idol of Goddess Mansa but earlier the whole 'sand' formed the 'Pindi' that encompasses Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Laxmi as well. It was this Holy 'sand' that was worshipped. The sparking ornaments that adorn the Goddess idol renders it even more charming and adds more spiritual appeal to it. These ornaments are especially used during festivals and pujas.

MaaParvati insisted that the secret of immortality be revealed to her but Shiva ji kept postponing this for long. Finally, Lord Shiva decided to tell Ma Parvati the secret. H started divulging the secret of immortality at a desolate place where no humans could hear it. This lonely place was the Amarnath cave.

The rich legacy of this temple attracts Archaeologists and historicists that visit this temple whenever they make a visit to Chandigarh. The architecture that is beautiful and refined has its roots in the Shivalik background. Beautiful paintings of shrines decorate the walls of this temple. Spirituality can be seen in every part of the temple.  Have immense interest to visit the Mansa Devi Temple, when they are touring through Chandigarh due to the legacy of the temple. The walls of the temple are beautifully adorned with paintings of shrines. There is evidence to support the fact that Mansa Devi temple was built in the Panchayantana pattern. This temple must be visited by anyone visiting Chandigarh.

Who Build the Temple

The Shivalikfoothill where the Shri Mansa Devi temple stands is in the village of Vilaspur in the Panchkula Tehsil and district. This temple was originally constructed during the years 1811-1815 under the reign of Maharaja Gopal Singh of Mani Majra. In Patiala temple was constructed by Karam Singh at 200 meters from the old temple. Karam Singh, then a Sikh, was the Maharaja of Patiala at that time. This temple enjoyed the patronage of Manimajra State then.

Significance of the Temple

Of the two temples present in the temple complex, the main temple is dedicated to Goddess Mansa. Devi Mansa is worshipped along with Devi Saraswati and Lakshmi in the sanctum sanctorum. While Goddess Mansa is worshipped in the 'pindi' form as well as the anthropomorphic marble idol form, Devi Saraswati and Lakshmi are worshipped in the form of stone pebbles or the 'pindi' form. The marble sculpted form of Devi Mansa was created in recent times to give it a more human form but earlier, the Devis were traditionally worshipped in the form of pindis by devotees.

The architecture of the main Mansa Devi temple does not bear resemblance to the traditional Shivalik architecture in which spiral or curvilinear temples known as 'Nagara' were constructed. On the contrary, the Mansa Devi temple stands in sharp contrast with its Mogul architecture that is characterized by minarets and domes.

With a copula on the top, all the four temples of the complex are characterized by four minarets, one at each corner of the temple. The typically onion shaped domes stand on long circular drums. Miniature vaulted alcoves can also be seen in the temples.

The anthropomorphic form sculpted artistically on marble is worshipped by devotees in the sanctorum of Mansa Devi temple in Chandigarh. A miniature shrine that is silver plated and beautifully crafted with silver embossing works all over enshrines the marble bust. The stone or Pindi form that was originally present here is also worshipped along with the marble idol.

'Parikrama' that is one of the most important feature of Hindu religion, architecture and art is blends perfectly into the temple with typically Moghul architecture.

Mandir during Navratri Mela

The Shrine board organizes two Navratramelas each year. The winter Navratramela is held in the month of Aswin or Shrdiya while the Spring NavrataraMela is organized during the month of Chaitra. The temples remain open all day during these Navratra when lakhs of devotees visit these temples to offer prayers and receive blessings. These melas that last for nine days are concluded on the ninth day. Shrine board gives priority to making the stay of devotees comfortable. They also make sure that devotees face no problems during darshan by making proper and elaborate arrangements each year. These arrangements include tented accommodation, Chhowldari, temporary toilets, durries, dispensaries, blankets and proper police post for the mela. The smooth conduct of the mela and proper functioning of mela committees is looked after the specially assigned Nodal officers and Duty Magistrates. They also look after the need of devotees.  The temples are closed for cleaning and maintenance only for two hours at night on the 7th and 8th day of the melas. Apart from these two days, the temples can be visited any time between 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on all other days of the Navratra.

Time to Visit

Millions of devotees visit this temple twice a year during the Navratri festival which is undoubtedly the best time to visit the Mansa Devi temple. The ShardiyaNavratramelas are organized at the shrine complex biannually during the months of Chaitra and Aswin. One mela is organized during winter Navratra in the month of Sharad while the other one is organized during spring time in the month of Chaitra. These melas are organized by the Shrine Board.

During summers, Mansa Devi temple remains open from 4-00 A.M. to 10-00 P.M. and in the winter season, it is open from 5-00 A.M. to 9-00 P.M during which anyone can have darshan from the main gate. Devotees wait patiently with all faith at the Shakti Dhwaj which is a red stone pavement measuring 75’X105’. A brass railing divides the pavement from Shakti Dhwaj to ArdhMandap into two to enable proper formation of queues and to avoid any difficulties due to the rush. Devotees offer packed Prasad in the Mandir at the feet of the Deity. This Prasad is returned to the devotees after it has been offered to the deity. In front of each temple is placed a Dan Pater in which offering in kind can be made.

Accommodation Facilities at the Temple

One Dharamshala of Mansa Devi Shrine has 30 rooms and a big hall that can be availed for free. Also, blankets are provided free of cost. Another Dharamshala, Lajwanti which is also constructed by the Shrine has a total of 15 rooms. These rooms have all modern amenities like attached toilets, hot water supply, double beds with mattresses and pillows, two chairs, a table, an almirah and bed sheets and blankets. A nominal charge of Rs 200 is charge each day for proper maintenance of the Dharamshala.

Dormitoryaccommodations are available in the Yatrika called 'Jatayu' constructed by the Haryana Tourism Corporation. It is located merely 50 yards away from the temple complex. A restaurant has also been set up here. Each room has four beds and an attached toilet.

Nearby Tourist Places to Mansa Devi Temple

  1. Chail
  2. Haridwar
  3. Chandigarh
  4. Shimla            

How to Reach

By Bus - The Temple is about 10 km away from the Chandigarh bus terminus and only 4 km away from the Panchkula bus terminus and can hence be reached by buses or auto rickshaws without any difficulty. Special buses are run during the Navratra fair by The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking as well as the Haryana Roadways.

By Air - Daily flights are operated to Chandigarh, the nearest airport by Indian Airlines as well as other private airlines. Bookings need to be made in advance keeping the popularity of this destination.

By Rail - The visit to Mansa should be ideally started from Chandigarh as it is the closest railhead to the temple. This railhead is on the rail line between Chandigarh and Kalka

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