Shikari Devi The Goddess at this temple is a manifest of “Kali”, which is a Hindu Goddess, this temple is said to be built by Pandavas during their exile. Ever since Pahari people have worship Kali in the form of Shikari Devi (Hunter Goddess).
There is a legend that during the winters when the entire surrounding place is mostly cover with highly thick snow, the main shrine surprisingly barely gets any snow even though the temple has no roof, I really wanted to check this phenomena which came out to be true. According to the local story, there have been numerous attempts to build a roof on this temple which never turned successful as the roof would fall down no matter how strong people may built it so they stopped building roof on this temple. We did notice thick layer of snow all around except temple, there was not a bit of snow anywhere inside the roofless temple, in spite of being located at the highest point of the mountain. The temple offers stunning views of Himalayan ranges and peaks.
The Goddess was majorly worshiped by hunters of the region in old times and she would protect them from any attacks of wild animals and bless Hunters with good hunt. According to the temple priest, the goddess loves hunting and demands for sacrifice. It’s an old ritual of offering sacrifice to the deity after safe and successful hunt. Animal sacrificing has been strictly banned by Himachal Govt all over the state and since this ritual has come to an end.
Every year during the Navaratra days a fair is held here, which attracts a large number of devotees from all over the Himachal and specially from Mandi and nearby areas. Thick forests on the way to Shikari peak are amazing. Being the highest peak of Mandi District it is also called Crown of Mandi. Vast green pastures, captivating sunrise and sunset, panoramic view of snow ranges make this place favorite to nature lovers. The place receives a lot of snow during winters.
Our Sliding Zone on the way. We spent hours sliding down here, the snow was perfect for sliding, once I checked for hidden stones and rocks beneath the cover of snow. This trail also connects Shikari with another famous holy lake named Kamru Naag. The trek from Kamru Naag to Shikari is quite famous among local trekkers .
One can catch glimpses of Goral, Monal, Black Bear, Barking Deer, Musk Deer, Cat Leopard, and The Himalayan Black Bear. The vegetation of the places includes trees of the Barn Oak, Western Mixed Coniferous Trees, Kharsu Oak, West Himalayan Upper Oak, Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest, and Sub-Alpine Pastures. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between August and October, besides the months of April and May.
Bhulah- The view of last village before the temple, this small village is stunningly beautiful and calm and connects the temple via road, It has some small hotels to have some tea and food and Bheem Shilla is must visit.
Bheem Shila – The Pandava brothers during their period of exile also said to have mediated at this place and have left many significant marker as this one, This is called Bheem Shila – This rock is placed in such a way that You can shake that huge rock even with your index finger if pushed at a certain point on the rock but cannot shake that rock with your hand or full power from pushing other corners. This is also said to be the stone from Bheem’s Chillam.