Sankat Mochan TempleShimla has no dearth of religious places and one of the most visited religious places of Shimla is the Sankat Mochan Temple, dedicated to the God who is believed to take away all our worries or “Sankata”. Though the temple has the prime God as Lord Hanumana and his master Lord Rama, but there are some other temples in this temple complex. Visitors get to see Navgrah Temple (a temple of nine planets), Lord Shiva Temple, and Temple of the sage Baba Neeb Karori Ji Maharaj. A temple of the “Elephant God”, Lord Ganesha, is also present here. The Ganesha Temple architecture is influenced by the south Indian Architecture.
The entire area Tara Devi, the present location of the temple had un-spoilt natural beauty and a tranquil and calm atmosphere. This had attracted a holy person with a name Baba Neeb Karori Ji Maharaj who came here during the later years of 1950s. During his stay here in a small hut, he had fully enjoyed this place surrounded by magnificent Himalayan Ranges and the deep valleys in between. The fresh breeze, majestic mountains and greenery around made the atmosphere very soothing and meditative. The place soothed the body and mind of the sage so well that he started staying in this tranquil place. While he was staying here, he was so fascinated with this blissful place gifted by the God that he wished to have a temple built here with main deity as Lord Hanuman.
Historical Significance of the Temple
Current Facilities at the Sankat Mochan TempleThis temple complex gets devotees because they could offer their prayers to different Gods and Goddesses and get blessed. The temple has three stories. Part of this building is used for “Langar” on Sundays. All visitors coming to this temple are offered Prasad or langar. The langar hall is located above the marriage halls. The marriage halls are given on rent and are nominally charged. Marriage Halls are rented the entire year. Many families organize their marriage ceremonies at the temple complex. Marriage ceremonies organized at this temple can be of two types. It could be a simple one or it could be the one with all the detail rituals to be followed. Willing families can book the marriage hall, two extra rooms and the utensils by paying Rs. 3500/day.
Another half of this temple building is the residence of priests of the temple and other support staffs and domestic staffs. Visitors can get “Prasad” from the “Prasad shop” located within the temple premise. Many types of Ayurvedic Products can be bought from an Ayurvedic Dispensary within the temple complex. Toilet facilities are also available within the temple premise and the toilets get cleaned and sanitized on regular basis.
Langar Details of Sankat Mochan TempleEvery Sunday, “Langar” is offered at the premise of the Sankat Mochan Temple. The langar may be organized by the trust of this temple or it could be offered by the devotees who had promised to arrange for it if they get their wishes fulfilled. Devotees need to book for the langar in advance. There are about 6-7 langar bookings done every month. There are two types of food menu offered during langar and charges are reasonable. The menu type-Pahari Dham costs about Rs 15000-20000. The Kangri Dham menu items cost about Rs 20,000-25,000. The cost is calculated for 3000-4000 people. Devotees can also offer “Halwa Prasad” every Tuesday by paying Rs. 1100 only.
Festivals of the Sankat Mochan TempleIn this temple of Monkey God, many important Hindu Festivals are celebrated with pomp and gaiety. The most important ones are the Dusshera and Ramnavami. On Ramnavami, special arrangement is done at the temple premise and “havan” is done. The idol of Sri Rama is dressed up with new and gorgeous clothes, Ramnavani being his birthday. In the temple ground, effigies of important characters of the Hindu Epic Ramayana are burnt e.g. King Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna and Ravana’s son Meghnatha.
The artisans from Meerath make these effigies. Local Ram-Lila Party is invited to burn these huge effigies. Ram-Lila Party people dressed as Lord Rama and Laxmana throw arrows at these effigies to burn them.
On the Vinayaka Chaturthi, 10 day long fest is arranged. This happens in September every year. Many devotees and tourists flock here to participate in this festival.
During Winters- 7 am to 6:30 pm
Visiting Time of Sankat Mochan Temple
During Summers- 6:30 am to 8 pm
Bhog Offering to the God- At 12 noon - 3 pm
Visiting Time of Lord Ganesh TempleDuring Winters- 9 am to 7 pm
During summers - 6:30 am – 7 pm