History of Hateshwari Mata Temple: Located in Jubbal (Hatkoti), Hatkoti Temple is about 100 kilometers from the capital of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla. The beautiful temple is located on the banks of the “Pubber” river, in the middle of a majestic valley covered with trees. Himachal Pradesh has several temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses, and Mata Hartkoti is one of them.
Hatkoti Mata is revered by the people of Jubbal, as they believe that all their wishes have been granted by the goddess. There are many local beliefs and folklore associated with the temple. The environment of the temple compound is soothing and surreal, the beautiful entrance gate is made of walnut wood in typical pagoda style architecture, with a slate roof.
Upon entering the enclosure, one can see three aligned temples, all made of stone. The one that is more majestic than the other two temples, is dedicated to Mata Hateshvari. Inside, the idol of the goddess, endowed with eight arms, is placed, as she is represented seated on the back of a lion.
According to the priest of the temple, the goddess is called Mahishasur Mardini, the slayer of demons, in the scriptures. It is very difficult to identify the metal of the idol which makes this temple more mysterious. Many people from different parts of the country visited this temple to identify the metal as well as the encryption written on the statue but could not recognize anything.
History of Hateshwari Mata Temple from the Mahabharata Period
There are several historical monuments located near the temple that captivate the curiosity of visitors. Some monuments are said to have been built by the Pandavas during the Mahabharata period. The place was once the capital of King Virat’s kingdom, where the Pandavas spent their exodus. Inside the temple there are five stone structures called “Deols”, placed in descending order of size. It is believed that the Pandavas worshiped the goddess as they sat within.
Fascinating history of Hateshwari Mata Temple
Another belief associated with the temple is known as “Charu”. There is a large metal pot tied with chains in the vestibule of the Mata Hateshwari temple. According to the inhabitants of this place, “Charu” was a demon who tried to escape in the form of a vessel from the valley. To stop him, the goddess bound him with the chain in the temple. There is another historic temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva inside the temple premises.
A large fair is held twice a year during Navratri, where thousands of devotees visit the Mata Hateshwari temple. There is a rest house and an inn near the temple where wedding ceremonies and functions are held. For visitors and tourists, there is a hotel located at Khara Pathar made by Himachal Pradesh tourism which is about 20 km from the temple.