Bhutnath temple is a very popular and colorful temple in
Mandi town of Himachal Pradesh. This temple has a special association with the
popular Shivratri mela in Mandi. Traditionally, the king would prayer here
before leading the procession of devotees and deities to the fairground.
Mandi Bhutnath Temple History
Mandi Bhutnath temple was constructed by Raja Ajber Sen in
1526 AD, with gold and silver gate specially made in Lucknow and a gold-plated
The temple was intended to celebrate the establishment of
Mandi as the new capital.
It is said that King Ajber sen was visited by Shiva in a
dream. He told the king to look under a particular stone, on which a cow would
be giving mil. When Raja Ajber Sen followed these instructions, he found a
Shivling underneath, and subsequently enshrined it in the Bhutnath temple.
Mandi Bhutnath Temple Architecture
The temple is crowded with devotees at all hours as it
absorbs the hum of the marketplace. Its gaily painted walls have niches, each
of which contain some artifact, whether ancient or modern – images of deities
alongside fragments of old, carved stone. There are also some painted birds and
flowers in these niches.
On either side of the main entrance of the temple, there are
newly made marble murtis of Goddess Shakti and Krishna along with Radha.
In the sanctum, there are paintings of Krishna as a child
hung over the walls, as well as a large ceremonial drum.
A large Nandi faces the main sanctum sanctorum, which has a
p class=”MsoNormal”>Bhootnath is the compassionate god of all goblins and
spirits. Shiva is the essence of compassion and he always welcomes those
creatures that are shunned and despised by others. Those souls who haunt the
cremation grounds and those who have not attained final liberation and hover
around this earthly sphere are always welcomed by him.