Mansa Devi Temple
This is the most famous and most visited temple of
Haridwar. The temple of Mansa Devi is perched on a hilltop,
the hill is known as the Bilwa hill. An ancient temple,
it is one of the Siddhpeeths in Himalayas. It is said
that the naval and heart of Sati fell here. To reach
the temple, one can either go by ropeway or take a trek
upto the shrine. Either way, it is an enjoyable journey.
The Mansa Devi temple has just not been the abode of
Goddess Mansa but it was also a cultural center for
the expression of creativity too .The tradition of covering
interior temple walls with murals dates almost from
the birth of civilisation, and it can be seen as the
highest form of truly indigenous creative expression.
Indian mythology abounds in interesting anecdotes relating
to Hindu gods and goddesses, and their human incarnations.
This is lyrically traced in the rich murals which relate
episodes from the great epics, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata
and popular puranas.
The Krishna legend, scenes from the Ramayana and the
Mahabharata, illustrations of the Durga with all its
usual verve and exuberance, Shiva and Vishnu legends,
the Ganesh stuti, etc., form the themes of these wall
paintings. A large circumambulatory passage) surrounds
the main temple and is bounded by corridor around the
garbhagrihal (sanctum sanctorum) and on this entire
stretch of the walls surrounding the garbhagriha the
walls paintings are also there.
The murals embellishing the walls of Mansa Devi temple
depicts themes from the Puranas and epics as well navgrahas
and nakshtras. These murals provided a brief over view
of religious tradition and mythology to the devotees
young and old. And that over view is just like a Picture
book depicting the story of LordRama, Lord Krishna,
Lord shiva, Mother Goddess i.e. Durga,Kali and its other
form to the devotees visiting the temple. Murals depicting
important episodes from the life and character of popular
Gods and Mother Goddess decorate the corridors of countless
temples across India and even grace dharamshalas public
halls and private homes reflecting these epic themes
throughout the land. The murals were painted between
1811-1817 by artist Angad, a painter from Sirmaur under
the royal patronage.