Manali: Arjun Gufa & Shabari Temple

Posted: August 3, 2013 by randommuzings in India
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Arjun Gufa is the cave where Arjun is believed to have meditated for the weapon of Lord Indra. The cave is situated near Prini village, 4 km towards Naggar from Manali. The trek up and coming down to the road took me about 2 hours. The cave is supposed to have been large enough to have housed 1000 people at a time, however, about 15 years ago there was a massive landslide one night and the entrance to the cave has been blocked by rocks. There_DSC0504 was a saint who had occupied the cave with his servant (and other co-inhabitants like jaguars etc) but after the landslide he built a small cottage next to it where his servant still resides (the saint is no more). I could not fathom how the servant still managed his livelihood there but he survives and he told me they follow strict rules of no non-veg or drinks etc lest god’s fury befalls upon them again in the form of landslides etc. The government is in discussion to take some steps to unblock the cave’s entrance again.

Climbing the steps from the road you reach Shabari or Sabari Temple. It is a beautiful wooden structure temple almost 200 yrs old, surrounded by huge trees. Surprisingly very little is known about the Temple and even online I could not find any written material on it.

What i did_DSC0506 learn from the locals is that each year there is a lottery at the temple and the winner of the lottery gets to maintain the temple’s surrounding farms full of apple, apricot and walnut trees for a year and keep the money from the annual crop sale. There are other awards as well but this is the most coveted one as if managed properly the income from the farm can be colossal, to the range of INR 10 lakhs. Also we chanced to see a local wedding at the temple where everyone including the bride and groom had worn sport shoes with their traditional dresses 🙂


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