Long ago, Christ Chruch at the Mall Road used to be the tallest structure in the Shimla, at least that’s what tourists used to believe. In 2010, one of the tallest idols of the country was inaugurated in Shimla, a 108 feet tall Hanuman’s statue at Jakhoo. The temple is only 2 Km. from the ridge but it could take more than an hour’s uphill walk for a person not used to mountain paths. The temple is one of the most favoured spots for pilgrims and tourist.
And on top of that, the giant 108 feet high idol of Hanuman stands tall, overlooking the entire city. This area is notorious because of huge population of troublesome monkeys, who are considered to be soldiers of Hanuman’s Army.
While paying a visit to the Jakhoo Temple beware of these monkeys as they can be real problem sometimes.
The temple site predates the British Raj.
An episode in the Ramayana has Lakshmana, Rama’s brother being mortally wounded in a battle with Ravana’s forces. Hanuman was sent to fetch a mythical medicinal herb ‘sanjivini’ from the Himalayas. The herb was able to cure any wound in the world.
It is believed that Hanuman rested at Jakhu hill after trying to collect the Sanjivani, Hanuman chose to rest at the hill, which is known as the Jakhoo Hill these days. After resting for a while, he flew back to the battlefield where a dying Lakshmana was cured by the herb.
Shimla’s residents coexisting with a large population of monkeys has something to do with this temple. There are many monkeys around the temple, but surprisingly they don’t attack people unless provoked. Pilgrims offer them eatables, which they easily accept.
A dense forest of deodars leads you to the top of the mountain. Though many many find the climb tiresome but the views on offers are worth the trouble. There is a road that is only allowed to take small vehicles. Those who avoid walking can take hire ponies available at the Ridge next to the Christ Church.