Hanuman Chatti | Where Bhima met Hanuman
Hanuman Chatti is a tiny picturesque village on the route to Badrinath. The village is almost exactly between Pandukeshwar and Badrinath, about 11 km from both places. Hanumanchatti’s place in the pages of Sanatan Dharma has been ensured by an incident that took place in the Dwapar Yuga, during the Mahabharata Era. A small temple was built here and dedicated to Shri Hanuman because of that incident.
Pandavas in Exile
Before the Mahabharata War took place the Pandavas were required to go into exile for twelve years plus one year in disguise. If they were discovered by anyone in the thirteenth year, the exile would start all over again. All this happened because of a dice game between Yudhishtira and Duryodhana in which the Pandavas lost their kingdom and everything else. True to his nature and character, Duryodhana had cheated. For the twelve years of their exile, the Pandavas traveled the length and breadth of India and built countless temples in many places. Among the places they spent time was the area surrounding Badrinath and known as Badrika Ashram.
Draupadi is Enchanted by a Mystical Flower
One day while in Badrika Ashram the Pandavas and Draupadi were sitting and talking under the trees. A brisque wind blowing from the North brought with it a beautiful and perfumed flower that fell near Draupadi. It was a flower none of them had ever seen before. It seemed almost celestial. Its beauty and fragrance delighted and enchanted Draupadi. She asked Bhim to get her more of these heavenly flowers. Bhim set off immediately in the northerly direction. He searched far and wide and came across hundreds of other varieties of flowers. He went further and further through dense forests filled with wild animals but did not find what he was looking for. His anger was growing.
Bhim meets Shri Hanuman
Bhim continued his search for the celestial flower without success. As he walked on he saw an old and seemingly ill monkey lying on the side with its tail blocking the road. Bhim ordered the monkey to remove its tail and allow him to proceed. The monkey refused and said he was ill and was simply lying here and asked not to be disturbed. Bhim then threatened the monkey with dire consequences if he did not move. The monkey warned Bhim not to proceed as the area ahead was only for Devis and Devtas. Bhim was in no mood to listen to such advice. The monkey said Bhim would have to move his tail if he wanted to go on ahead. Bhim grabbed hold of the monkey’s tail and tried to move it. The tail would not move even an inch. Bhim applied all his legendary strength but the tail could not be moved. Then Bhim realized this was no ordinary monkey and asked who he was. Shri Hanuman showed His true form and said He was Hanuman, son of Vayu. Bhim was utterly shocked, he bowed down to Shri Hanuman and begged forgiveness. Bhim considered Shri Hanuman as his elder brother and just stood there with folded hands. Shri Hanuman always wishes for the welfare of all. He had done this to shatter Bhim’s ego and pride which is lower qualities and should be discarded. Shri Hanuman then blessed Bhim and showed him the way to the lake where these celestial flowers bloomed. Bhim returned with plenty of the flowers, chastised and a much more humble person.
Hanuman Mandir was built
In the years that followed this story of Shri Hanuman’s meeting with Bhim spread and this spot soon became a pilgrimage. By and by, a temple was constructed by the local people and devotees. This temple has always been a small and unassuming structure but its importance is huge. Nearly all devotees going to Badrinath stop here for darshan before proceeding. Even most of the public buses going to Badrinath have a short stop here to enable travelers to have darshan. Devotees pay their respects to Shri Hanuman and do a Parikrama of the temple while reciting Hanuman Chalisa. Even though it is a small temple, it is always buzzing with the activity of countless devotees coming all through the season of the Char Dham Yatra. The local people count themselves as blessed to be living here and are ever-ready to talk about Bhima’s encounter with Shri Hanuman.
How to reach Hanuman Chatti
Hanuman Chatti is on the way to Badrinath, 11 km from Pandukeshwar, 32 km from Joshimath, 283 km from Rishikesh and 307 km from Haridwar.
Haridwar Railway Station is 308 km from Hanuman Chatti.
Dehradun Airport is 297 km from Hanuman Chatti.
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