(Last Updated on : 04/05/2013)
There are several popular temples in Chamba District. Visits to the temples of this district of Himachal Pradesh offer an enriching religious experience. Some of the ancient temples of Chamba District reflect the deep religions and legends associated with their foundations. Laxmi Narayan Temple, Vajreshvari Temple, Chamunda Devi Temple, Chhatrari Devi Temple are some of the popular temples of Chamba District. A brief description about them is given below -
Laxmi Narayan Temple
: Laxmi Narayan Temple, which is the main temple of Chamba town, was built by Sahil Verman in 10th century AD. The temple has been built in Shikhara style. The temple has a mandapa like structure also. The wooden Chhattries, the wheel roof, atop the temple were in response to the local climatic conditions as a protection against snow-fall. There are several other temples within this complex. The temple known as Radha Krishan was erected as late as 1825 AD by. The Shiva temple of Chandragupta Maurya was also believed to have been built by Raja Sahil Verman. The temple of Lakshmi Narayan continued to be embellished by the Rajas who succeeded to the throne of Chamba. Raja Balabhadra Verma perched the metallic image of Garuda on a high pillar at the main gate of the temple. Raja Chhatra Singh placed gilded pinnacles on the temple tops in 1678 as a reaction against the orders of Aurangzeb
to demolish the temple. Later Rajas also added a shrine or two thus enriching the complex.
: The temple of goddess Champavati is shikhara style stands near the royal place. Tradition holds it that this temple was made in the name of Raja Sahil Verman's daughter Champavati.
: Vajreshwari Temple
is also of shikhara style built in stone at the entrance of Sarota outside the town dedicated to goddess Vajreshwari. It is known for its fine sculpture. It is believed to have been erected in the eleventh century AD. There is a short tree-line inscription carved on one of the two pillars in front of the entrance of the shrine. There are eighteen brief one-line epigraphs on the outer walls of the temple. The temple pillars are beautifully carved depicting various deities on them. The temple has a stone image of Mahishasura Mardini.
Chamunda Devi Temple
: This temple is dedicated to Chamunda
. This temple is made in hill type architecture. It stands on small spur of Shah Madar hill. A beautiful and holistic view of Chamba town is obtained from the premises of the temple. It has pent-roof of ordinary type of temples in the area but has beautiful wood carvings preserved in it. In the ceiling several panels have been carved which make the temple artistically important.
Hari Rai Temple
: Shri Hari Rai temple (Vishnu temple) is located near Chaugan gate. The temple is in shikhara style built in stone.
Bansi Gopal Temple
: This temple is also of shikhara style and is situated in the vicinity of Chamba palace. This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna
whose image holding a flute is enshrined with Radha
. In copper plate of Raja Balbhadra issued in AD 1595, mention is made of this temple. The entrance gate of the temple depicts Ganga
standing holding a vase.
Chandershekhar Temple at Saho
: There is a beautiful temple devoted to Lord Chandershekhar in the heart of Saho village. According to one belief, this temple was constructed by Raja Sahil Varman and according to another belief; the temple was constructed by Satyaki, son of King Bhagota. The temple is not only a popular pilgrimage centre but also a centre for all social gatherings like fairs and festivals.
Vishnu Temple, Saho
: A small shrine opposite the temple of Chandershekhar of Saho is dedicated to Lord Vishnu
Bhader Kali Temple
: The temple of Bhader Kali popularly known as Sri Bhalei Mata is located at Bhalei which is now a sub-tehsil headquarters. According to legends, the temple of Bhadar Kali seems to have been built originally by Raja Pratap Singh during his reign.
Chhatrari Devi Temple
: In the heart of Chattrari village is the famous temple of Adashakti, more popularly known as Chattrari Devi temple. Chattrari temple is regarded as one of the holiest places of the hills. It is one of the oldest temples. Tradition attributes its foundation to Mushan Varman. But the inscription on the temple mentions that Meru Varman built the temple in 700 AD.
Manimahesh Temple, Bharmaur
: This is one of the most famous temples of the district. The temple is in shikhara style dedicated to Lord Shiva
. These temples of Chamba District offer a memorable experience to the travellers and they are worth visiting.