(Last Updated on : 19/09/2013)
Temples and monasteries of Kinnaur District
are representatives of the rich cultural heritage of the district. The religious beliefs of people in this district vary from region to region. Hinduism
are the prevalent religions and numerous temples and monasteries stand in the district to shelter the devotees of respective religions. Apart from this, many of the temples are dedicated to local deities.
Temples of Kinnaur District
Kinnaur district houses a number of temples which attracts numerous pilgrims and devotees from distant places. They also form famous tourist centres, owing to their antiquity and exquisite embellishments.
Chandika Temple, Kothi
Chandika Temple, situated in Kothi village, is a magnificent temple dedicated to Goddess Chandika. In the village, she is considered as the most powerful goddess. The temple houses a gold image of the Goddess, seated over an ark. The rituals followed during the worship are unique in their own way.
Mathi Temple, Chhitkul
Mathi Temple is located at Chhitkul village and is dedicated to the local deity Mathi. It is a group of three temples and the main one among them was is 500 years old, built by a Garhwal resident in ancient past. The ark over which the idol is seated is made up of walnut wood, covered with clothes.
Maheshwar Temple, Sungra
Maheshwar Temple is a significant historical structure exhibiting intricate and beautiful wooden panels. The temple is dedicated to prominent Hindu deities and the idols are exquisite with deeply cut structures. On the eastern wall of the temple a beautifully carved panel depicts the Avatars of Lord Vishnu
and Hindu zodiac
symbols. Near the temple, an ancient stone shrine belonging to eighth century stands.
Chango Temples, Chango
In the village Chango, three temples are situated. Rinchen Zangpo temple stands in lower Chango. Near this temple, another village temple stands which is more frequently used by the devotees. This temple has clay idols, a prayer wheel and contemporary paintings on its wall. Between these two temples, a huge stone idol of Avalokitesvara
At Ropa, a Durga temple is located which is often also called as Chandika temple. It is believed that this semi arid region was assigned by the Goddess to herself while she was dividing the district among her brothers and sisters. The temple is made of a reinforced cement concrete frame and exhibits splendid architecture.
An ancient temple stands beyond Charang, known as Rangrik Tungma complex. The temple belongs to 11th century. The name of the temple is derived from its presiding deity Goddess Rangrik Tungma. The temple houses an old metal image of Goddess astride a horse. It is believed that Rangrik Tungma was a pre-Buddhist deity. Apart from this, two bronze statues are also housed in the temple. The main hall of the temple has clay idols of certain protective deities and ancient wall paintings.
Monasteries of Kinnaur District
Buddhism is quite prevalent in Kinnaur district which is quite evident in the monasteries situated in the district
Rarang Monastery, Rarang
Rarang Monastery is a newly built monastery of Tashi Choeling. The monastery came into being owing to post-1960 Tibetan influences and was constructed by Drugpa sect. Near the monastery, remains of old temples and settlements can be witnessed. The remains are believed to be associated to Nyingmapa adherents.
Brelengi Gompa, Brelengi
A Buddhist monastery, known as Brelengi gompa, is situated in Brelengi, near Reckong Peo. The attractive monastery was built by Mahabodhi society for the Dalai Lama for performing the Kalachakra ceremony in the year 1992. Just beside the monastery stands a 10 metre tall statue of Lord Budha
which is visible even from a far off distance.
Temples and monasteries of Kinnaur District were built in ancient times and have still retained their beauty and significance. The architecture and craftsmanship of the temples and monasteries are also admirable. Myths and legends are associated with the construction of some of these temples. A number of unique rituals and worshipping styles are also associated with the temples and monasteries of Kinnaur District.