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Temples & Legends of Himachal Pradesh
Index Of Himachal Pradesh Author
Introduction Background
Kulu - Manali Shyama Kali Temple
Manali Mandi
The Ardhanari Temple, Mandi Buddha Temple
Bijli Mahadev Idol Worship
Hidimba Banasur
Basishta Chamba
Kangra Area Manikaran
Bajreshwari Devi Chintpurni Devi Temple
Baijnath Temple Baglamukhi Deity And Her Temple
Chamunda Nandikeshwar Bilasur
Kinnaur Lahul   And Spiti
Wall Paintings Sirmur
Nath Temple  
Major Sections
Temples & Legends Of India
Andhrapradesh
Maharastra
Kerala
Himachal Pradesh
Tamilnadu

Bengal

Assam
Bihar
Somanatha

CHAMBA

The body of the temple is built of stone, and the spire or shikhara of small partly - moulded bricks. The porch, supported by two graceful pillars with fluted shafts, is profusely adorned with carvings. Unfortunately, the appearance of the edifice has been completely spoiled by its having been encased in a clumsy, shed- like external structure, which forms an anteroom in front and at the same time provides a procession path round the temple. The whole has, moreover, been thickly white-washed so as to conceal the traces of decay.

Engaged in the modern outer wall are two miniature shikhara temples in which a number of wooden masks are preserved. At the death of a number of the local rana's (Thakur's) family such a mask is prepared and placed in the temple, from whence it is on no account to be removed. An exception is made for three masks which are used at the Char or spring festival, and are said to represent a man, a woman and a demon, called in the local dialect gami, mezmi and kulinza. The main substance of the Char festival is a performance symbolizing the advent of spring and the defeat of winter.

The latter, personified as an evil demon, is represented by the bearer of the kulinza mask, who is chased by the joint villagers and pelted with snowballs till he retires from the village and drops his mask, after which he joins in a dance with the gami and mazmi mask bearers. There is evidently no connection whatever between this festival and the cult of Avalokiteshvara. The annual fair in honor of this deity, which takes place on the last of Sawan is attended with ancient rites and sacrifices of an aboriginal type, which feature of the festival strangely contrasts with the great compassionate Buddha to whom the occasion is supposed to pay homage.

 

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Kei Gumpha - Spiti Valley
About Chamba
Introduction
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