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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

In the centre of its front, however, there rises a masterpiece of wood-carvings, still most impressive despite its present deplorable condition: a richly carved entrance frame on which rests a three- storeyed pediment, in its turn crowned by a triangular gable. The seated figure in the arch is not Kali, as supposed by Cunning- ham, but Surya the, sun-god, as is evident from the position of the legs. His twelve arms, holding, various attributes, are presumably indicative of the twelve months of the year.

Inside, there is a rectangular mandapa supported by four pillars interlinked by railing on both sides. And behind the mandapa there opens the quadratic cella, again with a richly carved entrancebetween other two pillars, enshrining the brass (ashtadhatu) statue of Lakshana Devi. It is not easy to describe the facade of the temple; for the snow and rain of thirteen centuries have utterly corroded even the resistant deodar wood, so that only the stronger fibres of the carved surface remain.

Thus, from some distance the figures, deeply craved, appear quite distinct, but if one approaches in order to study the details, the definition becomes more and more indistinct. For an exact explanation of Indian religious images the identification, of their costumes, hair style, crowns and various emblems is necessary, but only an approximate explanation of the decoration is now possible.

In its general layout the temple entrance follows the average pattern of the later Gupta temple, such as, in the Himalaya, still survives in the, much later, wooden temples of Kulu. It consists of a sequence of alternating ornamental and figural frames, successive receding from the enclosing wall to the deep niches of the door proper.

 

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Kei Gumpha - Spiti Valley
About Chamba
Introduction
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