eyes of the goddess are inlaid with silver, and her four arms hold, in the upper right
hand, a trident (trisula), in the lower right a sword (khadga), in the upper left band a
bell (ghanta) and in the lower left the tail of the buffalo demon. Shakti Devi temple at
Chitrari-Very similar to the Lakshana Devi temple at Brahmaur is that of Shakti Devi at
Chitrari. It belongs to the same period as that of Lakshana, and, is a good specimen of
the general pattern of hill shrines described above. Chitrari is a village in Piu illaqa,
lying in a fertile upland on the slope south of the Ravi, two-third of the way from Chamba
upto Brahmaur, not far below the junction of the Budhil and Tundah nullas with the Ravi.
The village is inhabited by Brahmins and musicians connected with
the temple and with the great mela celebrated in the month of Bhadon when dancing goes on
day and night, after the idol of the Devi has been bathed in water brought by runners from
the Mani Mahes lake beyond Brahmaur. The Chitrari temple is regarded as one of the most
holy sanctuaries of the hills, competing with those of Lakshana Devi at Brahmaur and of
Bhavani atKangra. And certainly it is one of the oldest. Tradition attributes its
foundation to Mushuna, the legendary ancestor of the old Brahmaur dynasty.
But the inscription on the idol mentions Meru Varman, the
founder of Brahmaur, and another tradition says that the temple was the last work of
Gugga, the master- artisan of Meru Varman. This statement is more or less borne out by
archaeological evidence for the building resembles the Lakshana temple at Brahmaur in many
respects. But there are a number of differences both in its plan and decoration. For it
has no separate mandapa, but only one large shrine (sixteen feet one inch by sixteen feet
one inch), which however, seems later to have been subdivided into a cella and a mandapa.