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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 entrance to the gallery and that to the interior shrine are both of the same type as those of Lakshana temple. Yet the rich pediment and gable of the facade of the latter are absent, while the sculptures of the door frames proper are less elaborate. The outer doorway, however, is evidently a later addition, and the coarse frescoes on the walls of the cella are of quite recent date. The exterior entrance is rather simple; first a small border, then a frieze of decorative bosses and finally a set of four, now badly damaged, deities on both sides. When the pillared gallery round the sanctum was still open, this frame must have stood, almost detached, also in the open.

We can trace such arrangements in some later hill temples, though always in connection with a mandapa in front, but it is unknown in the rest of India, and possibly this exterior entrance, though an old piece, has been transferred from another, lost shrine. This seems plausible because there exists another ancient idol at Chitrari, likewise known as Shakti Devi, but actually the bust of a male deity. The door might thus have belonged to the vanished temple of this image. The entrance to the sanctum is much more interesting. Along the door-jambs we find a double row of standing figures on each side of the entrance.

Those of the two outer row alternate with crouching animal-headed figurines, which act as Atlantes, and presumably are meant either for rakshasas or for ganas of Shiva. The outermost frieze projects to the right and left at the top corners, enclosing two sitting lions. The next frame consists of two jambs alternately decorated with three standing deities and three smaller crouching ganas (?) each. Of the latter two are ox-headed, two lion-headed, one has elephant ears and one a face on his belly. Among the deities Karttikeya, with six faces and a peacock, Indra with his vajra and the elephant Airavata, possibly also Shiva can be recognized on the left, and Brahma, four-armed and with a rosary and vessel in his hand, accompanied by two hansas, on the right.

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Kei Gumpha - Spiti Valley
About Chamba
Introduction
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