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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 lower lintel, resting on the capitals of the innermost door-jambs, consists of three similar, but somewhat bigger chapels, connected by decorative dwarf pillars either dissolving into plaitwork, or consisting of coupled slim columns connected by a diaper covering the whole length and breadth of the shaft. The crowned, four-armed deity sitting cross-legged, on a ram, in the left chapel, holds two tridents, a scepter and a water vessel; the central one, over seven rearing horses, is the sungod Surya, holding a scepter and a vessel; the crowned figure in the right chapel again sits on a lion, holding sword and scepter, shield and water vessel in its four hands. Dr. Vogel identifies the deities in the eight chapels with the group of grahas, regularly placed over the entrance of Hindu temples, although their usual number is nine.

Brindavan C. Bhattacharya's, Indian images, 1921, pp. 31 supplies valuable information on the iconography of the nine plants derived from Hemadri, Vishnudhar- mottara and Matsyapurana. This enables us to identify most of the figures in the eight chapels. The deity in the centre of the upper row must be Buddha (Mercury) who is stated to be similar to Vishnu. The two on his left side may be safelyidentified with the demons Rahu and Ketu. The first figure of the second row is Mangala- bhauma (Mars), who according to the Matsyapurana is similar to agni; his vahana being a ram and his weapons a lance and a trident.

As it is very improbable thatSurya and Chandra, the two principal members of the group,have been omitted and the separate figure tower the doorway, whose hands arc broken, appears to be the solar deity, we may perhaps assume that the person immediately above him represents Chandra though not in his orthodox appearance. The identity of the three remaining grahas is also uncertain, but Brihaspati (Jupiter), who is stated to resemble Brahma, may perhaps be recognized in the first figure of the upper row on account of his attributes. In his neighbor, who has the same attributes (a gourd (kamandalu), a rosary (akshamala) and a staff) it is tempting to see Sukra (Venus) who is the purohita of the asuras.

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Kei Gumpha - Spiti Valley
About Chamba
Introduction
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