purposes only a mention to the wall paintings etc., as decorations on temples or other
places is necessary as mostly the themes are old religious stories, mythological tales,
Shikhar and love dalliances of Lord Krishna, Radha and gopinis etc. (Raja Sanshar Chand
was a great patron of the artists.) A brief
mention has to be made to the pilgrim centres, which have become much more than a mere
religious institution in the area. Apart from the wide scale observance of the religious
festivities like Lohri, Basowa, Shivratri and Diwali both indoors, atfriend's places,and
at temples in theneighborhood, we have in Chamba area some important pilgrim centres.
On Lohri day till (sesame), rice and gur are offered to the fire and
next morning with great mirth khichri (gruel of rice and dal with condiments and
vegetables) are eaten. A bath is indispensable.On Baisakhi festival earthen pots filled
with water are offered to the priests along with fruits and some money and a feast is held
for the family. Shivratri is the day for observance of a religious fast and puja to Lord
Siva. Food is taken only in the evening and mostly it is restricted to fruits and milk
along with some sweets. The fast is known as a brat. Women observe Shivratri with greater
zeal. Diwali is observed on two days when Diyas (small earthen lamps) are put out in a
line or circle. On the first day the burning front of the wicks is turned inwards while on
the second day the order is reversed.
Kunjar Mahadev located at pargana Tundi is an important
pilgrim centre. The place is about one and half miles off the Chamba - Shahpur motorable
road and the observance is done on the very day the mela at Mani Mahes takes place.
Religious people who cannot go to offer puja of Lord Siva at Mani Mahes lake usually visit
Kunjar Mahadev and according to accepted legend earn the same pun (virtue) through the
darshan of Lord Siva. There is a sacred well and people draw water from it and have their
bath and offer homage at the Shiv Pindi.