Himachal Pradesh, ‘the Land of Gods’ glittering with myriads of temples and scenic destinations. Every nook and cranny of this splendorous landscape allure the visitors with its majestic nature. It is a one-stop destination to drench in natural beauty as well as spirituality too. If you are an archaeological lover and spiritualist person then this write-up will surely trench your inner thirst of exploring those places. Today, we Touringwala are going to explore a destination which is a perfect example for single-rock-cut monolithic temple i.e., Masroor temple.
Standing majestically on the top of a hill in Kangra, Dharamshala, Masroor rock-cut temples are the finest example for monolithic temples in the sub-Himalayan region. It is said that the temple was constructed during 6th and the 8th century A.D. The untouched beauty and architectural carvings throb the hearts of visitors. The view of Dhauladhar ranges from this place renders beautiful vistas to everyone.
Local Legend Over Masroor Temple
According to a local legend, Pandavas, the mythological characters of epic Mahabharata stayed here during their exile period. It is said that Pandavas constructed Masroor temples over a hill. It is believed that the identity and location of Pandavas exposed to the outer world, therefore, they left the place immediately. It is the reason why the construction of the temple is in completed. It is used to say that Drupadi, the consort of Pandavas used to take a ceremonial bath in the pond which lies in front of the temple complex. The reflection of the temple in the pond enhances the beauty of this location.
Masroor is the only rock-cut-temple in North India which resonate the Nagara style architecture. The temple complex consists of a group of 15 rock-cut temples out of only one temple carved inside and the remaining 14 temples are carved outside only. One can catch a glimpse of statues of Lord Rama and his consort goddess Sita and Lakshmana in the inner sanctum of the temple, known as Thakurwara. The walls of other small shrines in the temple complex consist carvings of Shiva, Parvati, Lakhsmi and Saraswathi. It is said that the temple belongs to Lord Shiva but it was converted into a Vaishnava temple. The intricate carvings, detailed architectural floral designs amuse the visitors. It is the only temple in the country which depicts the scenes of the festival with carvings Lord Shiva idol in the centre. No one can resist oneself from praising this architectural marvel.
Unfortunately, the temple was in ruin state due to the massive earthquake took place in 1905 which costs a major loss to the temple. During the disaster, many sikharas and pillars fell down and witnessed cracks. The Masroor rock-cut-temples resonates the architecture of Angkor Wat temple of Cambodia and Kailas Temple in Ellora. A trip to this place will add lovely memories to your tour. Some of the beautifully intricate designed sikharas of this temple complex are in the exhibit at Shimla museum. So guys, give a go for Shimla museum to know more about this ancient temple complex and architectural skills of that era.
How To Reach: Masroor rock-cut temples are just 32 km away from Kangra and 47 km from Dharamshala.
Visiting Hours: One can pay a visit this temple from 7 am to 7 pm on every day and no entry fee to visit this temple.