Masrur


Hanumangarhi is a temple of Lord Hanuman in Ayodhya. More than 70 steps lead to the main Hanuman temple which is one of the most popular temples of Lord Hanuman in North India.It is a custom that before visiting lord Ram temple one should first pay visit to shri lord Hanuman temple.

The Masroor or Himalayan Pyramid is a complex of temples located in Masroor (or Masrur) in Kangra Valley, which is 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Kangra city in Kangra district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is now known as 'Thakurwada', meaning "Vaishnavite temples". It is a complex of monolithic rock cut temples, in shikhara (raising tower) style of classical Indian architectural style, dated by art historians to 6–8th centuries. Such an architectural style is unique to the northern part of India while there are many places in western and southern India where such rock-cut structures exist at number of locations. There is a lake or pond called Masroor lake in front of this edifice which shows partial reflection of the temples. A legend attributes its construction to the Pandavas of Mahabharata fame who resided here during their "incognito" exile (Ajnatavasa) from their kingdom.

The temple complex is on a rocky ridge over which an array of monolithic temples have been carved which resemble the monolithic temples of Mahabalipuram, Ellora and Dhamnar caves. The central temple of this complex, called the Thakurdwara, has extensive well crafted carvings. This shrine facing east has idols of Ram, Lakshman and Sita.

Masrur is 32 km from Kangra on Nagrota Surian link road and is famous for remarkable group of rock cut temples. They form a group of 15 monolithic rock cut temples in the Indo Aryan style and are richly carved. These richly ornamented cave temples are the only rock shrines in the northern part of India.The main shrine contains three stone images of Ram laxman and Sita but the presence of the figure of Shiva in the centre of the lintel affords a strong presumption that the temple was originally dedicated to Mahadeva.

History


The temple complex was first identified in 1875 CE on the basis of antiquities found in the Punjab and its subordinate units. Temple is in the village of Masrur, Tehsil Dehra.However, the next published information about the existence of this temple complex was about nearly four decades later in the Annual Report of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) of 1912–13 as travel information of H.L. Shutterleworth, a British explorer, when he was exploring the Himalayas in 1913. Following this there were many other reports on the art and architecture of this temple complex by other historians. The conservation of the temple complex became the responsibility of ASI from 1914.

The exact period of building this complex is not very clear. It is a puzzle as there are no epigraphic records that ascribe any date for its construction.Considering the huge size of the structures it was believed that the temple was built under major rulers of the area and was not the work of any local chieftains. The area around the temple complex was also known to have many caves and relics indicating large settlements.It has been established by reasoning that during the 8th century kings of Jalandhar moved to Masroor from the plains (plains of present-day Punjab) and established their capital here. This is substantiated by the fact that the Gaddis of the lower Kangra district still know this place as Jalandhara or Jalandhars. Further evidence to substantiate this dating is that the Elephant temples (600–800) near Mumbai in Maharashtra depict similar architectural features as the rock-cut temples. The incomplete rock formations seen in the complex indicate that the temples were left unfinished as the capital of Jalandhara was moved to the more secure Kangra fort. The architectural features also suggested the period of "Gupta classicism" thus placing its date to the 8th century.A particular feature of note is the similarity the complex has with the Angkor Wat in Cambodia, a much larger edifice of a later period of the 12th century. This comparison has opened up an issue of further historical research on the aspect of any "regional inter dependencies or cultural exchange as a catalyst in the construction of both the temple complexes".

The opinion of historians is that the temple was built as a dedication to the Shaivite beliefs of Hinduism. But at some stage during the Middle Ages, there was a shift in the religious beliefs of the rulers and people adopted Vaishnavite beliefs of Hinduism as witnessed by the images of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita deified in the main sanctum sanctorum of the temple complex.

During the earthquake of 1905, there was large scale damage to the temple complex. Substantial part of the temples were damaged resulting in many broken parts seen lying scattered around the temple. Further, the heterogeneous structural compactness of the sandstone rock mass, from which the temples have been carved out, has contributed to the damage. A particular structural part of the temple which is not part of the main monolithic temple complex suffered severe damage to most of its circular columns which resulted in collapse of the mandapa and the roof of the structure.


Namgyal Monastery

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Masrur

Hanumangarhi is a temple of Lord Hanuman in Ayodhya. More than 70 steps lead to the main Hanuman temple which is one of the most popular temples of Lord Hanuman in North India.It is a custom that before visiting lord Ram temple one should first pay visit to shri lord Hanuman temple.

Read more

Kareri Lake Dam

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Gyuto Monastery

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Kangra Museum

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Kangra Fort

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Mcleod Ganj

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