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Temples of Chamba 


The chief temple of Chamba, that of Lakshmi-Narayan, with its image of white marble, was founded at that time; but it is impossible to decide how far the present building represents the original shrine. We know at least of one restoration by Raja Partap Singh. Two copper-plate inscriptions issued by this ruler, in A.D. 1582, mention that the temple was consecrated, whence we may infer that the restoration amounted to a complete renovation of the building. One plate mentions also the Chandragupta Temple which belongs to the same group. It is a linga shrine, likewise ascribed to Sahilla, the founder of Chamba. Between these two temples there is a modern temple dedicated to Radha Krishna by Sadha , the Rani of Raja Jit Singh. According to an inscription in the vernacular it was consecrated in the Vikrama year 1882, i.e., A.D. 1825. The three remaining temples of this group are that of Gauri-Shankar containing well-modeled brass image of Shiva and his spouse, the Trimukh linga temple and that of Lakshmi Damodar. Lakshmi Narayan Temple Consequently three out of these six temples are dedicated to Vishnu and three to Shiva. There are two more Vishu temples of the shikhara type in Chamb town.

Earliest in date is that of Hari Rai, profusely decorated with carvings, but unfortunately crammed between the clumsy Chaugan Gate and an unsightly goods-shed. Its Foundation by Salakara-varman is mentioned in a copper-plate inscription of the Ilth century.
The other temple, that of Bensi Gopal, in the vicinity 0f the Palace, is of a much later date. In a copper-plate of Raja Bala- Bhadra, 0f A. D. 1595, mention is made of the consecration of a temple 0f Gopal, which presumably is ture ? Which presumably is the one in question, as no other temple of this name is known to exist in the town.

Harirai Temple

Gauri Shankar Temple

Finally, we must note two shikhara temples dedicated to Devi. That 0f Vajreshvari or" Bhagavati outside the town is remarkable for its fine sculptures. The short inscriptions under the niches seem merely to contain the names of the artisans employed in the construction 0f the building, but give no certain clue to its date. The temple of Champavati on the north side of the Chaugan contains a stone image of Durga slaying the Buffalo-demon. In the court-yard 0f this temple we note a dilapidated shrine of small size which shelters the images of Vasuki Naga (or Baski Nag) and his wazir. Originally the Naga king had a more spacious residence, which was destroyed by fire in the year 1898. Since then he had found a refuge with the Devi.

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