Bhimakali Temple

Bhimakali temple is a pure temple-tower in the Western Himalayan region. Signup for full VR Experience ! Book a holiday package to Bhimakali Temple.

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Bhimakali Temple

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Bhimakali Temple

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Location

Sarahan, Himachal Pradesh 172102

Info

The Bhimakali temple is located in the village of Sarahan in Himachal Pradesh about 170 km from the state capital Shimla. Sarahan is located on a mountainside with oaks and pines in the landscape along with apple orchards. Several streams flow from the mountain slopes to the Satluj river further down in the valley. The Bhimakali temple here is one of the several Shaktipeeths in the Hindu tradition. The temple was constructed by the rulers of Bushahr state who recognized Bhimakali as the presiding goddess of their house.

The Bhimakali temple complex is spread over an acre of land and contains some temples other than the main Bhimakali temple. The architecture of the temple reflects the traditional Katha-Kuni style of Himachal and stands out from others in that the Bhimakali temple is a pure temple-tower in the Western Himalayan region. The temple complex is built on multiple levels with the built structures arranged laterally dividing the complex into three successive courtyards. Two temple towers are built on the highest level and dominate the surroundings. The tower on the right was the original temple of Bhimakali and tilted towards the left in an earthquake in 1905. The left tower was used as a subsidiary building till 1930 and was smaller than the other one. It was later extended and now serves as the main temple. The tower is a three storied structure and a 200-year-old image of the goddess is kept on the first floor. The upper floors project outwards above the lower level, which is common to the traditional buildings of the region. The main towers are approached through subsequent structures on other levels which house temples dedicated to other Hindu gods. The doors to these are massive and finished in silver and gold panels depicting stories from Hindu mythology. These are adorned with geometric and floral ornamentation. These were built during the reign of Raja Padam Singh of the Bushahr state who was also responsible for renovating and modifying the temple complex. The buildings are all built in the vernacular traditions with wood bonded stone masonry. The wooden structures display intricate carvings which reflect the fine woodcraft of the region. The wooden bonds protect the temple from seismic activities that are common in the region.

 

The roofs over the towers are composites of the pent and gable roofs and become complex with added ornamentation. Near conical forms top the roofs which are covered with slate stone. The complex is built in a fort like style and denotes its importance as a symbol of power and authority. It is a great example of hill architecture of Himachal that blends in the surroundings and uses local building materials like wood and stone. The roofs and the structure responds to the climatic and geographical features of the landscape.

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