Temples in Himachal Pradesh :
Himachal is god's own abode. There are too much temples that one cannot even count them all. Almost every temple has some kind of fair or festival connected with it. Dotted with temples, the State has literally one every hamlet. Most of the temples have legends dating back to centuries, some as old as mankind itself. Some of the famous temples are described below :
Baijnath Temple :
By the roadside on the Mandi-Palampur road, within a vast enclosure is the Baijnath Temple. Known as Kirangama, its name was changed after the temle was dedicated to Lord Shiva in his form as vaidyanath or the lord of Physicians. The temple is a good exaple of the Nagari style of architecture. The walls have the characteristic niches and the Shikhara ( tower ) has an amalaka and enshrine images of goddess Chamunda, Surya the Sun God, Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva. A life sized stone Nandi, believed to be the carrier of Lord Shiva stands at the entrance. Also are other miniature shrines and memorial stones within the complex said to have been built around 804 A.D. The Lingam enshrined in its sanctum is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country. Every year during the Shivratri Fair, pilgrims descend on Baijnath for the colorful fair and festivals.
Chamunda Mata Temple :
Another 20 km. from Kangra is the famous Chamund Nandikeshwar Dham. This place also has a beautiful bathing ghat and a small temple across the bridge joining the ghat. Up in the Dhauladhar hills, a trek of about 16 km. is the place where Bhagwati Chamunda, according to the puranas, vanquished the demons Chand and Mund.
Shri Naina Devi Temple :
Shri Naina Devi Temple is at a distance of just 65km from Bilaspur. It is one of the 51 SHAKTI PEETHS. According to a belief once Shiva's consort Sati, died to avenge an insult. The distranged Shiva picked up her corpse and gyrated in his horrific dance of destruction. Then Vishnu, the preserver, unleashed his Chakra and cut the body into 51 pieces to save the earth from Shiva's wrath. Naina Devi, is where Sati's eyes are believed to have fallen. The temple is situated on a beautiful hillock. Nearby is a holy cave in the name of Shri Naina Deviji. A big fair during Shravan Ashtami is held every year. Again in the Navratras of Chaitra and Ashwin, fairs commemorating the goddess are held here. For night stay, rest houses and sarais are available. For tourist a Route to -Ritual Aerial Passenger Ropeway- is also available from is also available from main Swarghat-Bhakra road to the temple.
Jwalamukhi Temple :
At a distance of 10 km. from Nadaun is Jwalamukhi, the town of temple is dedicated to Bhagwati Jwalamukhi, where eternal flames represent the deity Jwalamukhiji. Besides, there is the Gorakh Dibbi, Chaturbhuji Temple and a host of other smaller shrines. The gold plated dome of present Jwalaji temple was erected by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. There are legends of Akbar having sent his offering to the Deviji.
Bajreshwari Devi Temple :
The Kangra town known to the ancients as Nagarkot, is the seat of Shri Bajreshwari Devi. Though the main temple was ravaged by foreighn invaders and flattened by the 1905 earthquake, it has since been restored to its pristine glory. At Kangra one can also visit the historical Kangra Fort and also trek up to Jyanti Devi Temple.
Masroor Rock Temple :
Masroor is 26 km. from Gaggal on Nagrota Surian link road and is famous for remarkabla group of rock-cut temples. They form a group of 15 monolithic roac-cut temples in the Indo-Aryan style and are richly carved. The main shrine contains three stone images of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita. But the presence of the figure of Shiva in the centre of the Lintel affords a strange presumtion that the temple was originally dedicated to Mahadeva ( Lord Shiva ).
Kathgarh Temple :
( In Kangra district ) It is a situated 7 kms. from Indora on the meeting point of the Beas and the Choch rivers. There is an old temple, built in Mughal style, housing 6 feet long and 5 feet round 'Shivalinga' The 'Linga' here is of its own kind not found anywhere in the world.
Lakshami Narayan Temple :
( In district Chamba ) This temple was constucted during the 10th century during the reign of King Sahil Verman. In this complex, there are five other temples dedicated to Radha Krishna, Chandra Shekhar Mahadeva, Gauri Shankar, Tryambaseshawar and Laxmi Damodara. These are artistically decorated and have been built in the Nagara style. In addition to this temple complex, there is a galaxy of temples in Chamba. Some of them are Hari Chandra, Bajreshwari, Chamundam Narsingha and Yogi Charpat Nath.
Chaurasi Temples of Bharmaur :
( In district Chamba ) The main complex have temple of Lakshana Devi, Ganesha, Manimahesh and Narsingha. According to a legend, 84 Yogi's visited Bharmaur during the region of king Sahil Verman. Pleased with the king's humanity and hospitality, the yogis blessed the king with ten sons and a daughter Champawati. The temples dating back to the 9th century, are one of the most important early Hindu Temples in Chamba valley. The distant of 65 km. from Chamba to Bharmaur is covered by road. Special buses ply only during Chhari Yatra days in September.
Hadimba Temple :
( In Manali ) This temple constructed in pagoda style displays the finest example of wood carvings on it. It's sanctuary is built over a rocky crevice covered by a large rock that is worshipped as a manifestation of goddess Durga, an image of the goddess ai also enshrined here. The divinity is popularly worshipped throughout the region during the festivals and the goddess is transported to Kullu to visit the Lord Raghunathji during Dussehra festival. The other nearby in old Manali village are Lord Rama, Lakshman and Lord Vashishtha in Vashisht village.
Bijli Mahadev Temple :
( In district Kullu) Situated at an altitude of 2,435 metres, the temple is ideally located offering a commanding view. 20 metres high wooden pole stands are installed for seeking blessings from the sky in the form of lightning which is then rebuilt by the temple priest. The other temples in Kullu town are Raghunathji, Mata Vashno Deviji Temple.
( In district Mandi ) The pilgrimage centre revered equally by the Hindus, the Sikhs and the Buddhist alike. Rewalsar in Mandi district is about 20 km. from Mandi town. A natural lake with floating islands on it are a unique attraction of the lake one can see the Shiva temple, the Guru Gobind Singh's Gurudwara and Buddhist Monastery. The Hindus believe that it was here that the 'Lomas Rishi' held his penance in devotion to lord Shiva. Overwhelmed, Shiva gave the rishi, the seven floating islands in reward. This is a very sacred place. Other famous temples are Bhutnath and Triloknath.
Prashar Temple :
( In district Mandi ) Spectacularly situated at a height of 2,730 metres above sea level, this small temple dating back to 14th centuary stands on the bank of a lake, which has floating circular island. It is 35 km. from Mandi town. With deep blue waters, this beautiful lake is held sacred to the sage Prashar (rishi). A three-tiered Pagoda-like temple dedicated to the sage lies by the lake - and he is regarded to have meditated here. No other temple in the Western Himalayas can rival the grandeur of the settings of Prashar Rishi. A fair is held here in the in the month of June every year, where people gather from all neighbouring villages. This lake is fed by small mountain streams.
Bhima Kali Temple :
( In Shimla district ) 175 km. from Shimla, Bhimakali has been the family deity of the Bushahar rulers. This temple has a small but beautiful museum. Sharahan is identify with Shontipur of the puranic literature where Usha, daughter of Banasura fell in love with Anirudha, the grandson of Lord Krishna. It was here that Lord Krishna fought a winning battle against Banasura ever though the latter had the help of Lord Shiva. From Sarahan one can see Shrikhand peak, known as the parental abode of Lakshami.
Hatkoti Temple :
( In Shimla district ) 104 km. from Shimla is the beautiful temple valley where the river Pabbar flows and nearby is a temple dedicated to Durga and Shiva. This is where the godsare said to have fought a pirched battle. Hatkoti is en-route to Rohru and is surrounded by lovely picnic spot.
Chamunda Devi Temple
Shri Naina Devi Templeh
Masroor Rock Temple
Lakshami Narayan Temple
Masroor Rock Temple