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Chaurasi Temples at Bharmour – Chaurasi Temple Complex at Champa, Himachal Pradesh

Chaurasi Temples at Bharmour are located within the Chaurasi (eighty-four) complex, which the Bharmour town in Champa, Himachal Pradesh, is famous. There are eighty four very small shrine which kinds of forms a boundary to the complex.

Story of Chaurasi Temples at Bharmour

Lord Shiva stopped to rest at Bharmour on his way to Manimahesh. The 84 Siddhas (saints who had achieved self-realization) who had followed Shiva were enamored of the place and they transformed into 84 Shivlings so that they can permanently remain in the place. 

History of Chaurasi Temples at Bharmour

As per historians, the complex is dedicated to 84 wise men who advised 10th century ruler Sahila Varman during his rule of the region. 

Present Day Chaurasi Complex

Today, Chaurasi is a town square – children play and people take rest. People sit here during the evening, meet friends and share knowledge about the world. 

Ancient Temples in Chaurasi Temple Complex

Ganesha

This small Ganesh temple houses a partially broken murti of Ganesha. The legs are broken. The murti has four hands – they hold rosary, hatchet, modak (sweet) and a tusk.

Gugga, the sculptor of the murti is faithful to tradition and the murti of Ganpati radiates majesty. 

Lakshana Devi

Lakshana Devi is a manifestation of Mahishasura Mardini Durga. Her shrine is the most popular among the shrines in the Chaurasi Temple Complex. The murti of Lakshana Devi oozes life.

The murti is a classic example of Goddess Durga murti as it conveys grace, strength, femininity and divinity.

The slim-waist murti of Mother Goddess Lakshana Devi is depicted as standing on the head of Mahishasura – the buffalo headed demon. She pierces the neck of the demon with a trident. Her face is one of satisfaction and not of anger. The face of goddess has a special sanctified beauty.

Apart from the trident, the Goddess holds sword and the other hand is in the act of lifting the demon off the ground. The height of the murti is around 91 cms.

The murti is adorned with armlets, anklets and other jewelry. The eyes are inlaid with silver and her hair bound in pearls. Some of the ornaments are carved in the murti itself. She is also dressed in fine muslin cloth.

The murti was dedicated by Meru Varman Deva, an ancient ruler of the region. The murti was also sculpted by Gugga.

The temple is made of wood and is in pentroof style. The carvings along the façade have eroded. The inside of the shrine is still intact and the ceiling contains animal figures and floral motifs.

Manimahesh Temple in Chaurasi Temple Complex

The Manimahesh temple is located in the center of the Chaurasi complex. The shikhara style temple has a Shivling in the sanctum sanctorum. The widespread belief is that the Shivling predates the temple. The temple was built around the Shivling.

The entrance of temple complex has figures of Ganga and Yamuna.

The temple complex was built in 1417.

The Shivling worshipped in the temple is large and five-headed snake forms a canopy. The snake coils is seen in the base of the Shivling. 

Nandi in Chaurasi Temple Complex

A 1.5-meter brass Nandi stands facing the Manimahesh Shivling. The bull was dedicated by Meru Varman Deva.

A part of the bull’s tail is broken but the imposing sculpture is eye-catching. It is housed inside a four-side open shrine with a covered top. The four sides have benches for people to sit.

The Nandi murti stands with its head held up looking at the Manimahesh Shivling. The bull has fat body and fat cheeks. It has a compact breast and hump. Ornaments are carved into the Nandi Murti which include image of bell and rings. 

Narsingh Temple among Chaurasi Temples at Bharmour

 Narsingh Temple is a Shikara shrine among the Chaurasi Temples at Bharmour. It is dedicated to Narasimha, the man-lion avatar of Lord Vishnu. The murti of Narsingh is frightening. The jaws are open in anger and the body is covered with ornaments.

A popular belief here is that no one would dare to take false oath before it.

The shikara style temple has small shrines on the outer wall. 




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