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Shakti Devi Temple At Chhatrari In Chamba - Chhatrari Temple

Shakti Devi Temple is located at Chhatrari Village which is about 50 km from Chamba town in Himachal Pradesh, India. The temple complex with numerous sub shrines is very old.

Some Important Facts
  • The current temple is believed to have been built in the 8th or the 9th century AD
  • The stunningly beautiful murti of Goddess Shakti was sculpted in 650 AD. The murthi is much older than the temple.
  • The temple is located at an altitude of 6000 meter.
  • The main murti is 4 feet 6 inches tall.
  • The temple has 30 more murtis including that of Annapurna.

The temple was originally wooden, though of that construction only the sanctuary and surrounding gallery now remain.

The pradakshina patha of the temple has 12 grand pillars of wood, elegantly decorated though now corroded.

At the entrance, a frieze depicts two crouching lions, and within is the radiant Shakti Devi. She stands on a lotus. Her slim body has three folds on the belly – traditional marks of beauty. From the waist down, she is covered with a shimmering skirt, and a belt of pearls encircles her waist. Jewellery covers her body – a grand crown on her head, earrings and richly formed flowers around the ears, a large, flat necklace. She holds a lance, a lotus, a bell and a snake in her four hands.

The murti of Shakti Devi worshipped in the temple is attributed to the legendary Gugga, who sculpted on behalf of Meru Varman.

The walls and ceilings are covered with carved details, as well as some mural paintings. These include depiction of Vishnu’s ten avatars, as well as stories of the life of Sri Krishna.

The temple also has a number of small brass figures. These include a bust of Shiva, made in the ‘authoritative, imperial style’ of 8th century Kashmir.

There is a small 20cm brass image of Mahishasura Mardini, standing on the vanquished demon, the sculpture worn smooth by centuries of worship.

Scholars are of the opinion that Chhatrari may once have a whole complex of temples. Currently there are only two other shrines here – a small shrine with a Shivling and a slightly bigger one to the Trimurti (three-headed) Shiva, accompanied by Nandi and Goddess Parvati.

Chhatrari Shakti Devi temple is under the jurisdiction of the ASI.

The temple is reached via a steep 8 kms detour from Luna Village on the Chamba - Bharmour road. The shrine is 50 km from Chamba.