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Lakshmi Narayan Temple At Chamba in Himachal Pradesh

Lakshmi Narayan temple is the most well known temple in Chamba in Himachal Pradesh. The temple complex has six temples, dedicated variously to Shiva, Vishnu and Krishna. There is an impressive brass Garuda on a pillar at the entrance.

The main temple, Lakshmi Narayana, was built in the 10th century CE by Sahila Varman, and the white marble murti of Vishnu inside was carved from stone brought all the way from the Vindhyas.

All the temples in the Lakshminarayana complex are of the shikhara style, with sloping roofs topped with golden spires. The serene compound itself is set against high mountains.

There is a large white Nandi in the complex. The shrines are noted for its intricate wall carvings.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple At Chamba

The entrance of the Lakshmi Narayana temple is flanked by figures of Ganga and Yamuna, with their respective mounts, a crocodile and tortoise. The main murti of Vishnu is large and impressive, its white face glowing through the heavy silk robes in which the deity is dressed.

Inside, the walls are decorated with scenes from the epics. There is also an interesting figure of Vishnu, in which six gods (and not just Brahma, as traditionally held) are shown emerging from six Lotus flowers in his navel.

Lakshmi – Damodar and Radha Krishna Temples

The other Vaishnava temples in the complex are Lakshmi – Damodar and Radha Krishna. The Radha Krishna temple is crowned with a chakra, with white, marble figures of Radha and Krishna inside. Lakshmi Damodar also has a chakra crow, and a wooden mandapa. The Vishnu murti in the sanctum sanctorum of the Lakshmi – Damodar has three heads – human, lion and boar. The murti has Goddess Lakshmi on his lap, he hand place gently over his shoulder.

The Lakshmi Damodar temple has a beautiful sculpture of Surya as well as some erotic sculptures.

Shiva Temples

The complex has three Shiva temples, Chandragupta, Gauri Shankar and Trimbakeshwar. Of these, Gauri Shankar has the most beautifully sculpted bronze deities – Shiva sits with an arm around Parvati, who is clad with ornaments, a waistband and a garland of flowers. Shiva, naked from the waist up, has a snake wrapped around him.

The Gauri Shankar temple has beautifully carved walls and a stone Nandi. 

Chandragupta temple has the divine couple seated on Nandi and flanked by Ganesha. Trimbakeshwar temple has the chaturmukha linga on a yoni. Its entrance has the river goddesses, Ganga and Yamuna, heavily ornamented with jewelry and flowers.

Lakshmi Narayana temple complex is under the jurisdiction of the Archeological Survey of India.