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Mrikula Devi Temple At Udaipur In Lahaul – Himachal Pradesh

Mrikula Devi temple is located at Udaipur in Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh. The temple also referred to as Markula Devi temple, was built during the 11 century CE. The wooden pent roof style temple faces east and stands on a rectangular platform. The presiding deity of Mrikula Devi Temple is a form of Mahishasuramardini, made of silver and show standing on the buffalo demon.

It is believed that the original and first Mrikula Devi temple was constructed from a block of wood by Pandavas of the Mahabharata fame.

Little of the original outer construction remains, as the temple has been renovated many times during its long history.

Inside, the temple is beautifully carve, especially the ceiling, which has nine richly decorated panels depicting both Hindu and Buddhist deities, as well as floral motifs and lay figures such as musicians and dancers.

Scholars have suggested that the carvings on the façade of the sanctum sanctorum, ceiling and the four main pillars of the mandapa pre-date those on the two additional pillars and the dvarpalas.

An inscription on it the main murti in the sanctum sanctorum states that it was donated by a Thakur of the region in 1570 CE.

Scenes from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana epics decorate the temple, while the two door guardians, which are relatively crude, are stained with the blood of sacrificed goats and rams.

In the late 20th century, an exciting discovery revealed and old wooden murti of the deity, hidden behind the altar. Some scholars believe that his may be the original murti of temple. The wooden murti is currently on display at the Shimla State Museum.

The temple is under the jurisdiction of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).