Have you ever heard about a rock cut temple in Himachal Pradesh? If not, you must know about it. If you manage to go to the Kangra Valley in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, you would get the golden chance of having the fine glimpse of an ancient rock cut temple, also known as the ‘Himalayan Pyramid’. Let us read about it in order to have its information.
Masroor Rock Cut Temple / Himalayan Pyramid
Being a complex of rock cut temples, the Masroor Rock Cut Temple or Himalayan Pyramid, which is situated in Masroor (or Masrur) in the Kangra Valley at a distance of approx 40 km from the Kangra city along the Nagrota Suriyan Link Road in the Kangra district in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, is the only one rock cut temple in this charming mountainous state.
Now-a-days, this huge temple is called the ‘Thakurdwara’, literally ‘Vaishnavite temples’.
Boasting of being a unique monolithic structure in the sub Himalayan area, this enormous rock cut temple complex, which owns three black stone idols of Rama, Lakshman and Sita in its main shrine, is supposed to have been constructed by the Pandava during their ‘incognito’ exile from their kingdom. The extensive and well-crafted carving can be found in the central temple of this complex, known as ‘Thakurdwara’. Resembling the monolithic temples of Ellora and Dhamnar caves, and Mahabalipuram, an array of monolithic (built on a single block of stone) temples in the temple complex have been carved on a rocky ridge.
After all, the complex of the rock cut temples owns 15 spires (Shikhara / raising towers) temples carved on the rock over a ridge of 48 m length and width of 32 m.
Situated on a hill, the complex of the rock cut temples owns a tremendous rectangular water pond or lake, known as the ‘Masroor Lake’, situated opposite it. The partial reflection of the temples can be taken in this charming lake.
Nothing can be said about the exact date of its construction. The old name of the Kangra city was Bhimnagar, established by Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers.
It is notable that the Indo Aryan style of rock cut architecture has offered the huge complex of 15 rock cut temples in Masroor.
Having its location at the highest point of a local hill feature, this rock cut temple complex is situated in the backdrop of the Dhauladhar Range and the valley of the Beas River in the rolling topography of the Kangra Valley at Lahalpur, Masroor in the Dehra Gopipur Taluka in the Kangra district in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
This rock cut temple has been built in Shikhara (spire or raising tower) style of classical Indian architecture. Located at an average altitude of 2,405 ft (733 m) above the mean sea level, this huge rock cut temple complex is supposed to have been constructed within 6th to 8th centuries, as per the art historian. While in the southern and western parts of India, you can find several places having such rock cut structures in various locations, but in the northern part of India, such an architectural style is unique.
This huge rock cut temple is the only one such monolithic rock cut structure constructed in an improvised form of the Nagara style of architecture in the northern part of India; as otherwise usually the temples of Nagara style are constructed with brick.
Since 1914 A.D., the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) has been maintaining the temple complex for its conservation.
As per a famous legend, the Pandavas of Great Indian Epic Mahabharata dwelled here during their ‘incognito’ exile from their kingdom and constructed this huge temple. When this temple complex was under construction, the location and identity of the Pandavas were traced and they escaped from this place. It is believed to be the reason for the incomplete complex of the temples.
As per the legend, the charming Masroor Lake, which is situated opposite the complex and owns a mythical connection to Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, is said to have been constructed for the exclusive use of her bathing (ablutions).
Attraction of Temple
This temple complex has the attraction of the Masroor Lake opposite it, facing east and having the reflecting parts of it. This charming lake, which has its rectangular dimensions of approx 25 by 50 meters, does not go dry even in the season of summer as it has a perennial source of supply of water.
Besides having the main rock cut temple complex, this point of interest also owns the additional feature of a rest house constructed on the right side over the remaining part of the rocky ridge. The Maharaja of Guler, a nearby state, constructed this rest house. Having the features of small dome shaped structures and arcades, the rest house is erected in a combination of the style of Mughal and Hindu architectures.
How to Reach There
Being near Dharamshala, at a distance of approx 35 km (22 mile), the Mashroor Rock Cut Temple can also be reached from Pir Bindli, situated close to Lunj by using a new 2 km (1.2 mile) long road.
Function: – Temple
Type: – Rock Cut Hindu Temple
Location (Address of Venue)
Lahalpur, Masroor, Himachal Pradesh- 176026
Telephone No.: – 098050 74444
Closing Days: – No Day
Opening Hours: – 06:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.
Time Required for Visiting: – 1.5 Hours approx
A.S.I. Entry (Admission) Fee Only
(Ticket Type: Adult) INR 15/- (Visitor Type: Both Indian and Foreigner)
(Free Entry to Children under the Age of 15 Years)
In this way, it can be justly said that the Masroor Rock Cut Temple is one of the top places of interest in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. In case of being willing to have the fine glimpse of this wonderful rock cut temple, you can book Himachal Pradesh Tour Packages from Mumbai. Being affordable to the budget for all types of people, all of these holiday packages, which are available at ARV Holidays, one of the leading tour and travel operators of India, can also be customized as per the desire of the clients. If you want to get more information about the tour packages, you can visit us online at: www.himachal-tours.com. If you get the chance of visiting this ancient rock cut temple, this tour would be worth remembering till all the life long.