Ever wonder how any structure craved out of 15 monolithic rock would look like. Designed in Indo-Aryan style is the Himalayan Pyramid or the Masroor Rock Cut Temple. Build in the built in an improvised form of the Nagara style in northern India, I happen to stumble on these rock-cut temples on my way to Bir-Billing.
As I stepped in the premises of this piece of history, these temples which are partly in ruins now gave me the feel of the temples at Angkor Wat, but no I was in Kangra district of Himachal. Built in between 8th-9th century AD, the local myth goes as the Pandavas spent a long period of time here in this temple premises during their exile.
This fascinating piece of history tucked away in the lap of nature is surrounded by the majestic Dhauladhar trees. The temple premises sees a rectangular pool. Though the 1905 earthquake has left its mark on the temples what still remains is worth an experience. The rock cut style of architecture is one of the toughest styles that existed.
Constructed on top of a 2500 feet high hillock, the central shrine sees three stone images of Ram, Laxman and Sita, however, the centre of the beam has a sculpture if Shiva carved. Today few of the original shikhara stand pretty prominently
The beautifully carved panels on the walls give you a fair idea about the craftsmanship of that period. The temple carvings see the story of the coronation of Lord Shiva.
As history blends with nature and one catches the glimpse of the amazing snow-clad Dhauladhar range from the premises, and the broken pieces of heritage all together along with rusting signboards which is now UNESCO World Heritage Sites list speaks loud of our rich culture now almost buried somewhere.
Note – There are only four such temples in India. Ratha in Mamallapuram, Kailasa in Ellora, Dharmnatha temple in Damnar and the temple complex in Masroor.
Nearest bus stop – Dharamshala
Nearest airport- Gaggal Airport
Distance from Dharamshala to Masroor Temple – 50 km approx. One can book a cab and head to the temples.