temples -The number of shikhara temples in Chamba district, leaving aside the miniature
ones, does not exceed fourteen (ten of which are found in the town), but it would be
difficult to count temples of the hill type, which arescattered everywhere along the
mountain slopes and in the valleys.Their construction is extre- mely simple. They consist
of a small, cella, usually raised on a square plinth, and built of layers of rubble
masonry alternating with beams of cedar wood.
is surmounted by a sloping roof of slates or wooden shingles supported by wooden posts,
which form a verandah or procession-path round the shrine. Of the high pagoda-like roof
met with in Kashmir, Kulu and Nepal, no instances are found in Chamba. It is
possible that some temples e. g., that at Chitrari, originally had a roof of this kind.
Owing to climatic conditions the roofs of these buildings have often to be renewed. It
must, however, be admitted that they are well calculated to shelter the shrine against the
heavy rain and snowfall peculiar to the hills. Though simple in their architecture, some
of these hill temples are of great interest owing to the elaborate decoration of their
facades, ceilings and pillars.
Oldest Devi Temple - Chamba can boast of three
such temples adorned with the finest wood-carving. They are the temples of Lakshana, at
Brahmaur; that of Shakati, at Chitrari and that of Kali, at Mrikula, or Udaipur in Lahul.
It will be noticed that these three are all dedicated to Devi. The Brahmaur and Chitrari
temples can be approximately dated; for they contain brass images with inscriptions which
record their erection by Meru Varman, and on account of their character may be assigned to
about A. D. 700.