|The temples of
Himachal Pradesh have not grown out in isolation. It is apparent that at first the icons
of the religious deities were left, more or less, in the open, with some kind of shelter.
But the need for a permanent or a semi-permanent structure to give shelter to the deity
and to the worshippers was felt and the temples grew out of this need. In a mountainous
region just as well in a flat alluvial plain the physiography of the area comes in as a
great factor as to what and how the structures will be built.
That is why the low-lying hills or the valley areas have temples with a shikhara,
domed and flat-roofed temples. The mid and higher hills have tiered roofs by way of a
pagoda or a close replica to it. Very high mountain areas have more flat-roofed temples in
a different style. Shikharas appear to be the gift of Gupta age and most of the
shikhara temples in the North and in the South are made of bricks and dressed stones.
There must be the availability of the right type of clay
that could be made into bricks and stones that could be broken and processed. The areas
were more in touch with the low-lying hill ridges and the impact was there and naturally
the people built shikhara temples taking the model of the shikhara temples in the plains
with some changes. These temples do not have much of wood in the main structure excepting
the doors. The domed temple was the general style from the Gupta age right to the 19th