|There can be no
doubt that the shikhara in the shape of a finial (kalasha) or an amalaka (a circular
ribbed stone disk) was the most attractive features from a distance. But the hill temples
could not possibly have a massive shikhara that we find in Orissa or in the South.
Earthquakes and landslides are not uncommon. Jagatsukh temple near Manali and the rock-cut
temple complex of Masrur in Kangra are, probably, the earliest of such temples and belong
lo the early 8th century.
The Visheshwar or
Basheshwar Mahadev temple at Bajaura in the Kulu valley was built probably a century or
two later and is a good example of the shikhara temple. The Mani Mahes temple at Bharmaur
in Chamba district is another example. Raja Shahil Varman (920---40 A.D.) built this.
The other examples are the temple of Baijnath (13th
century) and a number of later temples of this type in Mandi in the 16th century and
later. In Kulu we find pyramidal carved temples and examples are those at Mangalor,
Bajaura, Manikaran, Jagatsukh and Nagar. The Baijnath temple in Kangra resembles the
Orissa temple. It is not unlikely that some of the Orissan architects might have been
brought to construct this temple.