Maheshwar Temple Chagaon | Kinnaur

13th Sep 2021

Maheshwar Temple Chagaon

Photo of Maheshwar Temple Chagaon | Kinnaur by Neeraj Dhiman

The Maheshwar Temple is a popular religious centre in Sungra, Kinnaur District. The temple is well-known for its magnificent wood panels on either side. The courtyard of the temple and other panels are beautifully carved and depict the artistic excellence of bygone era people.

For those interested in archaeology, the deeply cut images of various Hindu deities are a delight. The temple’s eastern wall depicts various avatars of Lord Vishnu and Hindu zodiac signs. The friezes on the lower end of the roof are also stunning.

In addition, there is an ancient eighth-century stone shrine near the temple’s doorway. According to legend, Lord Sungra Maheshwar was once attacked by Bhima, a mythological character from the Mahabharata, an Indian epic.

According to legend, Bhima threw a massive boulder at the temple from the top of a mountain across the Sutlej River. Lord Maheshwar then threw the boulder to the other side, which now rests on the road near the temple.

The portals of the Maheshwar temple of Sungra have superb wood panels on either side. deeply cut images of prominent Hindu deities are a treat for the art historian. On the eastern wall are panels depicting the Vishnu Avatars and the symbol of the Hindu zodiac.

The friezes on the eaves are beautiful and the buildings around the temple courtyard are similarly embellished. A small stone shrine of the eighth century stands a short distance from the temple doorway, evidence of the site’s antiquity.

The Sungra Maheshwar was once said to have been attacked by an enemy of superhuman strength, often linked to the Pandava hero, Bhima. Bhima hurled a huge boulder at the temple from the mountain tops across the Satluj.

The Maheshwar deflected the missile to one side. It now lies close to the road, a short way from the temple and still shelters the alpine flowers found only in the high mountains.