Dharamsala, April 15
The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Himachal, has written to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to preserve and relocate the ancient Bathu ki Lari temples of erstwhile Guler state of Kangra district.
Shrines dedicted to Lord Vishnu
- Bathu ki Lari temples get submerged in the Pong Dam Lake during monsoons. These days, the temples are visible.
- Every year, when water in the Pong Dam recedes during the summer, these temples emerge from under water.
- Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, these are known as Badri Vishal temples in the Haldoon valley of erstwhile Guler state.
Bathu ki Lari temples get submerged in the Pong Dam Lake during the monsoons when the water inflow in the Beas increases and the dam is filled. When the water flow in the dam recedes during the summer, the temples emerge from water. These days, the temples are visible out of the Pong Dam Lake.
Surprisingly, the temples have been submerging in the lake for the past 50 years, but their structure is still intact and people throng them during the summer.
Malvika Pathania, state convener of INTACH, says that the Union Ministry of Culture had recently decided to preserve the Kaleshwar Mahadev temple in Kangra district. “We have written to the ASI that the Bathu ki Lari temples that are connected with the heritage of Kangra district should also be preserved. These temples are made of sand stones and have withstood the elements of nature despite getting submerged under water for the past 50 years since the construction of the Pong Dam,” she adds.
Raghav Guleria, who belongs to the family of former Guler rulers, says that Bathu ki Lari is a series of temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. “These are known as Badri Vishal temples in the most fertile Haldoon valley of the erstwhile Guler state of Kangra district. These temples were managed by former rulers of Guler state till they got submerged under the Pong Dam Lake,” he adds.
Raghav says, “The Hadoon valley was irrigated by the perennial Beas, Baner, Gaj and the Dehar rivers originating from the Dhauladhar mountain ranges. This prosperous civilisation needs only salt and kerosene from the outside world. The region is exceedingly vibrant and the farming community prays to God Badri Vishal for the safety of their crops and a better yield”.
Conservationists have also been lobbying for the preservation of the heritage of Kangra district spread across the valley in the form of old forts, temples and buildings.