Durga Temple, Manan

 

Manan is a village off of the Shimla-Narkanda highway, between Theog and Narkanda, which boasts two beautiful wooden temples in different styles. The Durga or Bhawani Temple, just above the road going through the village, is in the “Satluj Valley Style”, according to the categories of Himachal wooden temples given by Penelope Chetwode (who extended the earlier 19th c categorization by AFP Harcourt), even though the village is located on the other side of the ridge from the Satluj Valley proper. This is a composite style, with the temple overall covered by a curving gable roof, and the sanctum topped by a multiple-storied “pagoda” roof. The other temple, a little higher up on the hill, is the Mananeshwar Temple in the Tower Style.

 

Durga Temple

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Both the inside and outside of the Durga Temple are brightly colored, with profuse sculpture work in the interiors. The raised hall of the temple is open on three sides with deep eaves and mud floor, and seating runs along all three sides. The sanctum walls and low domed ceiling are covered with sculptures, with a narrow circumambulatroy pathway around the sanctum. The small door of the sanctum has a sculpture of Durga on it, and opens to reveal a plain sanctum chamber.

In his book “Wooden Temples of Himachal Pradesh”, Mian Goverdhan Singh notes that the temple probably dates from the 17th or 18th c. There is a record of the temple existing in 1820. I visited the village in the winter of 2016, and I have to mention that some of the youth in the village were downright hostile towards us (led by the son of the sarpanch or some such local authority figure). In my experience this is very unusual for the hills, but if you are planning to visit this village please be cautious. There is a very serene atmosphere in the temple hall itself,  but the village gives off a weird vibe.

 

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2 thoughts on “Durga Temple, Manan

  1. Pingback: Behna Mahadev Temple | Sarson ke Khet

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