Kinnaur is one of the twelve districts of Himachal Pradesh. Kinnaur, once debarred land now sets a glory store for daredevils. Flourishing Apple and Apricot orchards of Sangla Valleys, a breathtaking overview of Chitkul Village(The last village on the India-Tibet border), Sutlej, Baspa, and Spiti rivers twisting out of Kinnaur and snow-laden peaks of Dhauladhar mountains presents a splendid view. Kinnaur is the Abode of Lord Shiva. Along with the temples of religious importance, there are many Buddhist monasteries.
Let’s have a look over the Famous Temples Of Kinnaur :
1. Badri Narayan Temple, Batseri
2. Hateshwari Temple
3. Maheshwar Temple
4. Bering Nag
5. Kamakhya Devi, Kamru
6. Narayan Nagini, Chini
7. Kinnaur Kailash
8. Mahabodhi Kinnaur Buddhist Temple
9. Nam Gaya Buddhist Temple,NamGaya
10. Lippa Monastery, Jangi
11. Kanam Monastery,Kanam
12. Jampa Monastery, Chuling
1. Badri Narayan Temple, Batseri :
This one of the Famous Temples Of Kinnaur is dedicated to Lord Badrinarayan. Temple architecture is a blend of both Hindu and Buddhist cultures. One can reach here from the way of Sangla. Ukhayang Flower Festival is popular that is celebrated here in September and on this fest, Brahamkamal (a rare flower) is presented to the deity. Carvings on the main door are related to Indian folk tales. There is a courtyard and an open unroofed area inside the temple.
2. Hateshwari Temple :
This 7th and 8th-century temple is consecrated to two divinities Mata Hateshwari and Lord Shiva dwelling together in the sanctum. The supremacy of Buddhist architecture can be seen. Mata Hateshwari is considered to be supreme among the local people.1.20 meters long Statue of Maa Hateshwari is made up of eight valuable metals. It’s a myth that idol changes their expressions. There are five stones called Deols on the premises that were established by Pandavas during their exile in Mahabharat Period. One vessel is tied with chains in the entrance known as Charu. Heavenly beauty, piousness, and historic memorials captivate pilgrims in large numbers. Experience peace and divinity by visiting this one of the Famous Temples Of Kinnaur.
3. Maheshwar Temple :
This one of the Famous Temples of Kinnaur lies in Sungra. This 8th-century Holyplace is dedicated to Sungra Maheshwar when he was attacked by Bhima(Pandava). Bhima kept a big rock at the temple that he brought from the hilltops across the river Satluj and Maheshwar redirected the projectile. Temple is pleasantly embellished with Alpine flowers that can be found only in high mountain ranges. Wood panels are there at the entrance. There are pictures of incarnations of Lord Vishnu and Hindu Zodiac Signs on the eastern walls of the temple.
4. Bering Nag :
Bering Nag Temple is dedicated to the Snakes that Lord Shiva wears around his neck. Tibetan Buddhist Architecture has impacted its architectural styles by having Buddhist Pagodas. The heirloom of this one of the Famous Temples Of Kinnaur is prehistoric. Superlative wooden carvings are having Himachali patterns. It looks like it’s recently embellished. There are beautiful dragons on the entrance that are made from cones of Pine trees. It might be captivating! The fair is organized every year during the Fulaich/Phulaich festival. Devotees need to follow the rules set by the priests of the temple.
5. Kamakhya Devi, Kamru :
Kamru Fort is situated in the murky forests and verdant fields surrounded by snow-draped hills at the height of 2600 meters above sea level. You can reach the rising hill by a walk of around 800 meters. It’s very well furnished with wooden carvings. It’s a five-storeyed tower that rests on 55 square feet stone platform. There is a wooden balcony at the top and Kamakhya Devi is on the third floor of this fort. According to mythology, the idol of Devi Kamakhya was brought from Guwahati. Do visit one of the Famous Temples Of Kinnaur and experience the divinity of this Picturesque Fort that presents an incredible view. Kamakhya Devi temple is having dignified timber roof with timber carvings.
6) Narayan Nagini, Chini :
This 5000-year-old temple is also influenced by Buddhist Architectural styles in having Tibetan Pagoda-styled architecture. Behind Kalpa Fort, there are so many Temples of Kinnaur that impressively links the hill view. This Temple is located near the Hu-Bu-Lan-Kar monastery. It is believed that Goddess Durga takes the position inside the Temple. Its golden roof shines so brightly from far away that you can locate where Narayan Nagini Temple is!
7) Kinnaur Kailash :
It is the highest peak of Himachal which is at 6050 meters above sea level. It is a divine place for both Hindus and Buddhists and is considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Kinnaur Kailash borders Kinnaur in the south and is overlooked by Jorkanden(the highest peak in Kinnaur Kailash mountains). Kinnaur Kailash is one of the most isolated and challenging (14 km trek) treks in the region of Dev Bhoomi. This one of the Famous Temples of Kinnaur is having 79 ft tall Shiva Linga that changes its color every second. Along with this, there is a Kunda named Parvati Kunda which is 14900 ft above sea level.
8) Mahabodhi Kinnaur Buddhist Temple :
A very famous monastery of Sangla Valley is located near Reckong Peo in Brelengi and is named Brelengi Gompa. Hindus believe Buddha is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Mahabodhi temple was constructed by the Mahabodhi society in the year 1992 during Kalachakra Festival. Temple is situated amidst the lush green surroundings. Sanctified by his holiness, Dalai Lama. There is a 10-meter-tall statue of Buddha aside from the temple. Popular traditions and worshiping styles make this one of the Famous Temples Of Kinnaur. Its Architecture and crafts work is commendable.
9) Nam Gaya Buddhist Temple NamGaya :
Lagging is the other name of Nam Gaya Buddhist Temple and is dedicated to the senior monk of Buddhists known as ‘Lagan’.This one of the Famous Temples Of Kinnaur was first founded by the 3rd Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso in the 16th century. Natives here are named Niama/Jads and the recent name is Kanuras. They follow Chola, Bushahru, Dabla, and Kuldeva Narayana. These Tibetan-based Buddhist institutes are related to Dalai Lama and his activities. Earlier 175 monks perform religious rituals.
10) Lippa Monastery, Jangi :
This one of the Famous Temples of Kinnaur is located 10 km away from Jangi Village. It is the hub of Buddhism. An Eminent Astrologer started this Temple. The monastery encloses three temples out of three, two houses Kangyur and Tengyur Scriptures and a third is Goldang Headquarters. One can reach this monastery by bus from Reckong Peo(District Headquarters of Kinnaur).
11) Kanam Monastery,Kanam :
Kanam is known as the Land of Gods due to its Aesthetic and spiritual opulence. Kanam monastery is situated at the base of Nessang Valley(the oldest trade route to Tibet). The district headquarters of Kinnaur is 43 km away from this monastery. Rin-Chan-Sang-Po established seven large and small monasteries. This one is prominent and located at the top of Kanam Village. The Statue of Buddha is made of gilt bronze with blue hair.
12)Jampa Monastery, Chuling :
This monastery came into existence after the contributions of Tenzin Uphal, who later became the prominent nun of this Monastery. She was a widow from Meeru Village and was aware that women of this village had to move to Dharamshala for further studies so she donated a piece of land to construct an institute for young women. After this was established ,25 young women joined the institute and till now it is continuously grown.
Enjoy the aesthetic trip to this unique state of Dev Bhoomi Himachal Pradesh and you will be amazed with coexisting Buddhist and Hindu cultures. Famous Temples of Kinnaur are having their charm!