800 Years old Ram Temple in Haripur, Himachal Pradesh || Ancient Structure that is crumbling because of apathy and neglect

Haripur, a town you will probably not take much heed of as you pass through Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, has a very interesting folklore associated with it. It was only when we read about it after our trip to Kangra. did we find out about it. And though we did visit the Haripur fort and accidently spotted the famous temple of Lord Ram, it was only after reading about it on the Internet, did we realize how much more there is to this neglected town.

Haripur, a town you will probably not take much heed of as you pass through Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, has a very interesting folklore associated with it. It was only when we read about it after our trip to Kangra. did we find out about it. And though we did visit the Haripur fort and accidentally spotted the famous temple of Lord Ram, it was only after reading about it on the Internet, did we realize how much more there is to this neglected town.

 
We will talk about the Haripur Fort in another post. But the Ram Mandir is actually right on the highway, but you are more likely to miss it as you drive past it. The temple is actually behind some shops or houses (I do not actually recall which of these), but I do remember that I noticed its shikhar on the left side as I drove by and alerted Vijay to the possibility of an interesting historical building existing behind the very mundane houses.

We will talk about the Haripur Fort in another post. But the Ram Mandir is actually right on the highway, but you are more likely to miss it as you drive past it. The temple is actually behind some shops or houses (I do not actually recall which of these), but I do remember that I noticed its shikhar on the left side as I drove by and alerted Vijay to the possibility of an interesting historical building existing behind the very mundane houses. 


And then immediately after crossing a U-bend while going downhill, we noticed an impressive gate on the left with a couple of school children climbing the stairs leading to it. At that moment, we did not automatically connect the gate with the shikhar that we had spotted earlier, but we were intrigued enough for me to stop the car and for Vijay to jump off to click a few pictures.

And then immediately after crossing a U-bend while going downhill, we noticed an impressive gate on the left with a couple of school children climbing the stairs leading to it. At that moment, we did not automatically connect the gate with the shikhar that we had spotted earlier, but we were intrigued enough for me to stop the car and for Vijay to jump off to click a few pictures.

 
The gate turned out to be a part of the temple complex after all. You had to climb a steep flight of stairs to reach the temple though. The gate has a large image of Lord Hanuman on its left pillar. The temple itself is in advanced stages of neglect. The masonry has eroded and the shikhar has been sieged by plants and bushes. Apparently there were also some caves near this temple that have now collapsed.

The gate turned out to be a part of the temple complex after all. You had to climb a steep flight of stairs to reach the temple though. The gate has a large image of Lord Hanuman on its left pillar. The temple itself is in advanced stages of neglect. The masonry has eroded and the shikhar has been sieged by plants and bushes. Apparently there were also some caves near this temple that have now collapsed. 


And apparently there are 17 other such historical structures in Haripur, all in similar or worse stages of neglect. Some have also been "repaired" by locals, so one can spot cement plastering and even bathroom tiles on these ancient walls. They would be eyesores to say the least.

And apparently there are 17 other such historical structures in Haripur, all in similar or worse stages of neglect. Some have also been "repaired" by locals, so one can spot cement plastering and even bathroom tiles on these ancient walls. They would be eyesores to say the least. 


It is especially sad considering the temples are almost 900 years old. They were constructed during the reign of King Harish Chandra, a descendant of King Sansar Chand, who ruled Nandpur-Guler. One day on an hunting expedition, the King got separated from his group and was assumed dead. The hunting party returned to Nandpur and his wives became sati. His brother ascended the throne of Nandpur.

It is especially sad considering the temples are almost 900 years old. They were constructed during the reign of King Harish Chandra, a descendant of King Sansar Chand, who ruled Nandpur-Guler. One day on an hunting expedition, the King got separated from his group and was assumed dead. The hunting party returned to Nandpur and his wives became sati. His brother ascended the throne of Nandpur.  



By the time the King reached back, the new King had officially taken over. Instead of staging a coup against his brother who had hurriedly assumed power, King Harish Chandra decided to build another Kingdom. He chose Haripur for this purpose and embellished this region with some an imposing fort and several beautiful temples. It is sad that these structures aren't being maintained and the local efforts, though well-intentioned, lack direction and thought.

By the time the King reached back, the new King had officially taken over. Instead of staging a coup against his brother who had hurriedly assumed power, King Harish Chandra decided to build another Kingdom. He chose Haripur for this purpose and embellished this region with some an imposing fort and several beautiful temples. It is sad that these structures aren't being maintained and the local efforts, though well-intentioned, lack direction and thought. 



....

But one thing that worked this time was that we noticed something interesting on the roadside and we stopped to investigate. Through this curiosity, we discovered something of such historical importance. Before this, in several posts from our trip to Khajuraho, I had lamented the fact that we passed by something interesting but did not stop to explore and upon research later, it turned out to be something interesting. At least we do not have that same regret this time.  

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