Temple Styles in Himachal Pradesh

By | August 11, 2017

There are four distinct styles of hill temple architecture throughout the Himachal Pradesh which mark out different eras of spiritual belief and possibly, corroborate the thesis of the infusion of new races with oldest inhabitants.

We are taking the style of the roof as the basis of distinction, the four types are:

  • The ‘pent’ roof and verandah
  • Pyramidical style
  • Pagoda style
  • A fusion of ‘pent’roof and pagoda type roof also known as Satluj valley

The ‘Pent’ roof style:


Mrikula Devi Temple, Lahaul (Pic: Flickr)

This style is the most ancient one. Some examples are:

  • Shakti Devi Temple – Chhitrari (Chamba)
  • Lakshna Devi Temple – Bharmaur (Chamba)
  • Kali Devi or Mrikula Devi – Lahaul-Spiti

Pyramidical Style:

hateshwari temple hatkoti

Hateshwari Temple, Hatkoti (Pic: thenewshimachal)

This type of temple architecture is mainly found in Jubbal valley. Some examples are:

  • Hateshwari Devi – Hatkoti (Shimla)
  • Shiva Temple-Hatkoti (Shimla)
  • Mahasu Temple- Deora in Jubbal (Shimla)
  • Shiva Temple- Deora in Jubbal (Shimla)

Pagoda Style:

Manu Temple Shanshar Sainj Kullu

Manu Temple, Shanshar, Kullu (Pic :Loopwhole)

The pagoda style is believed to be originated in Kathmandu, Nepal. There are numerous pagoda style temples in Mandi, Kullu, Shimla hills and Kinnaur region of Himachal Pradesh. Some of them are:

  • Prashar Temple – Mandi
  • Sukdev Rishi Temple-Mandi
  • Hidimba Devi Temple – Manali (Kullu)
  • Tripura Sundari Temple – Khokhan Valley (Kullu)
  • Manu Temple – Shanshar (Kullu)
  • Adi Brahma Temple- Khokhan (Kullu)
  • Maheshwara Temple – Sungra (Kinnaur)
  • Chagoan Temple-Kinnaur

A fusion of ‘Penf’ roof and pagoda style or Satluj Valley Style:

Bahna Mahadev Temple (Pic: pictures.wayn)

This type of temple architecture is mainly found in upper Satluj valley.  Some examples are:

  • Dhaneshwari Devi- Nethar, Outer Seraj
  • Bahna Mahadev – Nethar, Outer Seraj

Suggested Reading: Temples of Himachal Pradesh by Neelmani Upadhyay

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