Dharamshala: Close to the snowline in the Dhauladhar ranges, the Himani Chamunda Devi temple is to be developed as a tourist destination as the government plans to connect the high altitude place with a motor able road.
Sudhir Sharma, a young minister in the Himachal government, directed officers to prepare a detailed project road for constructing a road to the temple site which is located at an altitude of over 10,500 feet.
The temple which near touches the snowline in the Dhauladhar range would be developed on the Vasishno Devi temple shrine in Jammu and Kashmir pattern, said the minister.
Whereas the old Chamunda Devi temple rests, relatively undisturbed, in its lofty locale a new Chamunda Devi temple is located at 5000 feet altitude on the Dharamshala-Palampur road.
From the new temple to the old one, it’s a 13 Km stiff uphill trek.
“Once the old temple gets linked by a road, the Sidh Peeth Adhi Himani Chamunda temple shall become a very attractive tourist and pilgrimage center of the area,” said Sharma.
People of the area say that the Sidh Peeth Adi Himani Chamunda temple had been in a state of neglect till 1992 and was not even known to the people outside Kangra valley.
However, the temple was a place of pilgrimage for many spiritual seekers from Kangra and other places.
With there being ruins of a fort close by that is said to have been set up of Raja Chander Bhan, the temple and the place was frequently visited in times gone by.
Legend even holds that the temple was said to have been visited by Pandavas after winning the great Mahbharata war at Kurukshetra with their cousin Kaurav rulers.
No population resides anywhere close to the temple because of the extreme cold conditions at the altitude.
Other than being a pilgrimage centre, the area also holds great potential for adventure tourism like trekking and mountaineering.
Photo: Arvind Sharma