Kullu: A raging inferno, deep into Monday / Tuesday night (6/7.3.2015 ) reduced the small Shanghad village to ashes. The fire also burnt down the ancient and heritage temple of Shangchul Mahdev.
Thirteen families consisting of 46 members have been rendered homeless, with the losses being assessed at more than Rs 1 crore. What caused the fire could not be immediately known. The fire is said to have started from the upper floor of the temple and spread to the nearby houses.
Ashwani Kumar, the sub-divisional magistrate at Banjar when contacted by Hill Post said, “many antique idols made of precious ashatdhatu alloy and other temple articles have been destroyed by the fire. Volunteers and the villagers managed to save one temple chariot.”
Kumar put the losses at more than Rs 1 crore.
Deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar, when contacted by Hill Post said, “an inquiry into the burning down of Shangchul Mahadev temple has been ordered. This was an historical temple and a center of devotion for many people, which included adjoining villages.”
Kanwar, who is also the Kullu district magistrate said that the administration would provide all help to reconstruct the temple. “Arrangements have been made to provide food and shelter to the affected families,” he said.
Kullu famous as the ‘valley of gods’ is popular so because of the many village deities (Devta’s) with their richly wood carved temples dot the entire landscape. Traditions at most of these temples date back to centuries and the gutted Shangchul Mahadev was one of them.
Temple bearers speak of the temple having been founded by the Pandava princes, before the great battle of Mahabharata was fought on the plains of Kurukshetra, during a time when they along with their common wife Draupadi had to spend their last of their 14 year exile in anonymity.
Photos by Renuka Gautam