composite-roofed -temples

Canopied Composite-Roofed Temples

A single-storey oblong temple standing over a wooden framework on a plinth, having pent or pent- n-gable roofing with an independent roof surmounted by a parasol over the sanctum.

The ‘canopied composite-roofed’ wooden temples in Kullu district, though the most common and elaborate wooden temple-type in a wide geographical area in the Satluj-Yamuna watershed, are in the Kullu district found only in the Outer Saraj area. These temples are important for their structural, architectural and archaeological peculiarities. These temples, standing over an extended massive deodar wood framework on an elevated plinth, are characterised by their oblong layout pattern. The significant point about this type of temple is that these temples have a well-defined geographical territory east of the Jalori Pass. The significant point about the ‘canopied composite-roofed’ wooden temples is that these stand at such hallowed places where once in the unknown past classical stone temples existed, but now lay in desolate ruins.

In such instances, the possibility of using the substructures of ancient stone temples for new wooden temples cannot be ruled out. In fact, the substructures of the standing wooden temples at Nithar and Behna may belong to old stone temples. On the perusal of the ground plan of the earliest standing wooden temple of Dakshineshwar Mahadev at Nirmand, which characteristically conforms to the ‘canopied composite-roofed’ type of wooden temple, it becomes amply clear that most of the stone temples in the Outer Saraj area and further eastward followed the north Indian classical layout pattern, which included mandap, antaral or ardh- antaral and garbh-grih.