Shimla’s 250-yr-old temple regains its past glory

Shimla: A steep road winding its way to one of Shimla’s hilltops will transport tourists back to a glorious past with the rebuilding and restoration of the 250-year-old Tara Devi temple at its original location.

“The temple of Maa Tara has been rebuilt in its original hill architecture,” temple in-charge and sub-divisional magistrate Anil Sharma told IANS.

He said the temple, which was restored at a cost of over Rs 6 crore, was reconstructed at its original site after the old temple was demolished.

The road linking the hilltop temple with Shimla was laid for the first time during his stint as Chief Minister from 1993-1998. “Before the construction of road, we used to trek to pay obeisance at the Tara Devi temple,” Junga resident Parkash Anand Sharma told IANS.

Temple manager Anil Shandil said Virbhadra Singh, during his second stint as CM (2012-17), played a crucial role in convincing Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, a company that runs hydropower project in state, to contribute Rs2 crore for the temple.

  • The doors and wooden structures of the temple have been tastefully decorated with miniatures of goddesses.
  • 12,000-15,000 devotees visit the temple every weekend

Temples in Himachal

  • 2,000 temples and monasteries are centuries-old.
  • 60 under the Archaeological Survey of India
  • 36 under the control of the state’s language, art and culture department.

About Tara Devi temple

  • Perched atop a hill 13 km from the HP capital, the ancient temple was built by the erstwhile ruler of the Keonthal estate.
  • The Keonthal estate, with its capital in Junga, 26 km from Shimla, was founded in 1211 by Giri Sen, younger brother of Vir Sen, founder of Suket state in Sundernagar.
  • The temple of Devi Tara was built by Giri Sen, whose fort still exists at Junga.