BEHNA MAHADEV TEMPLE

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» North India
» Himachal Pradesh
Location: Behna, Sutluj Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Presiding Deity: Lord Vishnu & Goddess Lakshmi
Unique Feature: A 12th-13th Century Brass Mask Of Lord Shiva
Significance: One Of The Largest Gable-Roofed Hindu Temple

This is one of the largest gable-roofed Hindu temples in the Satluj valley. The mandapa and corridor around the sanctuary are open to all sides; benches with leaning backrests are positioned at the peripheries. Angled struts support the overhanging stone-tiled roof, which is steeply gabled in two tiers.

Rising over the sanctuary is an open construction of two superimposed balconies; the upper balcony is provided with a timber-tiled conical roof and a metallic pot like finial. There are elaborate carvings on the cedar balconies and the internal columns. Window recesses flanking the sanctuary doorway have friezes of animals and stylized foliation.

Leaning against the right are the 8th-9th century stone sculptures of Vishnu and Lakshmi. A collection of the brass mask of the God Shiva is housed in the sanctuary; these possibly date from the 12th-13th century.



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