Bathu ki ladi

The enchanting Bathu Temples, also known as ‘Bathu ki Ladi‘ where ‘Ladi’ denotes chain, are renowned for their yearly immersion in the waters of Pong Dam. They remain partially submerged for about 6 months and completely hidden during the monsoon season. This chain of architectural wonders gradually reveals itself during the summer months, becoming accessible by road, while at other times, visitors can reach the temples by boat.

There are two intriguing versions regarding the origin of these mesmerizing temples. Local folklore attributes their construction to the Pandavas of the Mahabharata, dating back 5000 years. According to this belief, during their exile in the mountains, the Pandavas not only built the Masroor rock-cut temple but also this chain of temples. However, researchers and historians suggest that King Harichand Guleria of Haripur-Guler, during his reign between the 14th and 16th centuries, might have commissioned these temples. This theory gains credence considering the construction of other forts near Pong Dam during the same period, such as those at Nurpur, Taragarh, Kotla, and Haripur.

The architectural marvel of these temples lies in their construction using Bathu stone, a hard sandstone known for its difficulty in carving. Yet, the intricate carvings display exceptional craftsmanship, with the entire structure enduring the test of time despite being submerged underwater for nine months every year.

Of the six temples in the chain, five are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, while the sanctum houses Lord Shiva. Intricate sculptures of Sheshnaag, Hanuman, Ganesha, and Goddess Kali adorn these temples, with stone carvings of Kali and Ganesha on the outer gate remaining remarkably intact.

The best time to visit Bathu Ki Ladi temples is during the summer months when they emerge gracefully from the depths of Pong Dam, offering a breathtaking sight for tourists. While accessibility to the temples for pilgrimage has been limited since the construction of Pong Dam in 1974, visitors can still experience their magnificence either by boat or road.

Located near Bathu temples, Raadballi offers serene and eco-friendly jungle resort accommodation, providing visitors with a spectacular opportunity to immerse themselves in nature’s embrace.

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