AADI BRAHMA TEMPLE
Open throughout the week: 5 AM to 9 PM
Closed during winters
Kullu's Aadi Brahma Mandir is an architectural marvel built in the Himalayan Pagoda Style. The deity's palanquin is preserved in a village on the other side of the mountain. The deity only comes to the temple when he has to meet another deity or a festival or community event. In the Garbh Griha (Sanctum Sanctorum), the idol of Lord Brahma is worshipped. All the images are vast and present the excellent craft of the artists. The images are adorned with rich draperies and ornaments. The complete building, built entirely of stone, wood, and schist slate, stands around 20 meters tall. The continuous repair work going on since the late 1960s has done more harm than good to the temple. Random structures and private properties have been built on every inch of the accessible open area near the temple. The temple's front view is obstructed by a concrete building built close to the entrance. The local panchayats and district administration built a new gate and painted it bright, but they neglected to maintain the main temple tower.
If it weren't for religion, the state could look after these temples to preserve Himalayan architecture. There is money, rules, and regulations, but there is no will. Despite all of the botched repair efforts, the temple remains a masterpiece of Himalayan timber building. The wooden bells that hang from the temple's top make hypnotic noises. This temple is thought to have been erected in the 14th century, approximately 1350 A.D. The Parashar Temple in Mandi was also built simultaneously, and the two temples share striking similarities.
There are six Brahma temples In Himachal Pradesh. The Aadi Brahma Temple in Kullu’s Khokhan Valley is the most popular of all these temples. Penelope Chetwode, a well-known British lady explorer, and her crew also wrote about this temple. In Kulu: The End of the Habitable World, Chetwode documented her adventures. Chetwode was so enamored by India, particularly the Kullu Valley, that she desired cremated like Hindus. If she died in the Himalayas, she wanted her ashes to be strewn in the sacred waters of Mother Beas, and that is precisely what occurred. Mother Nature fulfilled her final desire, and the Khanag Village residents performed her final rites. Another temple devoted to Lord Brahma in Himachal Pradesh is the Aadi Purkha Temple in Uttarsal Mandi. In Tihri Village, the temple may be found in the northwestern direction over Parashar Hill. The rest of the homes atop Parashar Hill are easily visible from Tihri Village on a bright sunny day.
Both the Tihri and Khokhan Villages were initially part of Kullu Riyasat, and locals from both villages worshipped the Khokhan Brahma. However, a territorial conflict arose between Mandi and Kullu, resulting in the settlements’ split. The people of Tihri decided to build their own Aadi Brahma Temple, which they dubbed Aadi Purkha Temple. Not only does the new temple have the same name as the Khokhan Temple, but it also has the same architectural style. After the separation, some of the statues and images from the Khokhan Temple were moved to the Tihri Temple. It was chosen to call this temple Aadi Purkha Temple of Tihri – Uttarsal during the installation.
Adi Purkha’s pagoda structure is notable for the three levels’ intimidating and well-intentioned layout, as well as the overall formal harmony. The compositional parameters have been strictly followed in the treatment of this pagoda. The diverging lines of the highest tier, when extended downward, ideally contact the margins of the lower roofs to form an isosceles triangle. The mid-dip has enhanced the composition’s aesthetic effect in the ceiling of the lowermost tier.
Mian Goverdhan Singh and O.C. Handa, another well-known Himachal Pradesh historian, have written extensively about the state’s wooden architecture. The Aadi Brahma participates in the Kullu Dussehra Festival, whereas the Aadi Purkha, the Pashakot, and Hurang Narayan Deities from the Chuhar Valley, grace the Mandi Shivratri.
How to reach ?
- By Train: REACHING KHOKHAN AND TIHRI Both towns are connected to the road, and you can drive right up to the temples’ entry gates. Near Bajaura, on a left diversion off the NH-21 (Chandigarh – Manali), the Khokhan Village is 5-6 kilometers away.Tihri Village, on the other hand, maybe reached through the Mandi – Parashar route or via Bajaura. The Tihri Village is reached by taking a right turn from Bajaura towards Chandigarh. As late as April or May, this road is a one-lane approach with little to no traffic amid a thicket of rhododendrons. There are no gas stations along this route, so you’ll have to fill up your tank at Bajaura. Near Baagi Bridge, the route intersects with the Parashar Mandi road. From here, you may either travel to Mandi or visit Parashar Lake, Himachal’s other famous wooden marvel. (33KM)