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Tuesday 19 February 2019
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Historic Sun temple at Nirath village in Sutlej river valley stands the test of time

Considered one of the most spectacular shrines of religious significance, essentially because it is one of the two Sun Temples in the country (other being in Konark, Odisha), and the only one in North India, the Nirath Sun Temple is a true masterpiece of architecture.

Located approximately 950 m above sea level on the left bank of Sutlej River, the temple in the beautiful small village Nirath is built in unique shape of ‘Nagara’ from red sandstone and is just 18 km from the erstwhile province of Rampur Bushahr.

The exquisitely decorated cornices and flowers carved on wooden pillars, walls engraved with deities on red sandstone speak volumes of the artistic magnificence of the temple.  The temple courtyard has many stone idols of Vedic gods and goddesses, including a host of Shiva Lingas.

The Sun temple at Nirath is dedicated to the Surya Narayan, Surya Deva or (Sun God). Though there is no definite date of construction, surveys by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) suggest it should have built before the 12th Century.

The natives of Nirath, a village that remains largely untouched by the western influence, people here remain rooted to their culture and traditions when it comes to food, attire, and celebration, believe the temple was built under the leadership of Lord Parashurama. Another legend has it that the Pandavas (during the Mahabharata era) stayed here in their period of exile, and the temple may have been built by them.

Nirath is 120 km from Shimla. It takes about 5 hours by road to reach the beautiful village.