Bathu ki ladi a mysterious temple of Incredible India

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Anupama Nair

Popular for its beautiful vegetation and snow-clad mountains Dev Bhoomi, India is also home to mysterious and unique places that is deep rooted in history and culture. Bathu ki Ladi temple in the state of Himachal Pradesh is one such place. What makes this temple a place worth visiting is the fact that this temple remains submerged in water for eight months of the year. It is mainly a clutter of six different temples, and even has connection to the Mahabharata. Most of you must not be even aware of the existence of this hidden temple. So, I thought of writing about this hidden beauty in Himachal.

Many secrets and mysteries are connected to this temple. This temple has been constructed in such a way that after twilight, the dying rays of the sun seems to touch the holy feet of the Lord Mahadev. Even after being submerged in water for such a long period, you won’t notice any major damage to the structure of the temple. It is because the temple is made up of a powerful stone called ‘bathu’. “It’s an enticing sight, looking at the temple which is mostly covered in water and only a few towering pillars can be seen trying to reach out”.

According to the local legends, it was built by a local king who ruled the region around 800 AD. Many stories about the origin of the temples are well known among the folklore. Some sources say that temple was built by Pandavas when they attempted to build a staircase to ascend to Heaven at monolithic Masrur Rock Temples located at the opposite side of the lake but the King of Gods Indira intervened. However, the Pandavas successfully built the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ at Bathu ki Ladi temples where that staircase still exists and you can climb to the top most part to have a feel of the place. The central temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The best time to visit the submerged Bathu ki Ladi temples is in winters when water recedes.

It is situated close to Pong Dam, around three kilometers from Dhameta, which is a small town in district of Kangra. The temple remains under water from July to February, and can only be witnessed and visited between the months of March and June. As the water level of Pong Dam Lake rises, the temple becomes a part of underwater world.

You can see figures of Goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha carved on the stones, while inside the temple you’ll notice Lord Vishnu’s statue resting on his Shesh Naag.

If you are someone who loves nature and wishes to spend some time away far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife, then you’ll definitely love the location of Battu temples. This place is a also a paradise for birdwatchers as Pong Dam wetland is renowned for being home to a wide range of migratory birds, with more than 200 bird species seeking refuge.

So, pack your bags and travel to this submerged paradise in Incredible India.

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