Kasar Devi Temple:
Kasar Devi temple is a historic temple located in the town of Almora
in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The temple is dedicated to Kasar Devi
, a goddess of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. The temple is situated at an altitude of 2116 meters above sea level and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Himalayan ranges.
The temple is believed to be one of the oldest temples in the region and is considered to be a sacred site by the local people. It is said that the temple was built in the 2nd century AD and was later renovated by the Katyuri kings
in the 7th century. The temple has a unique architectural style, with a wooden roof and walls made of stone.
The temple is also famous for its association with several renowned personalities. In the 1920s, the temple became a popular destination for spiritual seekers and artists who were drawn to the serene atmosphere and natural beauty of the region. The famous American writer and poet, Allen Ginsberg
, visited the temple in the 1960s and wrote a poem about his experience titled "Kasar Devi"
The temple is also known for its association with the renowned British physicist, Sir George Ellery Hale
. In the early 20th century, Hale established an observatory near the temple to study the sun and stars. The observatory was in operation for several years and played a significant role in the development of modern astronomy.
History of Kasar Devi Temple:
The Kasar Devi Temple is believed to have been built in the 2nd century AD, during the reign of the Katyuri dynasty
, which ruled over the Kumaon region from the 7th to the 11th century. The temple is dedicated to Kasar Devi, who is believed to be an incarnation of the goddess Durga
. According to local legend, Kasar Devi was a powerful goddess who protected the people of the region from evil spirits and wild animals.
Over the centuries, the temple has attracted many spiritual seekers, yogis, and sages who have come to meditate and seek enlightenment in its serene surroundings. In the 1920s, the temple became a popular destination for Western spiritual seekers, including the writer and philosopher, W.B. Yeats
, and the renowned British physicist and philosopher, Sir Arthur Eddington
. The temple also gained fame as a center of hippie culture in the 1960s and 1970s, when it became a hub for Western backpackers and counterculture enthusiasts.
Architecture and Design:
The Kasar Devi Temple is a simple yet elegant structure, made of stone and wood, with a distinctive pagoda-style roof. The temple is built on a platform and has a small sanctum sanctorum (Garbha Griha) where the idol of Kasar Devi is placed. The temple also has a courtyard (mandap) where devotees can sit and offer prayers. The temple’s architecture is a unique blend of traditional Kumaoni and North Indian styles.
The temple’s design is said to be based on the principles of Vastu Shastra, an ancient Indian science of architecture that aims to create harmonious living spaces. The temple is situated in a north-south orientation, with the sanctum sanctorum facing east, which is considered auspicious in Vastu Shastra. The temple’s location on a hilltop is also believed to have been chosen based on the principles of Vastu Shastra, as it is said to enhance the temple’s spiritual energy.
The Kasar Devi Temple is considered to be a powerful spiritual center, where devotees come to seek blessings and guidance from the goddess Kasar Devi. The temple’s serene and peaceful surroundings make it an ideal place for meditation and contemplation. Many spiritual seekers and yogis have come to the temple over the years to practice yoga, meditation, and other spiritual practices.
The temple also has a rich spiritual history, with many legends and stories associated with it. According to one legend, the temple was visited by the great sage Narad, who is said to have received divine revelations from the goddess Kasar Devi. Another legend states that the temple was visited by the famous 8th-century philosopher and saint, Adi Shankaracharya, who is believed to have meditated here and received spiritual insights.