Katarmal Surya Temple is a beautiful ancient Hindu temple located in the quaint town of Katarmal in the Almora
district of Uttarakhand, India. This temple is known for its exquisite architecture and is believed to be one of the oldest sun temples in India. The temple dates back to the 9th century and has been declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The temple complex consists of a main shrine dedicated to Lord Surya
, the Hindu sun god, and several smaller shrines dedicated to other deities. The main shrine is a beautifully crafted stone structure, which is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures depicting various scenes from Hindu mythology. The temple also features a stepped water tank or kund, which is believed to have medicinal properties.
The architecture of the temple is a blend of Nagara
and Dravidian styles
, and it is said to have influenced the design of many other temples in the region. The temple's walls are decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures of deities, animals, and other mythical creatures. The temple's sanctum sanctorum or garbhagriha houses a beautiful idol of Lord Surya, which is said to have been brought here from Multan
in present-day Pakistan
The Katarmal Surya Temple is also known for its astronomical significance. The temple's architecture is such that the first rays of the rising sun fall directly on the idol of Lord Surya on the day of the winter solstice. This is considered to be a significant event and draws a large number of devotees to the temple.
The temple has undergone several restorations and renovations over the years, the most recent being in the 20th century. However, despite the renovations, the temple has managed to retain its ancient charm and continues to attract visitors from all over the world. The temple is open to visitors from sunrise to sunset and offers a peaceful and serene environment for devotees to offer their prayers and seek blessings.
The Katarmal Surya Temple is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and Hindu mythology. The temple's exquisite architecture, intricate carvings, and sculptures, along with its astronomical significance, make it a unique and fascinating place to visit. So, if you ever find yourself in the Almora district of Uttarakhand, do not miss the opportunity to visit this ancient marvel and experience the aura of divine tranquility.