HATU TEMPLE, NARKANDA, HIMACHAL PRADESH.
THE MAIN DOOR OF THE TEMPLE
This is the main door of the Hatu temple and you can see from the picture the door has magnificent intricate carvings on it. Wood carving is a very skilled art and the artisans have to be adept at this art. Here in this picture of the temple door, you can well imagine how much effort the artisan must have put in to carve this fine amalgam of geometrical and floral design. The temple priest is seen here performing his daily rituals.
The art of wood carving can be seen even in the small temples of rural Himachal beyond Shimla. A very beautiful carving which we have often seen on many Lord Shiva temples and Nag temples is a pair of cobra snakes, which really looks elegant in carvings. This pair of cobra snakes is a sign of fertility and is held in high esteem by the local people, who worship it in the form of ‘Naag Devta’. This snake carving can be seen in the verandah or the outer patio of the temple.
THE CARVED CEILING
The ceiling of the temple looks stunning with a beautiful chandelier and carvings of ‘swastik’ and ‘om’ in the centre and is surrounded by bold floral motifs. Lightly coloured bird carvings in blue and green make the ceiling appear more beautiful.
THE LEFT WALL OF THE TEMPLE
This is the interiors of left wall of the Hatu temple and as you can see from the picture that this wall too has many carvings of the various gods and goddesses. Some of the gods are the same ones as on the right wall, whose picture we have already shared in the last post and there are a few new ones like the carving of Lord Krishna, Lord Brahma, and a carving of Lord Hanuman which is different from the carving on the right wall.
The Hatu temple in Narkanda, Shimla is one of the most sought after motorable peaks in Himachal. It is a favourite destination for all the bikers. In winters, however due to heavy rainfall this place gets disconnected from outer world. The temple situated at the highest peak and offers a spectacular view to the tourists.
The renovation work of the temple has been in progress since past many years and is still going on. This marks the hard efforts put by the workers in its construction in all these years gone by. The magnificent artistry done on wood is exceptional. The intricate carvings make the interior of the Hatu temple magnificent and a timeless piece of art.
The above picture is an inside view of the temple which has different forms of Goddess Durga, placed in beautifully carved windows (Jharokhas) of the wood. In the front below is the idol of Goddess Hatu placed in a well decorated altar. It has two lions carved out of wood on either side. They really look very attractive. It is believed that Goddess Durga rides on a lion. Here in the picture we have a glimpse of the priest performing the daily rituals in the temple.
This photograph is of the right side outer wall of the main temple which has carvings of various Gods and Goddess like Lord Shiva and Parvati, Lord Ganesha and Vishnu, Goddess Durga, Lord Hanuman and many others. The carving is done on deodar wood which gives it an excellent finish and a wonderful appearance.
If you get a chance to visit Narkanda, make sure you visit Hatu temple. Its serene environment is good for mind as you experience peace and after all that is what all of us want in life. A few moments free from life’s clutter just for you.
Chutney is an appetizer, which not only trigger the taste buds but also changes the mood of the person. This chutney is both sweet and sour. Try this recipe to discover one more way of enjoying the chutney.
- Jaggery ( gur) 1/2 bowl
- Mint leaves 1 bowl
- Sesame seeds 1/2 bowl
- Green chili to taste
- Onion cut to slices 1
- Dry mango powder(amchur) 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Water as required
- Roast the sesame seeds on a tava to light golden colour until it sputters and then put it in a mortar.
- With a pestle grind it into powder form.
- Add the green mint leaves, chili, onion slices and make a paste with the pestle.
- When a smooth paste is formed, add jaggery, dry mango powder and salt.
- Again mix it thoroughly with the pestle.
- Adjust the quantity of water if the chutney is very thick.
- Enjoy it with paranthas and vegetables of your choice.
The aroma and the tangy flavor of this chutney are awesome. You can also prepare the chutney in a mixer grinder if time bound. It tastes great.
This curry is made from singhara flour called ‘water chestnut’ in English and Buckwheat. It is made during the navratri festival for the people who observe fast. Here is the recipe, try it and let us know how you found it.
INGREDIENTS FOR PREPARING DUMPLINGS
- Thin sliced potato wedges 2 potatoes
- Salt to taste
- Red chili powder to taste
- Chopped Green coriander leaves
- Kuttu flour (buckwheat) 1 bowl
- Water for mixing
- Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and pour water slowly so as to form a loose batter, to cover the potatoes well with the coating of the flour. Keep it aside.
- Now, heat oil in a wok and simmer the flame. Take a reasonable amount of batter with your hands and put some into wok to make dumplings, you may use a spoon also.
- Deep fry them until golden brown. Remove it on a tissue paper to remove excess oil.
- You may serve them as snacks with chutney also.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CURRY
- Singhara flour (water chestnut) 1 bowl
- Curd 250 gm
- Water 2 glasses
- Bay leaves 3-4 strands
- Black cardamom 1
- Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
- Rock salt to taste
- Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
- Chopped green chili 1-2
- Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
- Heat oil in wok and simmer the flame. Add fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaves, coriander powder and salt.
- At once put the singhara flour followed by curd into it and keep stirring so that no lumps are formed.
- Add water slowly and keep stirring. Let it boil and then cook on a low flame for 10-15 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with swang rice.
- It is great in taste and does not contain high degree of oil as the fast food of Navratri does. So eat healthy with a smile.