The Newz Radar
MANDI: The torrential rains witnessed in Himachal Pradesh from Saturday to Tuesday wreaked havoc at an unprecedented scale and triggered the flooding of the Beas river, resulting in mass destructions and devastation all around in Kullu and Mandi districts.
The swollen river swept away dozens of bridges, huge buildings, national highways, vehicles and uprooted trees and levelled whatever came in its way. However, amidst the scene of destruction and mayhem, there is one structure that still stands tall, perfectly in shape and size—the historical Panchwaktar Temple in Mandi.
Situated on the confluence of Beas and Suket rivers, the temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, miraculously braved the flashfloods when the entire vicinity was turning into rumbles. Call it the miracle of being the God’s own abode or sheer luck, the temple stands unscathed.
The news of floods spread like wildfire in the country and abroad. Gulf News on its frontpage highlighted the news of floods in Himachal with a photograph of Panchwaktar temple standing submerged in the centre of the swollen Beas. Even bridges and buildings considered much stronger than the ancient temple were damaged.
Experts say that it seems engineers 300 years ago were far more professional and technically sound in building such structures that can withstand natural disaster of any extent. The devotees have been calling it the power of Lord Shiva who, according to them, is the destroyer as well as the saviour.
Built during the reign of King Sidh Sen (1684-1727), the Panchwaktar Temple is one of the protected monuments in Mandi town, which comes under the Archaeological Survey of India and has been declared a national site.
Inside the temple, there is a huge statue of Lord Shiva. The statue has five faces, which depict different characters of Lord Shiva — Aghora (destructive nature), Ishana (omnipresent and omnipotent), Tat Purusha (ego), Vaamdeva (female facet) and Rudra (his creative and destructive aspect). Panchwaktar is defined as the union of all these. The carvings on the surface include divine figures, writings and other decoration.