Katarmal Sun Temple

A sun temple needs precision and is a rarity in India. The Katarmal sun temple is one of the best preserved still. It is one of the 4 sun temples in India – the others being in Konrak, Modera, Martand and Osiyan. Building a sun temple takes precision as the aim is always that the first rays of the sun fall on the idol.

History

The temple was built in the 9th Century by the Katyuri kings and bears witness to the architecture of the day. Masons of the time used a mixture of lime and lentil paste to make the adhesive agent. To learn more about the architecture of the region, click here. The idols at the Katarmal Sun Temple consist of the old sun god Burhadita. He is flanked by Parvati & Shiva and Laxmi & Narayana. Apart from the main shrine, there are 45 smaller shrines in this temple.

The temple is a short hike from the roadhead and offers great views of Almora and the Himalayas. The location of such a temple is of prime importance and thus the temple is near the top of a hill. In spite of being in the middle of tectonic instability and harsh climates, the temple still stands – a testament on the quality of work done when there was no planned obsolescence.

Today, the stone in the area is also quarried for buildings and for stone buildings. In the earlier days, village homes used stone found in the village or surrounding areas. As needs grow, quarries started being established. Apart from visiting the Katarmal temple, you can also hike up to the Syahi Devi temple.



Katarmal Sun Temple