Centuries old Shiva temples, which had titled and faced collapse threat, were restored in Almora (Uttarakhand). A group of six shrines of ‘Nav Deval Mandir Samooh’ at Banthok began tilting after facing many devastating earthquakes. The foundation of the shrines also got damaged due seepage and tree roots growing under the structure.
The regional archaeology unit of the Uttarakhand cultural department carried out the restoration drive. Under it the shrines were first dismantled and after levelling the foundation the blocks were reassembled.
Six temples of the 12th century old Nav Deval Mandir Samooh were in a bad shape. Tilting with each passing year. More than seepage frequent earthquake in Almora and its neighbouring area-including bordering Nepal- had caused major damage to the shrines. No written record of the time from when the shrines began tilting is available, but it is assumed that the process began over one century back.
Chander Singh Chauhan, in-charge of regional archaeology unit, says, “The height of the smallest shrine of the group is 4.5 meters and the tallest is about 14 meters. We started the process some six months back. First each block was removed and numbered. The foundation was levelled and blocks were reassembled.” The group consists of a total of nine shrines. Resetting of six temples was successfully completed this week. Three shrines were not touched as the structures are strong and intact. Now the state archaeology unit will be fixing a canopy (copper) on the main shrine.