In one of our earlier posts on Katarmal Sun Temple, author Shubham Mansingka, after a visit to the Sun Temple in Katarmal village in Uttarakhand, wondered if ASI did anything more than put a few boards here and there. In response to his query, Mr Niraj Kumar Verma from ASI spoke to us thus :
What you see today at Katarmal is a painstakingly restored cluster of temples. Perched at 2100 mtrs working here was not easy and nor is subsequent maintenance. Add to it the fact that Katarmal village faces water problem (quiet surprising as the river Kosi flows nearby). When restoration was going on water was being bought all the way from Ranikhet road, a good 57 kms away. After installing benches, ASI also decided to build a toilet as the location of this temple is quiet obscure but it remains non-functional due to the lack of a proper pipeline. Except for one Naula (traditional water tanks prevalent in the region) the village has no other source of drinking water. This Naula is again located 2 to 3 kms away from the village. Harsh climate and a difficult terrain just adds to the problem of transporting materials as well as water to and from the site. The reason why there is no drinking water facility at the temple cluster. Few boards were placed approximately 12 years ago with the intention of increasing tourist flow to this rare Sun Temple which is otherwise hidden from plain sight. Yes, no work has been done post restoration and the site is not manned due to a host of reasons but this should not take away from the hard work done earlier by dedicated personnel.
Virasat-E-Hind applauds the wonderful work done by the ASI in restoring the Katarmal Sun temple cluster to its former glory in such difficult circumstances. We take this opportunity to request our readers and friends to not just visit this unexplored gem whenever they are next in Uttarakhand but also understand why this place is not manned by a guard or lacks in basic facilities and so behave responsibly there.
Below are few pictures of the temple complex and its various shrines before and after the restoration work done by ASI
All the pictures are courtesy Mr. Niraj Kumar Verma. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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