Built in the 9th century by Katarmalla, a Katyuri king, The Katarmal Sun temple is a feat in architecture and creativity. The tallest temple in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, this temple stands tall and grand at 2,116 meters above sea level. Like the other Sun temples in India, the temple is dedicated to the old Sun god ‘Vraddhaditya’ or ‘Baraditya’, which boasts of a unique architectural style, typical to the Katuri style of architecture. This involves intricate figures of metal and stone, extensive carving on pillars and doors, and large pieces of stones held together by metal clamps.
This intricate design and unique creativity makes the Katarmal Sun Temple second most beautiful and important Sun temple, after the Konark Sun Temple. The temple once housed expertly intricate wooden doors and panels. However, after a 10th-century idol was stolen, the doors and panels were transferred to the National Museum in Delhi.
The Katarmal Sun temple is a cluster of smaller temples, dedicated to other gods along with the sun god, while also double as sundials and calendars. The locals believe in the temple’s importance for two very compelling reasons - one, this is the only sun temple in the hills, at such a great height; secondly, in the months of November and February, the first rays of the sun fall directly on the idol of the Sun god, making the experience absolutely mesmerising.
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