Lost & hidden temples of Krimchi
Gar firdaus bar-rue zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin asto”
(If there’s a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here)
And where there is heaven there will be Gods, in fact for a Hindu guy it goes till 33 Cr. So no wonder there is this small village Krimchi in Udhampur district that one finds the remnant of three ancient shrines. Some of these temple hail back to the 11th-12thcentury. After a brief walk of 1-2 km’s off from Udhampur-Panchari highway near about 12 km’s from the district headquarters one reaches this holy abode.
Krimchi complex comprises of three very old shrines, the oldest in whole of northern Jammu and Kashmir. The thing that mesmerizes one, is the way rivulets open up from the stone complex giving away a treat to the eyes, which is second to none kind of scene a kid draws when he first constructs natural scenery, except for the stone ruins taking the place of thatched hut.
Courtesy of the Archaeological Survey of India, the foundation of these temples was led in the 8th & 9th century and completed in the span of 200 years at various stages. The information passed on by the forefathers to next generation’s reveal that long back, only plinths of these two temples existed. But if the local folk fare is to be believed these temples rather were laid down by the Pandavas during their exile. One finds a very similar kind of structure in Kolinak beach of Gujarat with 5 Shiva lingas again built by Pandavas in their exile. One can only believe one.
The shrines here are distinctive and are well known for their architectural styles, some structures showing resemblance of Greek and Hellenic architectural styles while others bear resemblance to the temples found in Orissa. The main temple’s height is around 50 feet and is decorated with designs of an abstract kind. Idols of the Gods and Goddess to whom these temples are dedicated are situated inside this main temple, like any other temple you’ve ever been to.
The surprise rather is the Krimchi Fort, which is on the opposite side of the temple complex. But as is the case with most forts in India this one only has a few walls standing the test of times. One can only gauze at the once magnificence of these figments of history holding strong. The strategic location of the fort also provided for a spectacular view of the temples below, a site for the soaring eyes.
The rivulet sublimely meshes along with the vista into a shallow valley .This valley could double up as camping grounds for the nomads in the heart. Listening to the river sing and your heart thump beneath the clear sky is definitely worth running for.