24 April 2022 5:26 PM GMT
The Himachal Pradesh High Court has ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to constitute a special team to inspect, submit an estimate and commence necessary repairs to the 11th Century built Temple Mata Mrikula Devi, which is located in the district of Lahaul. Significantly, in the year 2020, the Court had initiated a suo moto case after taking cognizance of a report presented by...
The Himachal Pradesh High Court has ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to constitute a special team to inspect, submit an estimate and commence necessary repairs to the 11th Century built Temple Mata Mrikula Devi, which is located in the district of Lahaul.
Significantly, in the year 2020, the Court had initiated a suo moto case after taking cognizance of a report presented by the Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Kullu, submitting details of the deteriorating condition of Mata Mrikula Devi Temple.
Now, on Thursday, the bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Sandeep Sharma, after perusing the photographs of the temple produced by the Amicus Curiae, found it to be in a dilapidated condition.
The Court also noted that the roof of the temple is temporarily supported by the use of wooden planks and not only the roof has developed several cracks, but also the walls on all sides have such cracks.
The Court was further told that the temple is declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India and the Amicus Curiae further submitted that Shri Durga Dass, the Pujari of the temple had told him that if not immediately repaired, the Temple may collapse at any time.
Against this backdrop, the court found the explanation of the Archaeological Survey of India to be completely unsatisfactory as the Court remarked that the speed at which the ASI is proceeding would surely endanger the very existence of the structure.
In view of the urgency, the Court directed the ASI thus:
"...to constitute a team of scientific experts and also other representatives from other Branches of ASI to inspect the temple within one week and submit the estimate for making necessary repair of the Temple Mata Mrikula Devi, which has got immense historical importance in the State and immediately ensure that funds are provided for repair, maintenance and preservation of the temple and to commence the necessary repair works within a month thereafter, so as to complete the same expeditiously"
This case will now come up for further hearing on May 13, 2022.
Significance of the Temple
The Temple, which is dedicated to the goddess Kali was built in the 11th century. It is widely believed that the temple was constructed from a block of wood by the Pandavas during the time of Mahabharata.
It is also popularly believed that after killing Mahishasura, Goddess Kali had kept khappar full of blood here and it is still kept behind the main idol of Mata Kali here. It is forbidden for the devotees to see it as there is a belief among people that if anyone witnesses the same, even by mistake, then that person would turn blind.
Case Title - Court on its own motion Versus State of H.P. and others
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