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Photographer's Note

Khajjiar , a small hill station in Chamba, in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, is famous, apart for its picturesque landscape, the popular Khajji Nag shrine dedicated to the Serpent God (Naga = Serpent). It is said that the name ‘Khajjiar’ has been derived from the Serpent God’s name.

The temple dates back to the 10th century and is interspaced with different patterns and images on the ceiling and wooden posts. A curious blend of Hindu and Mughal styles of architecture is reflected in the wooden carvings on the ceilings and wooden posts. Inside the temple there are life-size wooden images of the five Pandava brothers from the Indian Epic Mahabharata. One of such statues can be seen on the corner pillar.

The temple consists of a spacious congregation hall sufficiently enclosed by wooden supports. The dome-shaped shrine is made of slates locally extracted from limestone quarries. Check this link, for an external view of the temple. Note the small golden dome and spire. The temple is made in Pahari style (hilly region style) and the object of worship is the black stone image of Vasuki Nag.

Photography from inside was quite a challenge because of the strong contrast in lighting, very bright outside & semi dark inside. So you may find some parts of the picture with parts of outdoor, as too bright. The lady in red on the left is actually the priestess & she did some Puja (offerings) for us to the Naga God. I was pleasantly surprised to see a ‘priestess’ really. But she did not want me to photograph her & this was a shot I took when she was not noticing. When I did ask her for a photograph, she said "Nahin" (No) & walked off. I think I overestimated my persuasive powers!

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7776 W: 324 N: 15709] (55401)
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