• Journey route

      North
  • Travel Distance

      1700
    KMS (Apx.)
Cities: Amritsar, Panchkula, Sarahan, Rampur Bushahr, Sangla, Batseri.

About the Journey

Have you ever walked past a door and wondered briefly, what lies beyond? What could be the story behind that incredible frame, that never before seen colour combination, that intricate wooden carving?

Just as they are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, there are fascinating anecdotes and tales attached to them. Why, you might ask was a particular door made in the precise manner when it is just a means to close the main door? It was the creative pursuit of the artisan to craft it to perfection for future generations to get inspiration from.

There are stories of entire generations of families that have lived behind these doors; the joys, sorrow and laughter. And then there are doors that are waiting forever to be opened, adorning mansions that have been abandoned by their owners. Doors that have seen it all, riches of their owners and then subsequent poverty.

Doors that speak volumes. From heritage houses, where silent lanes speak of the pre-partition era to the border town of Pul Kanjari with houses steeped in history. Then from India's modern planned city of Chandigarh, to a haveli that has been passed down for eight generations. Into the abode of the Gods in the Himalayas, we move to Kinnaur for the locals are said to be 'half men - half god' themselves.
Valuable doors, with impeccable wooden carvings in a rich mix of Hindu-Buddhist culture. Some temple doors are so valuable and respected that they have been cast in silver!

Join us on a journey to unearth long lost stories that reveal a fascinating insight into India's rich and diverse past.
#Doors of India: for the history buffs.

The Door's Stories

The door that unites all religions - Badri Narayan Temple, Batseri

  October 14, 2017
We crossed the Baspa river over a small bridge to reach the fairytale village of Batseri. It is located on the right bank of the Baspa river while other prominent villages like Sangla, Rakcham & Chitkul are all located on the left bank of the river.

The apple picking season is in full swing and everywhere there are trucks getting loaded with the best apples in the country, Kinnauri apples. We are in Batseri to document the door of the Badri Narayan Temple.

After a short walk from the parking lot of the village, we reach a doorway with Buddhist stupa and designs. There are streams flowing and apple orchards line the path to the village. It is pretty chilly. The views of snow clad Himalayas look majestic.

The Badri Narayan temple in Batseri was originally built in the 15th Century. The temple complex is also used as a meeting point for villagers and used for celebrating festivals like Fulaich. It is built in the traditional Himachali style and has a dazzling and pleasing design. The deity is only taken out during the festive times.

The door of the Badri Narayan temple has simple but pleasing designs that complement the whole temple structure and provides a masterpiece finish to the entire architecture.

According to the villagers, the temple was gutted in a fire in 1997 but the deity was intact. Thereafter, villagers began the construction of the existing temple in 1998, and it was completed in 2006. The temple is completely made of Deodhar wood (literally, wood of the Gods). The Badri Narayan temple is the Kinnauris’ dedication to their Gods and their faith to have built this temple bit-by-bit.

The temple’s striking feature is its multi-religious appeal and incredibly beautiful dragons carved in wood. On the doors and panels of the temple, there are representations of the four religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Islam. There are some erotic carvings too, on the lower panels. Apart from various mythological figures like Garuda and Mahavir, there are also carvings of Buddha and Hanuman. Therefore, I’m calling this door as the door that unites all religions.

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