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About Panchvaktra Temple Temple

Panchvaktra Mahadev Temple

Panchvaktra Temples is situated at the confluence of Beas & Suketi rivers .The temple is located in the old Mandi town has five faced image of Lord Shiva. The temple has been declared a heritage monument.

The Meaning of Panchvaktra

In Philosophy of Recognition, Pratyabhijna Darshan  of Kashmir Shaivism, the faces of ShivaShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ...
are enumerated as ‘Ishan’,’Tatpurusha’, ‘Sadyojat’,  ‘Vamdev’ and ‘Aghoramukh’ They represent five eternal powers consciousness ,Supreme Bliss ,desire, enlightenment and action or Kriya . It may be the influence of the art styles of the period of King Lalitaditya of Kashmir or it may be some parallel art-development, the most favorite art figure of Shiva sculpture is the five–faced Shiva as in ‘Panchvaktra’. This same conclusion is reinforced not only by the sculpture of five-faced Shiva in Panchvaktra temple but also by its presence in many Shiva temples of Mandi town.

During extreme rains in the area the temple is encircled by flood waters and the Priest had either to swim or wade thought the waters of the flooded rivers. This temple is erected on a raised platform some four to five feet from the ground so that the flood waters do not enter into the temple premises. As we enter the Sanctum Sanctorum in a mandap we find the vehicles of Lord Shiva an Ox called Nandi. The Frill and a chain of flowers on NandiNandiNandi
Nandi is one of the most iconic and famous characters of Hindu mythology. He is the vehicle of Shiva and also the gatekeeper of the abode of Shiva and Parvati. 
have been exquisitely carved out.

There are four pillars which are decorated with ornamental flowers and geometrical designs. There are engravings of figurines of ‘Kinnars’, ‘Gandharvs’ and the celestial nymphs. There is a holy sacrificial fire- place called the yagya kund and there are windows on both sides of the ‘mandap’

About Gandharva &  Kinnars:

In Hinduism, they are male nature spirits, husbands of Apsaras, &   it was said that they had superb musical skills. A Gandharva means a singer in the court of gods. They are called the creature of Prajapati of BrahmaBrahmaBrahma
According to Hinduism, the whole creation is the work of Trimurti (the Hindu Trinity)...


The temple has beautiful carvings of deities associated with Lord Shiva which is a unique epitome of self-styled architecture. The two dragons are engraved at the main entrance of the temple. In the different corners we find the idols of Lord GaneshaGaneshaGanesha
The guardian deity of Hindus, also known as the Ganapati (The God of all groups) is the son of Lord Shiva ...
and Mahishasurmardini, a form of goddess Durga which had slain the buffalo demon.

In the sanctum sanctorum the five faces can be clearly seen. The stone- pedestal are engraved a lion and the vehicle of Lord Shiva, Nandi, the sacred bull, and Goddess ParvatiParvatiParvati
After the death of Shiva's first love Sati, Shiva...
is resting in the lap of Shiva. This five –faced icon of Lord Shiva is the most ornate sculpture and unique images of Panchchvaktra Shiva. The four Faces are on the four sided and one is on the top. In a scripture called the ‘Swachhand Tantra’ these are called as ‘Urdhva Vaktra’ (top face), ‘Purva Vaktra’(eastern face), ‘Pachima Vaktra’ (western face), ‘Dakshina Vaktra’ (right face) and ‘Vama Vaktra’ (left face) and these have been called as aspects of independent form of Lord Shiva known as the ‘Swachhand Bhairav’ .Shiva is wearing the garland of serpents, the garland of human skulls, Moon, trident, etc. and all these symbols are most artistically chiselled. The top face too is delineated in very beautiful and enchanting manner. Above it is hanging the ‘jalahari’ and thus the sanctified water and ‘Vilvapatra’ emerge as a ‘prasad’ to
the devotees. Shiva is seated in the lotus pose.

On the sanctum sanctorum the shikhar style temple is erected. As seen in the ‘Shikhar’ style of Architecture we see the usual ‘aamalak’ On the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum are engraved the ‘Gandharvas’, ’Kinnars’and celestial nymphs. On the right side of Panchvaktra temple is built a small temple dedicated to ‘Batuk Bhairav’. This deity appears as a guard to the main temple. He is wearing a sacred thread called Yagnopaveet with serpents this small shrine has got Dilapidated and was almost in ruins. Panchvaktra temple is now a protected monument.

Panchvaktra Shiva is absorbed in meditation and deep contemplation or ‘Samadhi’. This idol of Shiva is unique and Superb from Sculptural point of view. Panchvaktra Shiva represents the five powers of the Lord and this sculpture is most popular and favourite among the sculptors of Mandi for its artistic beauty and majestic aspect. Panchvaktra temple was built by Raja Sidhha Sen in -1727 A.D.) of Mandi State.




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