Katyuris of Garhwal

The Katyuris of Garhwal ruled a large part of India during the 7th to the 11th century. The reign of the Katyuris of Garhwal made a lasting mark in the fabric of ancient Indian history.

The influence of the Katyuris of Garhwal extended strongly over Kumaon, Garhwal and western Nepal. The town of Baijnath near Almora was the capital of this dynasty and the center of cultural activities at that time.

The Katyuris of Garhwal was a product of the age; they built temples to express their piety to elements they could not understand or control. The Katyuris of Garhwal constructed the imposing Surya Temple at present day Katarmal in the Kumaon Himalayas.

The Surya or Sun temple is situated at a height of 2116 meters above sea level. The location itself is symbolic of the gods; apart from the high altitude, the sun temple is situated in the midst of thick deodars giving the temple and its adjoining environment an almost ethereal feel.

The Katyuris of Garhwal employed skilled craftspersons to build their temples. The unit of construction of the temples built by the Katyuris of Garhwal were stones. Bricks were not used during any stage of the construction. Large stones were quarried to supply the building blocks of the temples. The large stones were then transported manually by laborers over the hilly terrain. The structure of the temple was held together by iron clamps.

The Surya Temple is known for its magnificent architecture, exquisitely carved pillars and wooden doors. It is surrounded by a cluster of small temples.

Last Updated on 14 March 2013