Devprayag (Tehri Garhwal): The Sun temples of Palethi are on the verge of extinction due to lack of proper maintenance. The ancient structures which have archaeological significance are ruined by the villagers who are using fragments of the temples in their houses and fields.

The Sun Temples, 7 km from Hindolkhal in Garhwal, belonging to the ancient period of 7-8th century are situated in the Lulera Gulera valley. If we believe local people, a group of seven temples along with drums were excavated by the villagers themselves.

The study of these temples started in 1950 and ‘Siddha Bharati’ magazine by Sadhuram for the first time published about them. The Uttar Pradesh government included these temples in the protected category under the Ancient Monuments Act, 1957. The state government also displayed a board mentioning jail term and a fine of Rs 5000 for causing any damage to the structure.

Once the district administration also took special initiative and got the boulders properly fixed at the door of the temple.
According to historians, the Sun Temples were constructed during the 7th-8th century when the region was under the reign of Varmans of Brahmpur.

Dr SN Ghai and Dr KV Ramesh of Indian Archaeological Department, Mysore studied the inscriptions of the temple on October 22, 1968. The name of Maharajadhiraj Parmeshwar Kalyan Varman finds a prominent mention on the structure in Brahmi.

The Sun temples at Palethi are special in the sense that they are distinct from south Indian tradition and have an impact of Shaka era.

JPN/Bureau