Ancient Krimchi Temples

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Krimchi is the site of one of the oldest temple complexes of Jammu & Kashmir. It can be reached by taking a short detour of about 20 kms along a side road that branches off from the National Highway 1-A, about 12 kms north from Udhampur city.
Believed to have been constructed in the 8th – 9th century AD, this group of temples, also locally known as the Pandava Temples. Consists of 4 Large and 3 small temples dedicated to Lord Shiv. The architecture of the temples shows distinct Greek (Hellenic) influences.
As per the legends, Raja Kichak of Mahabharat was said to be the creator of town Krimchi and the Kingdom. It is also said that Pandavas while in exile remained there for a long period.
Tourist attractions at Krimchi include the ruins of Three Ancient Temples. These three temples are perhaps the oldest temples in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The architecture on the walls of these temples is abstract. There are sculptures of deities like Ganesh, Shiva and Parvati. The main Temple is around 50 feet high. At a little distance from Krimchi lies Panchari, which is a picturesque Hill Resort. Tours to Krimchi give tourists an opportunity to appreciate the ancient culture and heritage of Jammu Region.
According to ASI version these temples were constructed during 8th or 9th century AD as displayed on a board near entrance of the complex. The Complete group of temples were not constructed at a time but they have come up by and by. For example temple No. 6 and 7 were damaged centuries back as can be ascertained from the locals. The information passed on by the forefathers to next generations reveal that long back only plinths of these two temples existed. Krimchi was a halt station on Jammu-Kashmir trade route. Kichak king a contemporary of Pandavas is said to have laid the foundation of Krimchi. Kichak was killed by Pandavas and Krimchi remained kingless for many centuries. According to revenue records Bhupal Singh of village Landhar came to Krimchi and constructed his palace within the walls of fort on Garh top. He had no off springs and Krimchi became kingless again. According to Diwan Narsingh Dass Nargis king Puran Karan sent his son Dayakaran to Kashmir on the demand of people. His successors ruled Kashmir for fifty five generations.
King Som Dutt of same clan came to Krimchi and established his Principality namely Bhuti. The area up to village Landhar was included with Bhuti with its capital at Krimchi.
After ruling for next twelve generations by his successors Bhatyal Rajputs, there was a large expansion in the family and many of them settled down at other places. King Bhadur Singh of same lineage ruled Bhuti during the period Ranjit Dev of Jammu. Himmat Singh was the last ruler of Bhuti and principality was merged with Jammu by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1834 AD. Temples at Krimchi are marked as No. 1 to 7 by ASI for easy reference. Temples No. 1,2,3,6 and 7 are built on a common raised platform. Temple No. 4 is built on much higher platform. Its height from entrance gate side is 12 ft. Krimchi-Temples-Udhampur-Jammu-Jammu-Darshan-7

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