Bilaspur: 12 of the 28 submerged temples in the Gobind Sagar lake Bhakra Dam reservoir would be trans-located as national importance monuments by the Archeological Survey of India. This was revealed by Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, on receipt of a communication from Smt. Ambika Soni, Union Minister for Tourism and Culture.
Chief Minister said that he had raised the matter with the Union Minister for Tourism and Culture to honour the devotional sentiments of the residents of Bilaspur town and adjoining villages who had been worshipping the deities for generations. He said that people of Himachal Pradesh had immense faith in devotional powers and continue with their traditional practice of worshipping their presiding deities from generation to generation. He said that it was the generosity of the locals that they allowed submersion of their temples into the dam water to pave the way for the completion of first hydro electric power project of the country way back in 1963. He said that out of the total 28 temples submerged into the water 12 were of great archeological importance belonging from 8th to 19th century A.D period. He said, that many of such temples were partially visible when the lake water recedes during winter and early summer months. He said that people of the area had been demanding the relocation of their temples at appropriate place to maintain their heritage and continue with the worshipping practice of their deities. He said that the state government considered it its duty to raise the matter at appropriate level and get the temples trans-located suitably.
Prof. Dhumal said that the Union Government had also restored the devotional heritage pf the oustees in Nagarjuna Sagar and Narmada Valley projects and the same model was required to be replicated in Himachal Pradesh, also to honour the religious sentiments of the residents of Bilaspur town by restoring the temples at suitable alternate sites where the state government would be extending all possible help to the Archeological Survey of India. He hoped that with the trans-location of the archeologically important temples the devotees of Bilaspur town and adjoining areas would get the benefit of reviving their ancestral practice of worshipping. He thanked the Union Minister of Tourism and Culture for taking effective steps in the matter by directing the Archeological Survey of India to restore the important temples by trans-locating them at alternate sites where the devotional services could be carried by the devotees religiously.