The missing 8th-century Kutumbari Temple in Almora district, Uttarakhand, has been rediscovered after being declared ‘lost’ by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Although the temple’s physical building no longer exists, its remnants have been scattered across the village and assimilated into the homes of the residents who live there.
According to sources, the ASI first discovered the Kutumbari Temple ruins around 2000. However, the ruins vanished at some point, compelling the ASI to declare the temple ‘lost.’ The sudden disappearance of the temple’s remains left archaeologists and historians puzzled, questioning the fate of this ancient marvel.
Contrary to the belief that the temple was entirely lost, recent findings shed new light on the situation. The villagers appear to have ingeniously utilized the temple ruins to build their houses. The temple gradually became woven into the community, with its architectural components decorating courtyards, verandahs, and even the doors of the villagers’ homes.
In 2000, the ASI’s Dehradun circle undertook a survey that confirmed the existence of the temple’s ruins. However, the ruins mysteriously vanished during the next two decades. The ASI formally declared the temple missing in January of this year, including it on a list of 50 lost sites in India.
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The Kutumbari Temple, along with seven other temples, came under ASI’s protection on March 26, 1915. However, the last known mention of the temple in official records dates back to 1957. A later investigation in 1964 found little physical evidence of the temple, adding to the mystery surrounding its disappearance.
The recovery of the long-lost 8th-century Kutumbari Temple in Almora, Uttarakhand, reveals a fascinating story of adaptation and preservation. Despite the fact that the physical structure no longer exists in its original shape, the ruins of the temple have found new life within the houses of the local community. This exceptional mix of ancient tradition and modern living demonstrates the Dwarahat people’s creativity and endurance.
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