Amidst the scintillating views of nature, Lakshana Devi temple at Bharmour is one of the most ancient surviving wooden temples in the Himalayas. Said to be built during the reign of Raja Maru Varman in 7th century AD, the temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga in the form of the demon slayer, Mahishasura Mardini.
The temple was built in Gupta tradition, looks like a hut with a pitched roof. But the Shakti Stambh and the main entrance seemed to be much ancient, carved with floral designs. Next to the main building, there’s a wooden mandapa carved with exquisite figurines of flying Gandharvas. By examining the ceiling, it appears to be that the temple has undergone several reassembles.
The Sanctum Sanctorum is like a vault with little windows that allows a small column of light on to the central deity, made of Asta Dhatu. Goddess Durga here represented as Four Armed Mahishasura Mardhini, with a trident, Sword, Tail of the demon and a bell in her hands. This very same depiction of the posture will be seen in the Chalukya style. The epic scenario of Slaying the Demon is exactly portrayed in this idol as the Goddess holds the Tail of the demon and kills it with her right leg, not with trident.
-Viswanath Venkat Dasari